Inside Jay Penske’s $100 Million Deal to Merge Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard (Exclusive)

Sharon Waxman
·1-min read

Jay Penske has long had his eye on The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard. In 2016, the head of Penske Media reached out to THR-Billboard owner Todd Boehly and proposed a merger, according to an individual with knowledge of the talks. Boehly, who had been bleeding tens of millions of dollars per year from his two media properties since taking them over from Guggenheim Partners in 2015, considered the proposal to join forces with Variety, the individual said. But ultimately, the insider said, he was convinced by his top executives that a merger would result in lower revenues for the combined publications because they effectively all sought advertising from the same Hollywood companies. The executives “felt combining the two would lead to more dollars flowing to the L.A. Times, to TheWrap, to Vanity Fair” and argued that MRC couldn’t afford any further dip in revenues, the individual said. “The question was: How to do this without losing money?” It took two more tries, but the budding media mogul succeeded last week in wresting 51 percent ownership in THR-Billboard for $100 million, according to another knowledgeable individual, while MRC and Penske share undisclosed stakes in a second joint venture aimed at developing...

Read original story Inside Jay Penske’s $100 Million Deal to Merge Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard (Exclusive) At TheWrap