For many years there have been two dailies reporting the goings-on in show business: The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. The Reporter was the first entertainment trade paper, begun in 1930 and adding television news in the 1950s. It was the predecessor to gossip columns and movie magazines.
William Wilkerson was the publisher of The Hollywood Reporter from 1930 until his 1962 death. His wife, Tichi, then became the publisher and editor-in-chief. She sold the paper in 1988 to publishers BPI for $2.7 million. (That would be $9.3 million today.)
The Reporter underwent several management and ownership changes, often employing staff who had previously worked for Variety. That backfired slightly when editor Cynthia Littleton left to join Variety in an editorial position. In 1995 it was the first Hollywood trade paper to start a website, called The Hollywood Reporter, covering tech and business as well as entertainment. Some special events through the year include the Key Art Awards honoring successful movie marketing and advertising, as well as the Next Gen issue honoring promising entertainment executives under 35.
The Reporter's affiliate companies include Billboard and Adweek. It has come into the 21st century, other than being a magazine, by including a high-traffic website, a mobile-optimized site, a digital daily and an iPad app.
The competition with Variety still exists today. In 2007 The Hollywood Reporter finally surpassed Variety with the largest distribution numbers. But Variety was achieving more of a household name when it was featured in old movies about show business such as Yankee Doodle Dandy and Singin' in the Rain, with the movie script referring to auditions listed in the paper. Aspiring actors flocked to Variety.
Variety, created in 1905, is actually one part of three issues. The original is a trade magazine, and Daily Variety, founded in 1933, concentrates on the motion picture industry. Daily Variety Gotham from New York City was created in 1998. The Variety website features a huge number of film- and TV-oriented conferences as well as box office information and reviews. All websites, of course, are connected with Twitter and Facebook.
The Variety Foundation raises funds for charitable causes and endeavors to increase public awareness. Variety's Power of Youth has young talent involved in philanthropic causes. The foundation is also involved with Power of Women, hosting an event to honor generous supporters. An annual stand-up comedy event, Power of Comedy, funds cancer research and prevention. A newly created 2012 event is Power of Music.
So you want to be in show business? These are your bibles.
What do you know about the background of show business? Sometimes hearing the history can answer a lot of questions. How do you break into movies? Read the industry publications if you want a showbiz career.