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Billboard publisher revamps, puts Hollywood Reporter boss in charge

By | Published on Wednesday 8 January 2014


US finance firm Guggenheim Partners has announced a new year rejig of its media company – which I think has been known of late as Prometheus Guggenheim Digital Media (it’s had various variations of that name in recent years) – and which includes American record industry trade magazine Billboard amongst its portfolio.

The revamp follows the sale late last year of the firm’s film/theatre industry magazine and casting service Backstage and the gig bookings website Sonicbids to RZ Capital (just as Sonicbids launched a site revamp which, I think it’s fair to say, wasn’t particularly well received).

Last April, Backstage having bought Sonicbids, and Guggenheim having regained full control of Backstage, the company plonked those two brands alongside Billboard in a new unit called the Billboard Group, led by John Amato commercially and Bill Werde editorially, the men who had previously overseen Backstage and Billboard respectively.

But with Backstage and Sonicbids now gone, Billboard is being partnered up with the company’s other entertainment industry trade mag, The Hollywood Reporter, creating a unit to be known as the Guggenheim Media Entertainment Group, which will be led by the aforementioned Amato and, on editorial matters, by Janice Min, Editor of The Reporter.

The firm’s Entertainment Group will sit alongside another unit that will operate its advertising industry and event brands: Adweek, the CLIO Awards and the Film Expo Group.

Amato and Min will report into Guggenheim Partners President Todd Boehly, who told reporters: “We believe that this new structure will not only foster growth, but allow enhanced opportunities for advertisers, readers, viewers and/or audiences and, of course, our employees. We see significant growth potential beyond our current platforms. The new structure will also allow synergies within each of these two new organisations which will foster growth and enhanced opportunities for each of our constituencies”.

Werde, a popular editor at Billboard, who has also built up quite a personal following on Twitter, will seemingly step away from the record industry title, but may stay with Guggenheim to work on other projects.

He posted to Tumblr last night: “Mine has been an amazing seat from which to watch the entertainment business evolve. Guggenheim Digital has expressed interest in me working to develop some new ideas within their framework of companies, and I look forward to applying an entrepreneurial approach to the entertainment and media realms that we’ve all spent so much time studying. More soon!”

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