Variety Wins at National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards

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Variety took home 20 top honors at Friday’s National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards, including the wins for best entertainment website, podcast host, best headline and for music and theater criticism.

The virtual ceremony was hosted by comedian Alonzo Bodden. This year’s Veritas Award for film from the Los Angeles Press Club went to Netflix’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7.”

Variety was nominated for a record 99 National Arts and Entertainment Journalism awards. Organizers noted that total submissions for the awards topped more than 1,000 for the first time.

Variety‘s wins demonstrated the range of coverage offered by the global entertainment news source over a turbulent year. Variety was recognized for music criticism for deputy music editor Jem Aswad’s “Phoebe Bridgers’ ‘Punisher,’ ‘Grammy Salute to Prince’.”

Aswad also won for arts feature under 1,000 words for “What’s Next for Lockdown Live Music?” And Aswad shared a third win with Shirley Halperin, executive editor of music, for business performing arts feature for “Hiding in Plain Sight: Dr. Luke Is Back with Doja Cat’s Smash ‘Say So,’ But Did He Ever Really Go Away?” Halperin nabbed a second trophy for personality profile under 2,500 words for “The Weeknd Manager Sal Slaiby Swears He’ll Be ‘The Greatest Immigrant’ Trump Ever Saw.”

Music writer Chris Willman got the nod for humor writing for his deep dive into the burning musical question, “Justin Bieber’s ‘Yummy’ vs. the Ohio Express’s ‘Yummy Yummy Yummy’: Whose Is Yummiest?” Willman also won for soft feature for “The Mom Also Rises: Phoebe Bridgers’ Mother, Jamie Bridgers, Finds Her Own Voice Doing Alternative Comedy.”

Brent Lang, executive editor of film and media and New York bureau chief, pulled in a pair of trophies, one for film feature (“Could Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Foxx’s ‘Just Mercy’ Set a New Standard for Inclusion?”), the other for celebrity feature, film or TV related, over 1,000 words (“Robert D“Robert De Niro and Al Pacino on Reuniting for Netflix’s Costly Oscar Hopeful ‘The Irishman’”).

Malkin, who pens the “Just for Variety” column and hosts the podcast of the same name, was another double winner. In addition to winning podcast host for his celebrity interviews on “The Big Ticket” (which has been rebranded “Just for Variety”), Malkin prevailed for personality profile, music and arts, over 2,500 words for his revealing cover story “Liza Minnelli on Oscars, Mom Judy Garland, Working With Fosse and Going to Rehab.”

Elaine Low, senior TV business writer, and Angelique Jackson, film and media reporter, earned the kudo for celebrity news for their in-depth cover story report “The Reckoning Over Representation: Black Hollywood Speaks Out, But Is the Industry Listening?”

International editor Manori Ravindran was recognized in the celebrity news category for “U.K. Government Sidestepping Media Inquiry Around ‘Love Island’ Host Caroline Flack’s Suicide.”

Brian Steinberg, won for business writing on any platform for his deeply reported look at the changing landscape of network morning news programs in “Rough Morning: How TV’s A.M. News Shows Are Grappling with Trump and Technology.”

Elizabeth Wagmeister, senior correspondent, won for commentary for her column “What I Learned Covering The Harvey Weinstein Trial.”

Steven Gaydos, VP and executive editor of features, got the nod for best headline for his wordplay “In One Era and Out the Other/Score and song choices for films set in bygone days don’t always put a period on it.”

Chief film critic Peter Debruge took the trophy for theater criticism for capturing a moment of struggle early on in the pandemic in “’Isabelle Huppert and Dimitris Papaioannou in Paris,’ ‘A Play Is a Poem,’ ‘The Night Before Broadway Went Dark,’ ‘The Present.’ “

Meg Zukin, former social media chief, was recognized for best journalistic use of social media for her work on the multimedia presentation “Power of Young Hollywood 2019.”

Terry Flores, longtime senior editor, won for soft news, film/TV for “Brad Bird Shares His Classic Film Picks as Guest Curator on TCM’s ‘The Essentials’.”

Kate Aurthur, editor-at-large, won for entertainment business writing for her reporting on the industry effort to develop safety protocols to resume film and TV production: “New Document Lays Out Plan to Resume Movie and TV Productions with Strict Quarantine Pods.”

At the last edition of the awards in 2019, Variety won 16 awards including best entertainment publication in print with Rolling Stone for the American (In)Justice Issue and top entertainment website, while Caroline Framke was honored as top television critic.

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