Backstage (magazine)

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The American journal Backstage, which has also been published as Back Stage in the past, is a trade publication that caters to the entertainment business. It was established in 1960 by Allen Zwerdling and Ira Eaker, and its focus is on the cinema and performing arts industries from the point of view of actors, unions, and casting, with a particular emphasis on themes such as employment prospects and career counseling. Backstage is a brand that includes not just the main Backstage magazine but also ancillary products such as its website, Call Sheet (previously Ross Reports), which is a bi-monthly directory of talent agents, casting directors, and casting calls, as well as other casting tools.

The publication's origins may be traced back to New York City, and its early emphasis was placed exclusively on the east coast of the United States. Back Stage launched the Los Angeles-based Back Stage West in the 1990s as a primary competitor to the more well-known Drama-Logue; in 1998, Back Stage purchased Drama-Logue and merged it into Back Stage West. Back Stage West was largely focused on the entertainment industry. Both editions were consolidated into a single national publication in the year 2008.

Backstage was a sister publication to other entertainment publications such as Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter, as well as Adweek, through Billboard Publications and its subsequent corporate successors such as Nielsen Business Media and Prometheus Global Media. This relationship lasted from the 1990s until the early 2010s. In 2011, Prometheus sold Back Stage to a company headed by John Amato, who then relaunched the print and internet media. Back Stage was formerly owned by Prometheus. After being reacquired by Prometheus for a short period, it was eventually sold to RZ Capital in 2013.

Back Stage was first published in New York City in December 1960 by Allen Zwerdling and Ira Eaker as a weekly tabloid-sized newspaper under the same name. Back Stage was the beginning of Backstage (the firm). Zwerdling and Eaker had worked together for several years as the editor and advertising director, respectively, of the Show Business casting journal, which had been established in 1941 by Leo Shull under the name Actor's Cues. After Zwerdling and Eaker departed Show Business, they explored the possibility of establishing a casting department inside the newspaper The Village Voice. However, after being rejected for the position, they made the independent decision to begin Backstage.