Roberta Whiteman, a longtime editor for diversity who specialized in international reporting, died June 17 at a hospice facility near Vero Beach, Florida, where she resides. She was 62.
The British native, known as Bobbie, was a veteran editor and news editor who was a perpetually sunny presence in Germany diversity‘s editorial staff for almost 13 years. Whiteman demonstrated her courage, strength and resilience after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer affecting her spinal cord and brain in 2007.
Despite difficult treatments, Whiteman was rarely absent from the editorial board for long. She was known for her ability to sort through the large volume of messages submitted by 24/7 diversity‘s unrivaled list of international correspondents.
Whiteman knew every correspondent and correspondent in every territory, and she also took on the unenviable task of making sure her freelance payments were sent out on time. It was an encyclopedia of knowledge about the international film and television companies and the media barons who dominated their sites, notably Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi, Germany’s Leo Kirch, France’s Jean-Marie Messier, Britain’s Richard Branson and more.
“You can’t not like Bobbie. She loved her job and she loved people, and that doesn’t always apply to newspaper editors,” said Tim Gray. diversity Senior VP who served as the brand’s Editor-in-Chief for most of Whiteman’s tenure. “She was always upbeat and a passionate advocate for the international freelancers she worked with.”
Whiteman grew up in West London, the daughter of a professional driver and a housewife. She attended the prestigious Godolphin and Latymer School, where her circle included future personalities Hugh Grant and Nigella Lawson. She began her journalism career working for local newspapers in a time of tough competition in London. She was also a reporter for Doctor magazine, a publication known for its independence, for three years.
Whiteman eventually ended up as an editor at Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid The Sun in 1986. She became a respected associate of editor Kelvin McKenzie and then-rising star Piers Morgan.
After a long run to the sun, Whiteman decided to pursue her long-held interest in exploring the United States and soon ended up on the west coast. at diversityWhiteman started out as an editor and quickly rose to foreign news editor.
True to her generous nature, faced with a cancer diagnosis, Whiteman focused on mitigating the impact on her colleagues.
“When she addressed her medical issues, she always apologized; She never worried about her own challenges with chemo or medications, but she worried that those things might mean extra work for her colleagues,” Gray recalled.
Whiteman wrote from the bottom of her heart about her cancer experience in September 2008 while covering the industry-sponsored fundraiser Stand Up 2 Cancer at the Kodak Theatre.
I’m one of the privileged few to witness dozens of celebs vying for a prize worth more than an Oscar on Friday night at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, home of the Oscars — a cure for cancer.
I felt doubly privileged to be there because on April 10, 2007 my ongoing back pain was finally traced to five tumors that had settled along my spine and one in my brain, but thankfully not in any part of me that actually had any benefit .
Outside of work, Whiteman was an avid horse rider and loved music. She sang barbershop quartet and a cappella with Sweet Adeline’s Intl.
After leaving diversity As of mid-2013, Whiteman worked as a reporter and editor for Daily Mail Online, and she was a freelance editor for Wrap and LA Weekly.
“She was always a comforting ray of hope,” said Sebastian O’Kelly, a former colleague and longtime friend. “She’s about the only person in this business I’ve never heard a bad word about. She was always sunny and positive and truly loved.”
Whiteman’s survivors include her husband of 10 years, John Shubert, a descendant of the famous theater family; as well as a stepson, a stepdaughter and a brother.
John Harlow contributed to this report.
https://variety.com/2022/biz/news/bobbie-whiteman-dead-62-variety-editor-international-1235297598/ Bobbie Whiteman is dead: The longtime Variety editor was 62