Buried in the NY Observer's loooong and pedantic situationer on Hollywood's trades and bloggers was this tidbit: First-quarter ads and barter ads in Variety, THR and Daily Gotham were down 31 percent from a year earlier. Variety Group Publisher Neil Stiles cites several factors: the writers strike, the credit crunch, and an Academy Awards season that saw fewer "For Your Consideration" ads because "Slumdog Millionaire" was such a prohibitive favorite. "Companies backed off a bit and said, 'Look, we don't have a prayer of winning so we might as well back off on the ad units because there's no point in trying to influence people,'" Stiles said.
We asked him, if Variety isn't on top now, what will it take to get back? "It wasn't, then it was, and now it isn't again, and it will be," said Mr. Stiles, the Variety publisher. "We just have to own that space again." "It might be Variety, it might be--I don't know," he continued. "I'm aiming to make sure it is Variety, but I wouldn't be so arrogant as to assume we will be."