VARIETY ON THE BLOCK: The Anglo-Dutch parent of Variety, Reed Elsevier Group, plans to sell its Reed Business Information division, which includes the show business trade title. The company said in a 2007 preliminary results statement Thursday it wants to reduce its exposure to "advertising markets and cyclicality," and build a more cohesive portfolio. "RBI is a well-managed, high-quality business as evidenced by the success of its online growth and the control of costs," the statement said. "Its advertising revenue model and the inherent cyclicality fit less well, however, with the subscription-based information and work-flow solutions focus of Reed Elsevier's strategy." Other magazines up for sale in the RBI division include New Scientist, Estates Gazette, Flight International and Caterer and Hotelkeeper. — S.C.
NEW HIRES: Paula Fortgang is returning to Vanity Fair after hopping around to other advertising departments of 4 Times Square. She will become advertising director, international fashion, for the title as of March 3. Fortgang was the magazine's fashion and retail director from 1999 to 2005, then became corporate fashion director for the Condé Nast Media Group. Most recently, Fortgang was fashion director at The New Yorker, where she directed U.S., international and retail sales and marketing efforts.
Meanwhile, Blender has hired Jim Sammartino as associate publisher, reporting to publisher Ben Madden. Sammartino was most recently publisher of The Knot, where he oversaw both online and print advertising sales. Sammartino also served as associate publisher of Guideposts, and was vice president, publishing director, for Men's Fitness. He takes his new position Feb. 29. — S.D.S.
ONE WORLD: With the growing number of celebrities such as Oprah and Scarlett Johansson pledging support for presidential candidates, it was probably only a matter of time before Hollywood would decide to capture the movement on film. During the Sundance Film Festival, shooting began on "PoliWood," a documentary that will feature celebrities such as Kerry Washington (who has stumped for Barack Obama at several college rallies) and Quentin Tarantino, and show where politics and Hollywood intersect by exploring the historical relationship between the two power bases. The film's producers include Cynthia Parsons McDaniel, former special projects editor at In Style and assistant features editor at the New York Daily News, and actor Tim Daly, who stars on the "Grey's Anatomy" spin-off "Private Practice." They're shopping the Creative Coalition film to distributors, but they have some time yet — filming will, naturally, continue until the election on Nov. 4. — Amy Wicks