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Penske Media to Operate The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Vibe in Deal with MRC

Newly established PMRC will steward Variety, Rolling Stone, The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Vibe and Music Business Worldwide, among many other brands.

Leading independent media and entertainment companies Penske Media Corporation (PMC) and MRC announced today a deal to create two joint ventures in publishing and content, with both companies holding significant ownership. The announcement, effective today with a transition period through the end of 2020, was made by PMC CEO Jay Penske and MRC CEOs Asif Satchu and Modi Wiczyk.

The first joint venture is the establishment of PMRC which includes some of the most iconic, trade and consumer brands in entertainment and music. These distinguished brands include PMC’s Variety, Rolling Stone and Music Business Worldwide interests along with MRC’s The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard and Vibe. Together, these brands offer clients opportunities to reach an influential audience at scale through editorial, advertising and other marketing solutions. PMRC’s day-to-day operations will be led by PMC, a digital media pioneer and platform innovator whose ever-growing constellation of iconic brands include Deadline, WWD, SHE Media, Sportico and Robb Report, among many others.

“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 the business of entertainment and music today,” said Penske. “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.”

“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,” said Satchu and Wiczyk.

The second joint venture is a new content partnership that will activate the power of the production infrastructure and expertise of MRC across PMRC intellectual property (IP). Notably, the deal includes two of the biggest global music brands at a time where interest in music based content has exploded. MRC will be tasked with mining the collective brand IP across all of its content divisions including Television, Film, Live & Alternative and Non-Fiction. MRC has a proven track record with a roster of award-winning and high profile titles which reach hundreds of millions of unique viewers a year including: EmmyÒ-nominated “Ozark,” “The Great,” “The Outsider,” “Golden Globe Awards,” “Fyre Fraud;” best-in-class live event music series including “Billboard Music Awards” and “American Music Awards,” and Academy AwardÒ and Golden GlobeÒ nominated “Knives Out” and other iconic films like “Ted” and “Baby Driver.” The long-form content alliance will be managed by MRC and operate out its offices.

Transaction Highlights:

  • PMRC has become home to the publishing operations and legendary brands: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Rolling Stone, Billboard, Vibe and Music Business Worldwide.
  • The content joint venture complements MRC’s expertise in producing award-winning, high-profile titles across film, television, non-fiction and live events.
  • The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard and Vibe going forward will leverage the Penske Media infrastructure and be placed on the PMC tech and delivery platforms.
  • MRC will collaborate with the PMRC brands to create new opportunities for industry and consumers surrounding its powerful portfolio of live event and awards shows.
  • There are no leadership changes at PMC or MRC as a result of these ventures, and both PMC and MRC will continue to operate independently.
  • The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

PMC acquired IndieWire in 2016.

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