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Variety Sister Pub Video Business Shuttered

RBI closes 29-year-old home entertainment trade; Manufacturing Business Technology, Industrial Distribution also axed

Reed Business Information announced Wednesday that its 29-year-old home entertainment trade Video Business will cease publication this week.

The publisher also said it is closing Manufacturing Business Technology and Industrial Distribution.

The Jan. 4 issue of Video Business, released earlier this week, will be the Los Angeles-based business-to-business trade’s last. Internet operations for the publication also are be shuttered.

Established during the halcyon days of VHS rental, Video Business thrived in the 1980s and ’90s as a trade serving a robust body of independent video stores, operators of franchise outlets, video distributors and buyers.

Margins remained robust — close to 50 percent, by some accounts — as DVD boomed in the early part of the last decade. However, the pub’s readership base had already began to deteriorate, as the home entertainment distribution business consolidated into a base of large retailers.

In early 2008, Video Business was put up for sale by Reed Elsevier, along with the entire group of Reed Business Information assets, which include Daily Variety.

With credit tight, that larger RBI sale never happened, but Reed Elsevier was able to sell some assets piecemeal. In early December, for example, Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and Twice were sold to New Bay Media.

A buyer for Video Business, however, was never found.

“I’m extremely proud of the role VB has played in the home entertainment industry, consistently breaking news, while providing important analysis and insight to our readers for almost three decades,” said Marcy Magiera, editor-in-chief and associate publisher. “Every staff member and regular contributor here is a first-class business journalist, and I will miss working with this smart, dedicated and caring group of people.”