She will report and write about industry trends and the endeavors of the Hollywood’s major studios, focusing on financing deals, strategic initiatives, executive changes and the economics of their movie slates. She is charged with breaking news online and writing longer stories for the weekly print magazine. As part of her multimedia duties, she will also conduct video interviews and appear on television and radio news shows to talk about the film industry.
She will report to Claudia Eller, editor-in-chief, film.
“Alexandra, who was a professional surfer and is a hard-driving journalist, has the perfect kind of competitive DNA needed to aggressively cover the fast-changing, dynamic movie business,” Eller said. “She will be a great addition to our already strong film team.”
Cheney will be based at Variety’s Los Angeles offices beginning Jan. 6.
She joins Variety from the Wall Street Journal, where she spent the last three years writing for the Speakeasy Blog and Marketplace Section. Cheney recently wrote an enterprise story on how AIDS-crusader biopic “Dallas Buyers Club” was finally produced on a handshake and an American Express card after languishing in development for 18 years. She also published exclusives on DreamWorks Animation, the Walt Disney Co., Sony Pictures Entertainment and Pixar Animation. Moreover, she created the My First Job column, which helped drive traffic and make Speakeasy the most-read blog on WSJ.com.
Earlier in her tenure at WSJ, Cheney wrote for the Private Properties Real Estate column, including exclusive stories about the sales of Hollywood director Rob Cohen’s and San Diego Padres exec Jeff Moorad’s homes. She also launched event coverage for Speakeasy, blogging behind-the-scenes interviews with Betsey Johnson and Michael Kors at New York Fashion Week. She shot, edited and produced the Walk About series with Lee Hawkins and was nominated with Speakeasy for a Webby Award.
Before joining WSJ in March 2010, Cheney was a crime reporter for DNA Info, a New York-based local news website. She was a beat reporter in Manhattan covering crime, fires and deaths. She followed every murder committed in Manhattan from January to March 2010, culminating in the newsroom series “Tracking Manhattan’s Murders.”
Cheney was also a freelance writer for publications such as the New York Times, the Huffington Post, Fast Company and Inc. Magazine (where she began as a news intern) and was a columnist for Southern California lifestyle publication Breaks Magazine, writing a monthly column on environmental, energy and local water issues.
Cheney is an avid surfer and a certified open water scuba diver.