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“Today’s changes won’t be noticed by our readers.”

from The Wrap

Variety Drops Chief Film and Theater Critics

Updated: Todd McCarthy and David Rooney are cut as the trade moves to trim costs

Todd McCarthy and David RooneyThe evisceration of Variety continues.

On Monday, the trade let go chief film critic Todd McCarthy and chief theater critic David Rooney. Longtime film critic Derek Elley also was cut, as was features editor/indie film reporter Sharon Swart, along with several copy and design desk employees.

In a memo to Variety staff, the trade’s group editor, Tim Gray, said all three critics have been asked to work as freelancers for the moribund trade.

However, McCarthy told TheWrap he has made no such arrangement, at least not yet.

“It’s sad,” McCarthy said. “It’s the end of something. You can say it’s the end, or you can say it’s the end of the way it’s always been done.”

Reaction from the film community was characterized by shock and dismay, with Roger Ebert tweeting, “Variety fires Todd McCarthy and I cancel my subscription. He was my reason to read the paper. RIP, schmucks.”

Still, in his memo, Gray insisted, “Today’s changes won’t be noticed by readers. Our goal is the same: To maintain, or improve, our quality coverage.

[ click to continue reading at The Wrap ]

Posted on March 9, 2010 by Editor

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