Today is the first day on the TV beat job at Variety for AJ Marechal (pictured). She was an intern last year with the Hollywood trade from March through November.
Marechal’s salaried return continues a rather remarkable string of success for the program instituted in 1995 by current managing editor Kirstin Wilder. “During my college days, I interned at the St. Petersburg Times in South Florida and the News & Observer in Raleigh,” Wilder tells FishbowlLA. “I learned first-hand how important these opportunities can be and was determined when I came to Variety to put an internship program in place.”
From the get-go, Wilder insisted that the trade’s internship program be a paid one. The list of people who’ve jumped from intern to staffer at Variety over the years is long and impressive. Marechal joins a current group of internship-program grads that consists of chief film critic Justin Chang, music editor Andrew Barker, senior writer Marc Graser, graphic designer Dan Doperalski and film reporters Andrew Stewart, Jeff Sneider, Justin Kroll and Rachel Abrams.
“This speaks also to the level of people we call in as interns,” Wilder explains. “We’re not looking for someone’s neighbor’s gardener’s kid. It’s people who are working at a college newspaper, are able to send in regular clippings, and so on.”
Marechal, who graduated from NYU in December 2010, will report to deputy editor Cynthia Littleton. Go get ‘em![Photo courtesy: @Variety_AJM]