Longtime Variety Journalist Was 69 – Deadline

Dave McNary, the veteran film reporter who covered the industry for over two decades at Variety and a friend to many of us at Deadline, has passed away at 69. His wife, Sharon McNary, a veteran journalist and KPCC-FM infrastructure correspondent, confirmed the Saturday morning news.

McNary suffered a stroke on December 19 and was rushed to Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, who died of complications.

McNary began his long career at Variety in 1999, where he covered everything from guilds to various studios including Warner Bros. Many of us at Deadline have had the opportunity to work side-by-side with Dave over the years. years, including Ted Johnson, Anthony D Alessandro, Mike Fleming and Peter Bart, the longtime editor of Variety, who hired McNary in 1999.

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“Dave McNary was the passionate journalist,” Bart said. “He loved to break stories. And he was meticulously impartial, for example, when covering the battles of the Writers Guild, seeking to understand all sides of the problem. Even when people were yelling at him, he responded with a patient smile and a calm reply.

McNary has had a career spanning over 40 years in journalism, much of it as a business reporter in the entertainment industry. He worked for UPI, the Los Angeles Daily News, Pasadena Star-News and others before joining Variety end of 1999.

He was a prolific reporter who wrote dozens of stories a week, focusing primarily on independent film, box office, Southern California production as well as SAG-AFTRA, IATSE, the Writers Guild of America, the Directors Guild of America and producers. Guild of America. He was known throughout the Hollywood guild community simply as “Dave” and it was recognized that he understood the workings of unions better than many guild employees.

McNary had a busy second career in comedy. For three decades, he hosted a humorous Sunday showcase at Pasadena’s famed Ice House venue, where he auditioned and booked many comics that made careers in the industry. In the 1970s he worked with the Groundlings and with interim coach Gary Austin. He was part of a comedy troupe dubbed the Procrastinators, who made appearances on “The Gong Show” doing acts like surfing tune “Wipeout” on belly bongos or “Rawhide” on stick horses. .

Born David Nathan McNary in Berkeley, California, he grew up in San Rafael and Woodland as the oldest of five children. During his college years, the family lived in Barcelona, ​​Spain, which left McNary fluent in Spanish. In his youth he was involved in the Boy Scouts and reached the top rank of Eagle Scout.

After returning to California, McNary wrote for her high school journal and went to UCLA. He earned a degree in history and also rose through the ranks to become editor of the Daily Bruin newspaper. He remained an enthusiastic reminder of Bruin and continued to speak at events for the Daily Bruin alumni.

It cannot go without saying the effect McNary has had on so many young journalists who cover or still cover the industry today. Like so many other young Variety reporters, I had the great honor of learning how to cover the company for him when I started as an intern in 2008. That was the thing with Dave, no matter how bad he was. covered the last issue. with the guilds or posting big development news, he always had time to discuss who we should contact to confirm a story, or just to rejoice in the victory of his beloved San Francisco Giants during a big playoff game.

He was known to ask interns if they wanted to be his plus one for the DGA awards, and then laugh with them the next day about how long the event was going to be. It is not only his friends and colleagues who love and appreciate Dave, but a number of publicists, agents, leaders and talents who have worked with him and have come to appreciate how professional he is on everything. what he was working on.

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