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Billboard Hires New Top Editor: Former Blender, Maxim Honcho Joe Levy

A consumer music mag veteran, Joe Levy hasn’t worked at an industry trade mag before

Billboard has hired former Blender, Maxim and Rolling Stone editor Joe Levy to take over the music industry’s leading trade publication, the company announced on Wednesday.

Levy is Billboard's fourth editor in the past four years, succeeding Danyel Smith, who left less than a month ago as part of a larger group of departures.

Publisher Lisa Howard and other high-level staffers also exited, and as TheWrap has previously reported, sources close to the situation said that cost-cutting and stagnant pay were a big factor.

Bill Werde remains as editorial director.

Levy has held the top post at both Blender and Maxim and was a contributing editor at Rolling Stone. That makes Levy an industry veteran, but also one with a more consumer-oriented background. He told the New York Post that he wouldn’t be steering Billboard away from its trade roots, but he did suggest more enterprise reporting.

Werde hinted at more pop culture-focused reporting in the company's press release.

Also Read: Billboard Publisher, Editor Out, Other Top Staffers Follow

"I couldn't be more excited to bring Joe Levy to Billboard," Werde said in the statement. "Joe is one of the best editors working today when it comes to music and broader entertainment. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture, a brilliant mind for incisive commentary and a deft hand with a story. As we work to ensure Billboard offers the best coverage across all of our platforms, this is a giant step for the magazine."

Billboard owner Prometheus Global Media faced advertiser unrest after another of its publications, Adweek, opted for a new approach under former editor Michael Woolf. Woolf tried to make the trade more digestible to consumers and less focused on the inside baseball advertising stories, but that did not sit well with core Madison Avenue readers.

Woolf departed in October after months of reports that there was friction between he and Prometheus brass.

Another of Prometheus’ publications is also going through an editorial shift, though it is only temporary. Laurie Ochoa, the former editor of L.A. Weekly, is taking over for Janice Min at The Hollywood Reporter while Min is on maternity leave.