The profitable Variety and the money-losing The Hollywood Reporter are now (or are soon to become) sister publications run by the same outfit.
Variety and Deadline owner Jay Penske (PMC or Penske Media Corp.) has inked a deal with MRC, a media and production company founded by Modi Wiczyk and Asif Satchu, to operate The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard and Vibe under a new shingle called PMRC.
Variety excerpt: “PMC will lead daily operations of an expanded entertainment and music brand portfolio under the PMRC banner that will bring two Hollywood trade institutions under the same roof for the first time. Billboard, Vibe and the Reporter will join PMC’s Variety, Rolling Stone and Music Business Worldwide.
“The second joint venture calls for MRC to use its content production assets — which include Dick Clark Productions — to develop new content and business opportunities drawn from stories and other intellectual property culled from across PMRC brands.”
I asked some folks for a little speculation. “What might actually happen with the merger?”, I wrote. “What do your nerve endings tell you? Whenever companies or publications merge there are always people who get cut loose. Always. And we all know The Hollywood Reporter has been hemorrhaging money for a long time.”
Informed guy #1: “Variety is in excellent financial shape, and THR, as you said, has been hemmhoraging money for a long time. So I would expect that there’ll be changes there. But I think Penske wants to save THR, not kill it. And this, in the long run, is its best chance of being saved.”