The Hollywood trade paper Variety and its corporate parent, Cahners Business Publications, are expanding into additional space at their Miracle Mile location.
Following the launch earlier this year of EV, a monthly magazine that concentrates on technology in the entertainment business, and with plans underway to expand the Variety Web site, the company is crammed to capacity in its 60,000-square-foot office at the Wilshire Courtyard complex.
So, by year end, Cahners will move part of its L.A. operation about a hundred yards to the south, into the 16,000 square feet that Altoon & Porter Architects has occupied for the past decade, said Variety Publisher Charlie Koones.
In addition to ongoing growth in Variety publications which include Variety, Variety.com, two versions of Daily Variety, EV, Broadcasting & Cable, Trade Show Week and Video Business Koones said the company needs more space to accommodate its transition to a fully computerized production process. About 230 Cahners employees work in Wilshire Courtyard.
"The expansion is reflective of the growth of our businesses. There are many businesses that are housed there, and there's a need for more space," Koones said.
Newton, Mass.-based Cahners, which is part of international media conglomerate Reed Elsevier Inc., owns more than 130 print and online publications.
Variety, which belongs to the company's media division, has been one of Cahner's best performing assets in recent years. Nevertheless, Variety finds itself competing in an increasingly crowded entertainment news market.
Earlier this month, Powerful Media, the company that runs Inside.com, a media news Web site, launched a print magazine with a focus on technology. In the fall, The Hollywood Reporter started The Hollywood Reporter East, an e-mailed version of its West Coast version with an East Coast slant.
"There is definitely more competition in the online entertainment space," said Erik Gruenwedel, a reporter with Media Week magazine. He said it was peculiar that Variety decided to start EV at a time when technology stocks are down and investment capital has dried up.
"It's a tough time to launch something specific to e-commerce. That's taking a bold step." Gruenwedel said. "More power to them for trying, but it remains to be seen whether anyone is going to buy it."
Koones said the expanded Miracle Mile operation reflects the company's current needs rather than plans to open a new publication or significantly enlarge its publications. However, he acknowledged that a retooled Variety.com, which will be launched in January, has been growing rapidly.
Like Variety, Altoon & Porter's move is being spurred by a need for more elbow room.
The company is moving to a 28,000-square-foot, two-story downtown penthouse at 444 S. Flower St. Jim Porter said the firm looked at space all over the city before selecting the 48-story former Wells Fargo Center building. Altoon & Porter, executive architect for the Hollywood-Highland project, signed an 11-year sublease from Wells Fargo & Co. starting at the bargain monthly rate of $1.40 per square foot, about half the cost of space at Wilshire Courtyard.
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