Gerry Byrne has decided to retire as group vice president and publisher of Variety and Daily Variety after 11 years in that post.
A prominent figure in the global entertainment industry, Byrne has been a mainstay at industry events, serving on many key boards.
Charles Koones, Variety’s U.S. publishing director, steps into Byrne’s publisher roles at Variety, effective immediately.
“It’s been an amazing 11 years at Variety, and I am extremely proud of what I’ve accomplished in gathering a team of the best and the brightest,” Byrne said.
Glenn Rogers, executive vice president of Cahners Business Information, which owns Variety: “We are sad to see Gerry Byrne leave Variety after 11 years of leadership and achievement. We wish him well and thank him for the outstanding contribution he has made to Variety’s success.”
Under Byrne’s leadership, Rogers said, “Variety grew in profitability and consistently led the market. Daily Variety Gotham and Variety.com were launched, and the weekly Variety was redesigned and relaunched.
“Gerry has also been a major force in the entertainment industry through his work with charitable and humanitarian organizations,” Rogers noted.
Peter Bart, VP and editor-in-chief of Variety, said, “Gerry is a star in his own right in the entertainment industry. He has been my partner for 11 years at Variety, and I will miss him.”
Byrne has served on the board of trustees for Operation Smile, a volunteer group that performs reconstructive facial surgery on impoverished children throughout the world. A Vietnam War veteran, Byrne also serves on the boards of the African Medical Foundation, the American Museum of the Moving Image, the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, the Creative Coalition, the Catholic Youth Organization and the Intrepid Museum Foundation.
Koones, 37, who will be based in Los Angeles, joined Variety as a New York-based sales executive in 1990. As U.S. publishing director, he was instrumental in the highly successful 1998 launch of Daily Variety Gotham and Variety.com.
As associate publisher, he oversaw sales and marketing for Variety during a period of unprecedented growth for the publication group. Koones serves on several entertainment and charity boards, including the American Film Institute’s Third Decade Council and the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival’s board of advisers.
“There could be no better guy at the helm than Charlie Koones,” Byrne said. “He’s been an extraordinary friend, colleague and publishing partner for nearly a decade. Charlie’s very much earned this appointment.”
Said Rogers: “Charlie has played an integral role in Variety’s past and current success, and we believe he is the ideal person to shepherd Variety into its electronic future. We are fortunate to have a tradition of strong leadership at Variety. Charlie has the skill and vision to build on that tradition.”
Said Koones: “With Variety at record levels of revenue, profitability and circulation, I am thrilled about the opportunity to increase our market-leading position in both print and electronic media. I have been extremely fortunate to have Gerry as a mentor and friend. I have enjoyed growing Variety with him and look forward to collaborating with Gerry on future projects.”
Bart added: “Charlie and I have had a terrific collaboration for the past nine years, and I’m looking forward to continuing to expand the Variety franchise with him. I anticipate a very smooth transition.”
Read by industry professionals across America and in 84 countries, Daily Variety, Variety and Variety.com have the largest reach of any entertainment business news publications in the world. These publications are collectively recognized around the globe as the world’s premier source of entertainment business news.