Variety Australia debuts today as a digital platform with live media events and print editions to come through a licensing agreement between Penske Media Corporation and The Brag Media.
The launch of Variety Australia reflects the rapid growth of Australia as a player in the global media marketplace and as a force in pop culture. Variety Australia’s digital operation will offer a mix of local news and features for a business-to-business audience in Australia and New Zealand, along with a selection of global news and analysis from Variety curated for Australasian readers.
Variety Australia marks the second international brand extension for Variety following the launch of Variety China in 2019. It also marks a deepening of business ties for PMC and Sydney-based The Brag Media, which launched Rolling Stone Australia/New Zealand in 2020.
“Variety is thrilled to launch Variety Australia,” said Michelle Sobrino-Stearns, Variety‘s CEO and Group Publisher. “Over the course of the past century, we’ve covered the exciting developments that have led to Australia’s status as one of the world’s most important and dynamic film and television production centers. Australian culture is impacting the world and this new publishing venture will help readers stay up-to-date on Australia’s creative leadership role today.”
Brag Media has recruited Jake Challenor to steer Variety Australia editorial operations as Executive Editor, B2B, where he’ll work with Brag Media Editor-in-Chief Poppy Reid.
Reid said she has long admired Variety‘s brand of entertainment news coverage.
“The U.S. team has contributed game-changing examples of journalism in the entertainment industry and has continued to shake up the trade industry in all the right ways,” Reid said. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to have Jake Challenor at the helm of Variety Australia. I have such a great deal of respect for his work with trade publications The Music Network and The Industry Observer, and I know he will bring that same journalistic integrity and nose for future-focused coverage to the global legacy of such an iconic title.”
Also contributing to Variety Australia are seasoned journalists Lars Brandle and Vivienne Kelly, who will also continue to write for Music Network and Industry Observer, also owned by Brag Media.
Brag Media reaches eight million users a month and generates some 40 million page views a month, giving it a reach of a little more than 30% of Australia’s population. The company aims to create a youth-skewing pop culture network anchored by marquee news brands.
Brag Media plans to develop a slate of live events such as the Variety Australia Awards and the Variety 100, an offshoot of the annual Variety 500 survey of the most successful figures in global media and entertainment. The first print edition of Variety Australia is expected in the final months of this year.