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Variety lights up its own sign

Hollywood sign now has a rival on Wilshire

The Hollywood sign now has a rival.

On Wednesday night, Variety‘s name went up in lights atop 5900 Wilshire, the refurbished 31-story office building across the street from the L.A. County Museum of Art.

In true showbiz fashion, the sign-lighting was an occasion for a red carpet ceremony and spotlights. The Ratkovich Co., which spent $34 million refurbishing the highrise, hosted the ceremony attended by L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky and L.A. City Councilman Tom LaBonge.

Developer Wayne Ratkovich, prexy of the company that bears his name, composed a slanguage ditty in Variety‘s honor for the occasion. Variety moved into the building, originally designed in the 1960s, from its longtime digs two blocks east on Dec. 1.

Publisher Neil Stiles, who has overseen more than a dozen office moves in his career, praised the Ratkovich Co. for making this relocation so painless. Variety and sister Reed Business publications occupy some 55,000 square feet in the building.

Editor-in-chief Peter Bart noted that the elevated new digs are a big change after more than 20 years hunkered down on the first floor of the old building.

“Trust me, we’re journalists,” he recalled advising staffers. “This is the closest you’re going to come to upward mobility.”

Earlier in the day Wednesday, Variety‘s parent company announced that RBI, the U.S. trade division of which Variety is a part, is no longer for sale.

Click here to check out Variety’s ‘Flip the Switch’ photo gallery.

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