Media Moves

Penske will have 80% stake in joint venture

September 26, 2020

Posted by Chris Roush

Variety owner Penske Media Corp. paid about $225 million to control 80 percent of the new ­entity that will also publish Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter, to be known as PMRC, reports Keith Kelly of the New York Post.

Kelly reports, “MRC, publisher of The Hollywood Reporter, will retain a roughly 20 percent stake, sources said.

“The deal will now result in hefty layoffs among MRC’s non-editorial staffers. About 50 back-office workers, or 15 percent of the roughly 325 people who do accounting, human resources and other administrative work, are expected to be cut in the merger. At least one top executive is also headed for the exits, sources said. Deanna Brown, president of The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard, is expected to say farewell after helping with a transition. She could not be reached for comment.

“The editorial side is expected to come through relatively unscathed, however, with Hannah Karp remaining as editorial director of Billboard, Nekesa Mumbi Moody staying on as editor-in-chief at THR and Datwon Thomas remaining at the editorial helm of Vibe.

“Even Claudia Eller — the Variety editor-in-chief who was forced to take a leave of absence in June after a column on the lack of racial diversity at the mag ignited a Twitter storm — might stay on. Sources close to the company say she has been undergoing diversity training and counseling and that Penske is mulling having her reinstated.”

Read more here.

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