Billboard Parent Company MRC Teams With Penske Media for Publishing and Content Ventures

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The newly established PMRC will oversee THR, Variety, Rolling Stone, Billboard and Vibe, while the content partnership will produce TV, film, and other formats with access to IP across the portfolio of brands.

Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter parent company MRC and Penske Media Corp. on Wednesday announced a deal to create two joint ventures in publishing and content, with both companies holding significant ownership.

The deal becomes effective Wednesday, with a transition period through the end of 2020. The news was announced by PMC CEO Jay Penske and MRC CEOs Asif Satchu and Modi Wiczyk.

The first joint venture is the establishment of PMRC, which will encompass trade and consumer brands in entertainment and music such as PMC's Variety, Rolling Stone and Music Business Worldwide interests along with MRC's The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard and Vibe. PMRC's day-to-day operations will be led by PMC, whose other brands include Deadline, WWD, SHE Media, Sportico and Robb Report.

"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 entertainment and music today," Penske said. "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."

Said Satchu and Wiczyk: "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."

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," the companies said. MRC will be "tasked with mining the collective brand IP across all of its content divisions including television, film, live and alternative and nonfiction." MRC's titles include shows such as Ozark, The Great and The Outsider; live events including the Golden Globe Awards, the Billboard Music Awards and the American Music Awards; and films such as Knives Out, Ted and Baby Driver. The long-form content alliance will be managed by MRC and operate out of its offices.

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. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.