The Brag Media’s CEO and editor: What Variety Australia will bring commercially to market

The Brag Media, has today entered into a further licensing agreement with Variety’s parent company, Penske Media Corporation, to launch Variety Australia.

Variety Australia will launch online, featuring original and syndicated content most relevant to local audiences. A print edition is also slated for late 2022, along with a number of premium industry-first events including the Variety Australia Awards and the Variety Australia 100.

It will be led by Jake Challenor, executive editor, B2B, who joined The Brag Media in March following the acquisition of The Music Network. journalists Lars Brandle and former Mumbrella editor, Vivienne Kelly will work across Variety Australia, The Music Network and The Industry Observer.

The Brag Media’s editor-in-chief, Poppy Reid, told Mumbrella Variety is a brand she has long admired. 

“The US team has contributed game-changing examples of journalism in the entertainment industry and has continued to shake up the trade sector in all the right ways,” Reid said. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to have Jake Challenor at the helm of Variety Australia. I have such a great deal of respect for his work with trade publications The Music Network and The Industry Observer, and know he will bring that same journalistic integrity and nose for future-focused coverage to the global legacy of such an iconic title.” 

She added: “Variety has been around for 116 years, it’s very much known as a trade publication, and we definitely want to honour that legacy. We will be covering film, TV, anything to do with screen, and the Australian award circuit, like the ARIAs, AACTAs, the Logies, and any coverage from the US team as well, because we do have that licensing agreement that allows us to syndicate. We also also cover podcasting, some tech as it relates to the entertainment industry, and music, as well.”

The agreement between The Brag Media and PMC marks the pairing’s second local edition of a global media brand after the successful launch of Rolling Stone Australia/NZ in 2020. Variety Australia is the second international edition following the launch of Variety China in 2019.

“Variety is thrilled to launch Variety Australia,” Variety’s chief executive officer and group publisher, Michelle Sobrino-Stearns, said.

“Over the course of the past century, we’ve covered the exciting developments that have led to Australia’s status as one of the world’s most important and dynamic film and television production centres. Australian culture is impacting the world and this new publishing venture will help readers stay up to date on Australia’s creative leadership role today.”

The Brag Media CEO, Luke Girgis told Mumbrella: “ Over the last decade, Variety has evolved its offering to really start servicing the most die-hard and passionate film fans. So, there is a new dimension to Variety, that’s evolved over the last decade, that is now consumer-facing, as well”

He added: “The advantage that we have here is that we have been representing Variety for just over one year now, and it’s Australian and New Zealand traffic on This means, we have already closed a lot of commercial deals with many being tier 1 consumer brands in Australia. They’re all spending with Variety already, so we understand that there is a huge appetite for Variety in Australia”

Girgis said that the company will be investing the most in digital and events.

“Despite having a strong focus on these areas, we will have a very strategic and meaningful print strategy, as well,” he said. “Our approach with print was not having the same content on digital and print, from our music background, we’ve learnt a lot of lessons from vinyl records. There is no reason why vinyl should exist in a world of Spotify, but it does. I buy vinyl’s every week, I like the sensory experience, I like the nostalgia, the touch, the feel. There is a very emotional, personal and sensory connection when you buy physical media, and there is a niche audience and a very passionate one at that.”

The Brag Media’s clients are now able to garner the attention of hard to reach executives, decision-makers and influencers in the entertainment industry through high impact display, clever content and A-list events via The Brag Agency, The Brag Creative and The Brag Events.

The arrival of Variety Australia follows two recent acquisitions by The Brag Media: The Music Network and Epic Digital. The Brag Media now achieves 40 million monthly page views and eight million users, cementing its position as the market-leading youth and pop culture network.

Variety Australia joins The Brag Media’s growing network that includes Rolling Stone Australia, The Music Network, IndieWire, Billboard,, Tone Deaf, The Industry Observer, don’t bore us, Funimation, Enthusiast Gaming, Life Without Andy, HypeBeast, and more.


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