The editorial director of the Hollywood Reporter is stepping down, following a disagreement with the industry publication’s owner.
In a memo to staffers Monday morning revealing his departure, Matthew Belloni explained that it has nothing to do with pressure from the coronavirus crisis, but is the result of discussions he’s had with Modi Wiczyk, co-chief executive officer of THR’s parent company Valence Media, about “fundamental priorities and strategies.”
“No, the current global situation didn’t play a role in my exit. In fact, it makes it even harder to leave this team when we’re rising to the occasion and covering the crisis as well as we are,” he said in the memo published on THR’s web site. “Today’s announcement is the result of a series of conversations I’ve had for a few months with Modi about the direction at THR.”
Belloni refrained from publicly airing the details of those talks, apart from stating that “well-meaning, diligent, ambitious people can disagree about fundamental priorities and strategies.”
Nevertheless, he concluded his memo by stating that his exit is “100 percent amicable” and he’ll remain at the company for another month, tying up loose ends and helping with the transition.
For their part, Wiczyk and co-ceo Asif Satchu, told THR that “it has been enjoyable to work” with Belloni, and that they “greatly admire his commitment to impactful journalism.” “He has pushed the team to hold itself to a high standard, and we are proud of the work he and the entire editorial group have done these past years,” added the duo, who also own Billboard, Dick Clark Productions and Media Rights Capital.
Belloni, a former entertainment lawyer, spent 14 years at THR, four of which were as editorial director. A successor is yet to be named, leaving THR in the same boat as BuzzFeed, HuffPost and Harper’s Bazaar — all of which have found themselves without an editor in chief as they navigate the new media landscape during the pandemic.
The news comes just over two months after THR laid off around a dozen staffers. As first reported by WWD, the cuts affected its web team, styles coverage and international correspondents.