Simesite year-end wrap

January 2, 2021

Following are the contributions received from muggs for this year’s end Simesite round-up. We were pleased to see that several came from muggs that had not submitted anything in the past year, such as Mark Silverman, Edna and Dan Fainaru, Debbie Kruger, and Doug Galloway, while others, such as Mike Evans, Tom Gilbert and Bill Grantham failed to respond. In any case, this year’s tally was 21 replies which ain’t bad, considering it has been 38 years since the sale of Variety to the corporates.


Blake Murdoch

Sydney, Dec.10, 2020

Former Variety bureau chief in Sydney, Blake Murdoch, passed away last Tuesday, December 8 in Sydney, aged 58, after a lengthy illness. Blake joined weekly Variety in 1984 and later became the Aussie and Australasian Bureau Chief of the paper.  He ankled Variety in 1993.


Army Archerd Redux

Hollywood, Dec. 7, 2020

A column made famous by former Daily Variety mugg, Army Archerd, which was a “must read” in the pre-corporate days of the sheet, “Just for Variety”  is back.

Variety’s signature column, which first appeared in Daily Variety 75 years ago and ran until 2005,  returned as a weekly print and digital franchise starting on December 2. Written by senior culture editor Mark Malkin, the column  focuses on industry dish from both behind and in front of the camera, industry personalities, social and philanthropic activities and trends in the creative community.

Launched in October 1945, the daily column became synonymous with the legendary Army Archerd, who took it over in 1953. Archerd penned “Just for Variety” for more than 50 years before his retirement in 2005.

“I am so excited for my next chapter at Variety,” Malkin said. “I am honored to continue the tradition of ‘Just for Variety’ while also introducing the column to a new generation of Hollywood insiders and Variety readers. This is one reboot I’m hopeful everyone will get behind.”

Reaching for past magic, the “Just for Variety” column is resurrected in a December, 2020 print edition, reviving the Army Archerd column (1945-2005) that had Hollywood turn an inside page of “Daily Variety” to keep up on industry chatter.


Retro ‘Variety’ Cover Celebrates Old Hollywood

by Bob Marich

Dec. 2, 2020

A print edition of Variety last month presented a retro cover of Variety circa late 1930s/early 1940s for a story about the Netflix drama film about screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz.

Variety served up its history with a retro cover for its Nov. 18, 2020 print cover date edition. The old-fashioned cover art ties to a story inside about a Netflix movie titled Mank dramatizing the life of  Herman J. Mankiewicz (who is portrayed by Gary Oldman). Of course, the real Mankiewicz shared the 1941 Oscar for best original screenplay with Orson Welles for Citizen Kane.