'The Hollywood Reporter,' 'Billboard' Put Up For Sale

The long saga of The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard, two iconic trade publications of the traditional media era that have undergone radical reinventions in the digital age. The latest news: They are once again up for sale, according to The Wrap, which first reported the news.

As part of the transition, Janice Min, the famed former US Weekly editor who took the helm as editor-in-chief and then replaced ex-Yahoo boss Ross Levinsohn as co-president in 2014, is stepping down from her current post. However, she will join Boehly’s investment vehicle Eldrige Industries in an advisory role, with an eye to figuring out the best way to offload the publications.

Matthew Belloni, previously executive editor, is stepping up to a new role as editorial director at THR, while Billboard senior vice-president for content Mike Bruno will take the same title at Billboard.

A new sale would represent the fourth time THR has traded hands in a little over a decade.

In 2006, Dutch publisher and media holding company VNU bought The Hollywood Reporter from previous owner Affiliated Publication; around the same time VNU itself was acquired by a consortium of private equity investors and subsequently rebranded as the Nielsen Company.

In 2009, Nielsen Business Media sold THR, plus sister titles Billboard and Adweek, to Prometheus Global Media, a new holding company funded by Guggenheim Partners and Pluribus Capital Management; they subsequently rebranded the publications as e5 Media.

Then in December 2015, Guggenheim Partners sold the trade publications, as well as Dick Clark Productions, online media news site Mediabistro, and industry events like the Clio Awards, to Guggenheim president Todd Boehly.

THR and Billboard were said to be running up an annual loss of $20 million for Eldridge, prompting Boehly’s decision to put them up for sale yet again. (This hasn’t stopped the Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group from making some big acquisitions, for example SpinMedia, which includes Spin, Vibe and Stereogum, bought in December.)

Last summer, Eldridge retained bankers Goldman Sachs and Moelis & Co. to conduct a strategic review of the media assets ,following an unsolicited acquisition offer for some of them. In November, it entered into an agreement to sell Dick Clark Productions to Dalian Wanda, a Chinese development and holding company that has been pushing into the global entertainment industry over the last few years.

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