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Variety Poaches Two Senior Billboard Editors To Expand Music Industry Coverage

image from[UPDATED] Much like the music industry is rebounding, so too are the trade media that cover it.  Irving Azoff co-owned Oak View recently bought Venues Today and is angling to purchase Pollstar. Billboard is experiencing a major revenue uptick; and now venerable film and tv industry trade Variety is expanding into music.



Entertainment trade magazine Variety has named veteran music journalist Shirley Halperin as Executive Editor, Music to lead an expansion of coverage of music, the music industry and live entertainment. She joins Variety from Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter, where she served as news director and music editor, respectively.

Shirley Halperin
Shirley Halperin

Halprin is bringing with her Billboard senior editor Jem Aswad, who is being named Variety's senior music editor. Halperin will work out of Variety’s Los Angeles offices, while Aswad will continue to be based in New York. The two will lead Variety’s coverage of the music industry in print, online and video.

Halperin, who has been covering the music industry for two decades, has worked at US Weekly, THR and High Times. She's also authored three books, 2008’s "Pot Culture," 2010's "Reefer Movie Madness" and 2011's "American Idol: Celebrating 10 Years." 

Aswad, who has most recently been a senior editor at Billboard, has held senior posts at MTV News, Spin and Time Out New York. He also had industry experience, having worked at labels Atlantic, Warner Bros. and Caroline Records.

"As music has become more ubiquitous than ever, and is continually opening up new opportunities for business and partnerships, a sector ripe for reporting has emerged. We look forward to tackling the music industry from every angle at Variety," said Halperin, who will report to Variety Co-Editor-In-Chief Claudia Eller.