Bart Up & Out At Variety

Variety editor-in-chief Peter Bart has left that position in order to become the publication’s VP and editorial director.

Tim Gray is taking over as head of the news operation, effective immediately.

Bart has recently been embroiled in a “blogger” war, with Deadline Hollywood Daily scribe Nikki Finke accusing him of targeting her for an “investigative” piece without contacting her. But Tad Smith, chief exec of parent company Reed Business, says the move was planned long ago.

According to Smith, an agreement has long been in place that Bart would step aside after 20 years and Gray would take over.