Stephen Randall does a disservice to Daily Variety when he casts it as a cozy little house organ for Hollywood executives.
During the Silverman family's ownership from 1905-87, Variety exposed the mob's attempted takeover of Hollywood by frontman Willie Bioff. Under longtime editor Thomas M. Pryor, for whom I worked for 15 years, it continued to expose shady financial dealings, payola and inflated grosses. It advocated responsibility in a business often without scruples. Perks were minimal and the paper was scrupulously fair- minded. Advertising and editorial were church and state.
New owner Jay Penske is astute and a student of Variety's history. There's no reason to assume he won't restore the paper's luster.