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Sime Silverman (May 19, 1873 – September 23, 1933) was an American newspaper publisher best known as the founder of the weekly Variety in New York in 1905 and the Hollywood-based Daily Variety in 1933. During his career, Silverman was known as, the "oracle of show business, the sworn foe of grammar, and the man who never let anyone pay a check."
His son Sidne (1901–1950), succeeded him as publisher of both publications. Both Sidne and his wife, stage actress Marie Saxon (1905–1942), died of tuberculosis. Their only son, Syd, born in 1932, was the only heir to what was then known as Variety, Inc.
From 1931 until his death in 1973, Abel Green was managing editor of the Weekly Variety, located in its own five-story building on 154 West 46th St. in New York. The first managing editor of Daily Variety during the Silverman ownership was Arthur Ungar (1933-1950), followed by Joe Schoenfeld (1950-1959) and finally Tom Pryor (1959-1988). Syd's legal guardian Harold Erichs oversaw Weekly Variety between 1933 and 1956. From then Syd, who graduated from Princeton, took over and managed the company as publisher until 1987, when he sold it to Cahners Publishing (subsequently a division of Anglo-Dutch company Reed Elsevier) for US$64 million. The Daily and the Weekly were run as virtually independent newspapers, with the Daily concentrating mostly on Hollywood news and the Weekly on U.S. and International coverage. The latter maintained a strong presence at all major international film and television festivals and markets, keeping fully staffed offices in Sydney, Paris, London, Rome, Copenhagen, Madrid and Munich.
In 1920, Sime Silverman purchased an old brownstone building at 154 West 46th Street in New York, which became the Variety headquarters until its sale and demolition in 1988.Under the Cahner's management the New York headquarters of the Weekly Variety was then relocated in a modern office building at 475 Park Avenue South, and five years later was downgraded to a section of one floor in a building housing other Cahner's publications on West 18th Street. Its new editor, Peter Bart, moved the majority of operations to Los Angeles.
Originally, in 1933, Daily Variety had set up its offices in various buildings near Hollywood Blvd. and Sunset Blvd. until 1972 when Syd Silverman purchased a building at 1400 North Cahuenga Blvd. which housed the Daily's offices until 1988, after which its new corporate owners and new publisher, Arthur Anderman, moved them to a modern building on the "Miracle Mile" on Wilshire Blvd. and the old building was sold by Silverman.
Sime Silverman died on September 23, 1933 from a lung hemorrhage. He was 62 years old.
- "Inside Variety" Madrid: Ars Millenii, 2000, by Peter Besas.
- "Lord Broadway: Variety's Sime". New York: Wilfred Funk, 1941.
- Sime Silverman — Infoplease.com at www.infoplease.com
- http://www.simesite.net. (website set up in honor of Sime Silverman and Silverman era ex-employees)