Variety won 13 first-place awards Sunday night at the Los Angeles Press Club’s 65th annual SoCal Journalism Awards, more than twice as many as any other entertainment publication.
The lucky 13 awards represented a historic high for Variety at the SoCal Journalism Awards, topping the previous best of 12 first-place prizes the magazine earned in 2018. Variety came into Sunday’s ceremony with a record 96 nominations, representing work published online and in print during the 2022 calendar year.
The awards were handed out during a gala dinner attended by hundreds in the historic Crystal Ballroom at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
Several staffers won dual honors. Owen Gleiberman, Variety‘s chief film critic, won best obituary/appreciation for a look back at actor William Hurt, plus best online arts commentary for the column “Is ‘Tar’ Rooting for or Against Cate Blanchett’s Superstar Predator Conductor?” Chris Willman, senior writer and chief music critic, won the best magazine columnist award for his commentary during the year, along with a trophy for best feature under 1,000 words for a joint interview with “Women Talking” director Sarah Polley and composer Hildur Guðnadóttir. And Shirley Halperin, former executive editor of music, picked up a prize for personality profile for a cover story on music mogul Guy Oseary, and another for a podcast interview with songwriter Kara DioGuardi.
Television editor Michael Schneider prevailed in the TV personality profile category for a feature on “Abbott Elementary” creator-star Quinta Brunson. Chief TV critic Daniel D’Addario won a first-place prize for online political commentary for his review of “The Lincoln Project.”
Film reporter Rebecca Rubin and executive editor Brent Lang shared the top award for performing arts/entertainment news for a story on Lea Michele’s triumphant turn in the Broadway revival of “Funny Girl.” Artisans editor Jazz Tangcay came out on top in the entertainment news film/broadcast category with a piece about costume designers fighting for pay equity by sharing their pay differences.
Social media editor Katcy Stephan got the top prize for online commentary on the arts with her piece “Inside the Hell of Purchasing Taylor Swift ‘Eras Tour’ Tickets: Crashes, Queues and Crying.” Commentary about Swift’s world resulted in another prize, as deputy editor Pat Saperstein picked up the trophy for environmental reporting for “Taylor Swift and Kyle Jenner Provoke Private Jet Controversy, but Does Climate Shaming Work?” And senior TV editor Brian Steinberg won first place for commentary/analysis of TV for “CNN Mulls Changes to Anchor Lineup as New Chiefs Take Big Swings.”
Variety staffers also won more than two dozen second- and third-place prizes during the ceremony. Among those whose 2022 work was further honored were Clayton Davis, Jem Aswad, Kate Aurthur, Tim Gray, Elizabeth Wagmeister, Jennifer Dorn, Matt Donnelly, Rebecca Rubin, Emily Longeretta, Jordan Moreau, Selome Hailu, Laela Schmidt, Nicholas Stango, Jenelle Riley, Preston Northrup and Shayan Asgharnia.
Apart from the night’s competitive awards, six esteemed journalists or public figures were honored with honorary or lifetime achievement awards throughout the 65th annual gala, including ABC7’s David Ono, Spectrum News 1’s Giselle Fernandez (presented by Sharon Stone), Bernard-Henry Levy (presented by Judea Pearl), John Leguizamo, Gary Sinise (presented by Joe Mantegna) and Alene Tchekmedyian (presented by Adam Rose). Sinise and Levy were unable to attend the ceremony in person but provided video acceptance speeches.
The Los Angeles Press Club presents two awards show during the year. The other, the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards, will next take place at the Biltmore on Dec. 3, 2023.