Variety associate publisher Michelle Sobrino-Stearns has been appointed publisher, the first major move at the Hollywood trade publication since Deadline parent company Penkse Media Corp acquired it earlier this month. It marks the first time in Variety‘s 107-year history that a woman will hold the top executive position. She replaces Brian Gott, who departed the post earlier this week after three years at the helm. Sobrino-Stearns joined Variety in 1997 and has held posts including sales director, managing director of features and most recently associate publisher. She will work with PMC founder, chairman and CEO Jay Penske to spearhead the trade’s next chapter of digital growth and expansion and continue to be based in LA. “This is a major moment for Variety and Michelle Sobrino, and it is clear to me that she is ready to lead this brand as its publisher”, Penske said. “After experiencing Michelle’s determination, smarts, integrity, and love for the Variety brand, I couldn’t be happier to nominate Michelle to this role — a role no other woman has ever occupied in Variety‘s 107 years.” Penske also praised Gott for being a “steadfast leader of the organization” during challenging times, and said Gott will continue working with PMC and Variety on philanthropic initiatives.
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