Victoria Duffy Hopper is stepping away as the leader of Art Media Holdings less than a year after its acquisition by Penske Media Corp.
Hopper, an ex-wife of the late actor Dennis Hopper, joined PMC — WWD’s parent company — when the company acquired several art titles from Peter Brant last fall. While her role was not clear immediately after the acquisition, one PMC founder and chief executive officer Jay Penske said he’d been chasing for years, Hopper ultimately maintained her titles of president and ceo of Art Media, including ArtNews and Art in America. She started out in 2014 as an executive of Brant Publications, but with his orchestrated bankruptcy and sale last year of Interview magazine to his daughter and the sale of the art publications to Penske, Brant has exited media altogether.
PMC revealed Hopper’s exit in a memo on the company’s latest acquisition of Art Market Monitor, a small operation and newsletter that follows the art market, including prices and trends, but also includes an “art fantasy” game and an art brokerage service. In the memo, Penske said Hopper is leaving “to pursue other opportunities.”
As for Art Market, it’s owned by Collé, Hochberg & Grey LLC, a business entity owned by Marion Maneker. Maneker will join PMC as editorial director of the Art Media segment and work with ArtNews and Art in America “to grow and expand PMC’s presence in the art business.”
Before starting Art Market about a decade ago, Maneker worked in magazine editorial and book publishing. Early in his career he was an editor at Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins and became a writer for New York Magazine, the defunct New York Sun and Slate.
The purchase of Art Market is the latest acquisition for PMC. At the start of this year, the company took full control of Rolling Stone for an undisclosed price, but likely around $50 million based on an initial valuation of the company. In 2018, PMC acquired SheKnows Media and made a controlling investment in BuzzAngle Music. Early on in the year, PMC also got a $200 million investment from Public Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia.
With the purchase of the art titles, Penske has brands at the top of a another glamorous and rarefied industry, now alongside nameplates like WWD, Variety and Rolling Stone, which cover fashion, entertainment, and music and politics, respectively.
In the memo on Art Market, PMC reiterated the “significantly fragmented audience” for art media and pointed to business opportunities with “further investments in content and editorial, complemented by robust data and analytic tools” and even live events, which other PMC brands have developed. Penske wrote that this new acquisition “adds a strong subscription business that expands PMC’s reach and influence in the art vertical.”
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