Variety Nominated for 74 Southern California Journalism Awards

Variety received 74 nominations for the SoCal Journalism Awards sponsored by the Los Angeles Press Club during the 2023 calendar year, with nods across magazine and entertainment journalism, video, audio, online content, and social media. Among the nominations announced Thursday were Brent Lang and Chris Willman for entertainment journalist of the year. Additionally, was nominated for best traditional news organization website in the online category.

In the all-platform art/photography category, Variety’s annual Hitmakers issue (highlighting SZA as Hitmaker of the year) and Zac Efron print editions were nominated for best issue. Portraits of Cate Blanchett and Penn Badgley were both nominated for best entertainment portrait photo.

More from Variety

Haley Kluge Variety No Words Variety WGA Strike cover
Haley Kluge Variety No Words Variety WGA Strike cover

In the magazine category, Variety‘s “No Words” special WGA strike issue was nominated for best in-house or corporate publication.

The Scarlett Johansson Cannes issue cover was nominated for best cover art and Victoria Stevens, Jennifer Dorn and Haley Kluge’s Cannes gallery was nominated for best photo essay in the culture/entertainment category.

Scarlett Johansson Variety Cover
Scarlett Johansson Variety Cover

Adam B. Vary’s “Queer Stories Strike Back! ‘Heartstopper,’ ‘Red, White & Royal Blue’ and ‘Bottoms’ Lead a New Surge of LGBTQ Content” was nominated for best gender and society reporting in the print category.

Clayton Davis and Willman were both nominated for best columnist in the magazine category. Jem Aswad was recognized in the music criticism category, Willman in the theater/performing arts and film criticism category, Alison Herman and Aramide Tinubu in the TV criticism category, Peter Debruge in two film criticism categories and Thania Garcia in the theater/performing arts category.

Variety received three nominations for commentary, analysis of TV including Sharareh Drury’s “‘Shrinking,’ ‘Dead to Me’ and More Emmy-Nominated Comedies Trade in Laughter for Loss,” Brian Steinberg’s “David Zaslav Likes to Gut Cable Networks. CNN Isn’t Easily Remodeled” and Tinubu’s “Sprawling Epic ‘Yellowstone’ Was Never Meant to Be Confined to Cable.” In the category for commentary and analysis of film Davis was nominated for his piece, “Attention, Hollywood: De-Aging Isn’t Working, So Please Stop Using It.”

Additionally, Rachel Seo’s feature on “The Summer I Turned Pretty” creator Jenny Han and Katcy Stephan’s profile on “Futurama” star John DiMaggio’s salary battle were both nominated for best feature under 1000 words in the magazine category.

These weren’t the only TV profiles nominated for SoCal Journalism awards. Lang’s stunning cover story on Michael J. Fox, Ethan Shanfeld’s in-depth look at the stars of the beloved cult comedy series “The Other Two” and Stephan’s profile on actor Lizzy Caplan all recieved nods.

Meanwhile, Drury’s “How ‘House of the Dragon’ and ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Made Me a More Resilient Mother,” Ellise Shafer’s deep-dive into the creation of Amazon series “Daisy Jones & the Six,” Siegel’s “Inside the Battle for CNN: Jeff Zucker, David Zaslav, Chris Licht and 18 Months of Crazy Backstabbing” and the combined work of Matt Donnelly, Lang, and Siegel for the strike-cover “Showstopper! Strikes Plunge Hollywood Into Chaos With Pricey Movie Delays, Pay Battles and AI Anxiety” all received nominations for best entertainment feature centered around streaming.

For film features, Rebecca Rubin’s “What’s in a Name? Inside the Art and Science of Crafting the Perfect Movie Title” and Siegel’s “Shell Shocked: How a Sex Scandal, Big Egos and Putin Led to Jeff Shell’s Sudden, No Payout Exit From NBCU” were both nominated.

Rubin and Lang were both nominated for their work on “Disney’s Harsh New Reality: Costly Film Flops, Creative Struggles and a Shrinking Global Box Office” for an entertainment feature with an emphasis on film.

In the personality profile category for film, Daniel D’Addario’s Efron cover story was nominated (again), as was Selome Hailu’s cover “Lily Gladstone on Welcoming ‘Flower Moon’ Criticism, Mollie’s Agency
and Scorsese’s Limitations While Telling an Osage Story”
and Angelique Jackson’s cover feature “Fantasia Returns: The ‘American Idol’ Winner on Turning Down Oprah, Surviving an Overdose and Acting Her Heart Out in ‘The Color Purple.’” Both Fantasia and Lily Gladstone were Variety’s Power of Women honorees.

In the television and film broadcast category, Jazz Tangcay, Nicholas Stango, Mark Hayes’ video of “Poor Things” cinematographer Robbie Ryan breaking down Emma Stone and Mark Ruffalo’s wacky dance scene was nominated for best entertainment news or feature over five minutes.

In the audio journalism category, Michael Schneider, Clayton Davis, Jazz Tangcay, Jenelle Riley and Emily Longeretta were nominated for best anchor/host for the “Award Circuit Podcast.” Also, Angelique Jackson’s audio piece on Alex Borstein of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” was nominated for best personality profile/interview of entertainment personalities over 10 minutes.

Tatiana Siegel’s piece on sexual and financial exploitation in the modeling world was nominated for best entertainment or business related investigative article in the online category.

On the social media front, Variety’s head of social Rachel Seo was nominated for best use of social media to enhance and/or cover a story by a journalist tied to an organization for an explainer on what actors could and couldn’t do during the SAG-AFTRA strike.

Variety nabbed 14 first-place awards at last year’s SoCal Journalism Awards, a historic high and more than twice as many as any other entertainment publication. For a complete list of the nominees, see here.

The 66th Southern California Journalism Awards will be held June 23 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.