Penske Media Corp., the parent company of Variety and Rolling Stone, among others, will operate The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard and Vibe in a new partnership with MRC, effective today with a transition period through the end of 2020. The financial terms of the joint venture were not disclosed.
The venture will be known as PMRC and will encompass PMC’s brands Variety, Rolling Stone and Music Business Worldwide. PMRC’s day-to-day operations will be led by PMC, whose other titles include WWD, Deadline, SHE Media, Sportico and Robb Report, among many others. This means that going forward The Hollywood Reporter, Vibe and Billboard will leverage the PMC infrastructure and will be part of PMC’s tech platforms, the companies said. Outside of this partnership, both PMC and MRC will continue to operate independently.
“These are all brands I’ve long admired. Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter and Vibe have created some of the finest content in their respective industries and have contributed immensely to the heightened quality of journalism covering entertainment and music today,” said Jay Penske, chief executive officer of PMC. “We feel very fortunate for this valuable partnership with the exceptional MRC team and the opportunity to continue the legacy of these tremendous brands for the next many decades.”
MRC ceo’s Asif Satchu and Modi Wiczyk added: “We have a great deal of respect for Variety, Rolling Stone and Music Business Worldwide and, as importantly, the leadership at PMC who we’ve gotten to know well and look forward to partnering with in both these businesses.”
Former Guggenheim president Todd Boehly acquired The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Vibe and Dick Clark Productions in 2015 through his Eldridge Industries. It merged with MRC in 2018 to form a new entertainment vehicle called Valence Media led by Satchu and Wiczyk. It officially re-branded itself MRC in July of this year.
PMC and MRC also announced a second joint venture — a content partnership that will produce television, film and other formats with access to intellectual property across the portfolio of brands. That “long-form content alliance” will be overseen by MRC, which already has produced award-winning titles including the Emmy-nominated “Ozark”; “The Outsider”; “The Great,” and “The Golden Globe Awards,” as well as the films “Knives Out,” “Ted” and “Baby Driver.”
PMC has been particularly active over the past few months. In May, PMC made a strategic investment in event management and technical production agency LDJ Productions and a month earlier it announced it was launching Sportico, a digital content platform providing sports industry news, data, information and live media.
Last year, it took full ownership of Rolling Stone, purchasing the remaining 49 percent stake in the music and culture title from BandLab Technologies. It has owned Variety since 2012.
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