Inside Jay Penske’s $100 Million Deal to Merge Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard (Exclusive)


The media mogul has tried to merge with his direct competitor before

Jay Penske has long had his eye on The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard. In 2016, the head of Penske Media reached out to THR-Billboard owner Todd Boehly and proposed a merger, according to an individual with knowledge of the talks.

Boehly, who had been bleeding tens of millions of dollars per year from his two media properties since taking them over from Guggenheim Partners in 2015, considered the proposal to join forces with Variety, the individual said. But ultimately, the insider said, he was convinced by his top executives that a merger would result in lower revenues for the combined publications because they effectively all sought advertising from the same Hollywood companies.

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Sharon Waxman

Sharon Waxman, is the founder, CEO and Editor in Chief of TheWrap. She is an award-winning journalist and best-selling author, and was a Hollywood correspondent for The New York Times. Twitter: @sharonwaxman