Variety has promoted Michelle Sobrino-Stearns, President and Group Publisher, to the newly created post of Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. She will retain the duties of Group Publisher.
As CEO of Variety, Sobrino-Stearns will oversee both the editorial and business units of the venerable 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 its 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,” said Jay Penske, Chairman, Founder and CEO of Penske Media. “It is a privilege to work with such a brilliant individual whose creativity, passion and vision for the brand knows no bounds and continues to inspire us 20 years later. I look forward to watching her continue to energetically lead Variety into its bright future.”
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 of prominent industry leaders and their philanthropic passions. She has 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,” hosted by Variety‘s Elizabeth Wagmeister and Clayton Davis.
“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’s 117-year history,” said Sobrino-Stearns. “We are accelerating growth at the company by executing multi-platform content creation and distribution strategies. The convergence of tech, media and consumer expands the horizons of our client base and presents 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.