Variety won seven first-place awards Saturday night at the Los Angeles Press Club’s 64th SoCal Journalism Awards, including entertainment journalist of the year honors for Owen Gleiberman, Variety’s Chief Film Critic.
The Variety work recognized runs the gamut from a social media post to commentary urging the industry to act on timely issues, such as the hardships that exhibitors faced last fall, or the need for the Emmys to create new lanes for different forms of drama series.
Gleiberman, who has served as Variety‘s Chief Film Critic since 2016, prevailed against tough competition for entertainment journalist of the year.
“This is a serious honor,” Gleiberman said. “And a big part of it is because I’m grateful to the L.A. Press Club for acknowledging that pop-culture criticism is a form that still matters.”
Gleiberman garnered two other wins, while TV Editor Michael Schneider also nabbed two wins.
Gleiberman won the obituary/appreciation category for his column on pioneering director Lina Wertmüller, who died in December at the age of 93. He also won in the music criticism category for his candid assessment of the band Sparks in connection with Edgar Wright’s 2021 documentary “The Sparks Brothers.”
Schneider won for commentary/analysis of TV or film for his column that put forth the proposal that it’s time to create a new Emmy category for traditional network dramas. He also was recognized for his reporting on how the tragic death on the set of indie film “Rust” last October reverberated in the close-knit world of Hollywood armorers.
Tim Gray, former Variety Editor in Chief who is now Senior VP and features Awards Editor, won in the commentary category for his column on the struggles of the exhibition sector.
Jazz Tangcay, Variety‘s Senior Artisans Editor, took home the trophy for use of social media to enhance a story, for her tweet highlighting the use of a voice mail message from famed Broadway composer Stephen Sondheim in the 2021 Oscar contender “Tick Tick … Boom.”
The fact that THIS IS STEPHEN SONDHEIM's VOICEMAIL in #TickTickBoom makes this simply heartbreaking. @Lin_Manuel shared Sondheim had also re-rewritten and re-recorded this. #RIPStephenSondheim pic.twitter.com/3YxvohvHdI
— Jazz Tangcay (@jazzt) November 27, 2021
Variety writers and editors also had 14 second-place showings and 18 third-place showings.
Among the honorary kudos handed out was a lifetime achievement nod to “60 Minutes” veteran Bill Whitaker. He warned the crowd of journalists that the work of the fourth estate is more vital, and more threatened, than ever before at a time of growing geopolitical tensions and massive political and cultural upheaval in the U.S.