Rolling Stone & Billboard have merged, or something (THR, Variety, Deadline too)
Penske Media Corporation (PMC), the parent company of music and entertainment titles including Rolling Stone, Variety and Deadline, is entering into a new partnership with MRC Entertainment (formerly Valence Media), which owns Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, and Vibe (but not SPIN or Stereogum). Their deal, which Rolling Stone reports goes into effect today, with a transition period through 2020, creates two new joint ventures, most notably: PMRC (which we thought was already taken, but whatever):
The first joint venture establishes PMRC which includes some of the most iconic brands in entertainment and music. These distinguished brands include PMC’s Rolling Stone, Variety and Music Business Worldwide interests along with MRC’s The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard and Vibe. Together, these brands offer clients opportunities to reach an influential audience at scale through editorial, advertising and other marketing solutions. PMRC’s day-to-day operations will be led by PMC, a digital media pioneer and platform innovator whose ever-growing constellation of iconic brands include Deadline, WWD, SHE Media, Sportico and Robb Report, among many others.
"These are all brands I’ve long admired," PMC CEO Jay Penske says. "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. 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."
"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," MRC CEOs Asif Satchu and Modi Wiczyk.
The second joint venture is a "new content partnership," which will involve MCR developing titles in film and television, as well as live events and non-fiction:
MRC will be tasked with developing the collective brand IP across all of its content divisions including Television, Film, Live & Alternative and Non-Fiction. MRC has a proven track record with a roster of award-winning and high profile titles that reach hundreds of millions of unique viewers a year including: Emmy-nominated Ozark, The Great, The Outsider, Golden Globe Awards, Fyre Fraud; best-in-class live event music series, including Billboard Music Awards and American Music Awards, and Academy Award and Golden Globe-nominated Knives Out and other iconic films, like Ted and Baby Driver.
More "Transaction Highlights" from the Rolling Stone article/PR:
PMRC has become home to the publishing operations and legendary brands: Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Rolling Stone, Billboard, Vibe and Music Business Worldwide.
The content joint venture compliments MRC’s expertise in producing award-winning, high-profile titles across film, television, non-fiction and live events.
The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard and Vibe going forward will leverage the Penske Media infrastructure and be placed on the PMC tech and delivery platforms.
MRC will collaborate with the PMRC brands to create new opportunities for industry and consumers surrounding its powerful portfolio of live event and awards shows.
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.
The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed