Downsizing

Variety Lays Off Film Critic

In his first post-Oscars column, legendary film critic Roger Ebert uses his space in the Chicago Sun-Times to lambast Hollywood trade paper Variety for firing Todd McCarthy, a film critic there for the last 31 years. He was dismissed Monday as the industry publication announced that it would switch its policy to only publish movie reviews on a freelance basis as a cost-cutting measure. Ebert argues that as the chief critic for Variety and its longest-tenured staffer, McCarthy became “the bellwether of a film's future.” Ebert also writes that Variety could be signaling the end of an era for film commentary: “The glory days of the famous Variety critics are finished.”