Variety on Wednesday named Michelle Sobrino-Stearns, president-group publisher, to the newly created post of CEO, effective immediately. She will retain the duties of group publisher.
Sobrino-Stearns will oversee both the
editorial and business units of the 117-year-old entertainment news brand. She is responsible for setting Variety’s strategic agenda and driving its overall financial health and
profitability — while working closely with Penske Media’s senior leadership and board of directors.
“There is no one who understands and cares more deeply about Variety, and no one more deserving to lead this team than Michelle,” Jay Penske, founder-CEO of Variety’s parent company, Penske Media, said in a statement. “It’s aprivilege to work with such a brilliant individual whose creativity, passionand vision for the brand knows no boundsandcontinues to inspireus.”
According to the company statement, Sobrino-Stearns has been the driving force behind a number of Variety’s signature editorial franchises and events, including the annual Power of Women celebrations. She helped steer the significant expansion of Variety’s live event activities, as well the growth of Variety-branded video series, such as the weekly entertainment news magazine “The Take.”
“I am incredibly fortunate to lead a team of passionate and outstanding journalists and executives at Variety who have contributed to making 2021 the most successful
year in the brand’shistory,” Sobrino-Stearns said. “We are accelerating growth at the company by executingmultiplatform content creation and distribution strategies. The convergence
of tech, media and consumer expands the horizons of our client base andpresents new and exciting opportunities for the Variety brand.”
Under Sobrino-Stearns’ leadership, Variety has grown dramatically over the past nine years, since its acquisition by Penske Media, with notable success during the last 18 months. Since Penske Media acquired Variety in late 2012, the number of full-time employees at Variety has grown by 80%.
Last year, Sobrino-Stearns was recognized by Editor & Publisher as one of its “10 News Publishers That Do It Right” honorees.