Penske Media Group, MRC to Acquire ‘The Hollywood Reporter,’ ‘Billboard,’ ‘Vibe’ in Joint Venture

In a major consolidation move within the entertainment trade publication space, Variety owner Penske Media Group is acquiring The Hollywood Reporter and other assets in a joint deal with Media Rights Capital (MRC).

Financial terms of the deal, which brings industry rivals Variety and The Hollywood Reporter under the same roof, was not disclosed. Penske also owns trades Deadline, WWD, She Media, Sportico and Robb Report. The deal also includes Billboard and Vibe.

MRC, which owns Dick Clark Productions, was the producer of  the Netflix original series “House of Cards,” and is also the producer of the streamer’s current series “Ozark.” The company has also produced movie hits Knives Out with Lionsgate, Sony Pictures’ Baby Driver and Universal Pictures’ Ted.

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Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Rolling Stone, Billboard, Vibe and Music Business Worldwide will be operated under a new entity dubbed PMRC. MRC will be tasked with developing the collective brand IP across all of its content divisions, including television, film, live and alternative, and non-fiction.

“We have a great deal of respect for … the leadership at PMC, who we’ve gotten to know well and look forward to partnering with in both these businesses,” MRC co-CEOs Asif Satchu and Modi Wiczyk, said in a statement.

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“These are all brands I’ve long admired,” added Jay Penske. “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.”

‘Rolling Stone’ Magazine Launching Branded Music Charts as ‘Billboard Hot 100’ Goes Global

Rolling Stone magazine is reportedly set to launch its own branded daily music charts — taking on longtime industry benchmark Billboard.

“Rolling Stone Charts” will track the Top 100 music singles and top 200 albums delivered across all distribution channels, including physical, digital and streaming.

Corporate owner Penske Media Group disclosed the move in Hollywood trade Variety, which it owns along with Deadline, Rolling Stone and 19 other media brands.

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“PMC’s strategy is to constantly evolve our brands and products across media platforms,” CEO Jay Penske said in a statement. “What’s imperative and exciting about our new ‘Rolling Stone Charts’ is that it will present a transparent, granular and real-time quantification to accurately reflect listeners’ evolving interests and give insight into worldwide trends.”

Rolling Stone, which has long featured music as a backdrop to editorial coverage on national news, trends and people, will also bow “Rolling Stone 500” tracking artists generating the most streaming play; “Rolling Stone Trending 25” featuring the most-popular songs daily; and “Rolling Stone Breakthrough 25,” focusing on first-time charting artists.

Data will be collected by BuzzAngle Music, a data analytics firm founded in 2016 and co-funded by PMC.

New York-based Billboard began tracking music in 1934 under a “hit parade” banner. Sales tracking began in 1940, with the current “Hot 100” comprised of singles, radio airplay, downloads and streaming.

The magazine May 6 announced the launch of “The Global 100,” which will track the top songs worldwide on a weekly basis.

“The launch of The Global 100 marks a major step in the continuing evolution of the Billboard charts,” Silvio Pietroluongo, SVP of charts and data products, said in a statement. “For decades, the U.S.-based ‘Billboard Hot 100’ has been viewed throughout the world as the barometer of success in music. Now, Billboard is proud to present a companion chart that will measure the impact of songs on an international scale.”