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Billboard boss pushed out over sexual misconduct allegations, new report claims

By | Published on Monday 16 July 2018


Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter CEO John Amato resigned last week as a result of allegations of sexual misconduct, according to a new report by The Daily Beast.

It was reported last week that Amato had stepped down from his job overseeing the US entertainment industry trade magazines – and their other sister titles – amid an investigation into claims he tampered with stories about his friend Charlie Walk.

Former Republic Records exec Walk left his role as President of the Universal-owned label in March, following various allegations of sexual harassment. Claims that Amato had suppressed an article about Walk in Billboard and another music title he oversaw, Spin, were first published by The Daily Beast in May. An investigation by parent company Valence Media is still investigating those allegations.

Now a number of current and former employees of Valence Media have spoken to The Daily Beast anew claiming that it is actually sexual misconduct allegations against Amato himself that led to his departure. Two investigations into the Walk allegations led to a separate probe into Amato’s conduct and “the company culture he oversaw”, says the website.

Of particular concern, it is claimed, were the CEO’s conduct with several young female members of staff. It is also said that employees were “uncomfortable with Amato’s frank discussions of his sex life during work-related social events”. Two staff who made formal complaints were later either fired or had their job threatened, it is also alleged.

There are then additional claims made against two senior members of staff hired by Amato – of inappropriate behaviour outside work in one case, and of verbal abuse of staff in the other.

The Daily Beast also notes that Valance Media recently undertook an internal audit of its 2016 acquisition of SpinMedia, over allegations of financial wrongdoing. It is then implied that this may also have had some bearing on Amato’s departure.

Neither Amato nor Valance Media have as yet commented on the Daily Beast’s article.