Guggenheim Partners Divests Media Properties
The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Adweek and MediaBistro, among others, will be spun-off to Guggenheim president Todd Boehly.
Global investment firm Guggenheim Partners announced plans to spin off a number of its media properties—including The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Adweek and Media Bistro—into a series of companies owned by Guggenheim Digital Media president Todd Boehly.
The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard will comprise a new company known as THRB, while another will be made up of MediaBistro, Adweek, the Clio Awards and TVNewser, in addition to other sites. As part of the deal, television studio Dick Clark Productions and film production company A24 Group will also become independent entities in which Boehly will take a controlling interest.
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, although the move is part of an effort to mitigate Guggenheim's annual losses, which are estimated to be between $25 to $30 million annually, reports The Wrap. Boehly, however, places that figure in the "single digit millions."
Billboard confirmed the ownership transfer in an announcement on the music industry trade magazine's website.
Guggenheim Partners, which will no longer have a stake in the trade publications, first acquired them from Nielsen Holdings in 2009 and grouped them into a subsidiary called Prometheus Global Media. MediaBistro came under the Prometheus umbrella when it was acquired by Guggenheim for $8 million in 2014.
Back in March, the New York Post reported that Boehly, who facilitated a $2.15 billion Guggenhim acquisition of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012, was planning to leave the company and start his own firm.
The spinoffs have been in the works for some time, reports Variety, after Guggenheim's patience with the media brands disappointing returns wore thin.
The Hollywood Reporter, which publishes weekly, has seen its paid circulation grow from 36,436 in 2012 to an average of 39,452 for the six months ending June 30, 2015, according to the Alliance for Audited Media. Billboard's average paid circulation stood at 15,012 for the three months ending March 31, 2015, and the site reached a then-record 13 million unique visitors in October 2014.
Executive management at all of the media properties will remain intact, according to Boehly.