Why Does Jay Penske’s Media Company Still Have a $200 Million Saudi Stake 9 Months After Khashoggi’s Murder?

After TheWrap requested comment, Penske updated its original story from February 2018 to disclose the investor

For months I’ve been mystified by Jay Penske’s silence over the $200 million investment stake his company, Penske Media Corporation, took from a Saudi government-backed company in February 2018. 

Since the murder and dismemberment of Washington Post opinion writer and Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018, Saudi Arabia has become persona non grata in the world of media and entertainment if not in our government. U.S. intelligence reports confirm that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman himself ordered Khashoggi killed.

Endeavor, the parent company of talent agency WME and sports conglomerate IMG, found its own $400 million investment from the Saudi Public Investment Fund untenable. The Hollywood company returned the investment in March of this year.

The United Kingdom just opened a state inquiry into a Saudi businessman’s investment into two of its newspapers, the Independent and Evening Standard, because of concerns over foreign interference.

And just last week, Nicki Minaj pulled out of a planned concert in the kingdom after facing criticism for agreeing to perform in a country accused of human rights violations and backward…

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Sharon Waxman

Sharon Waxman, CEO and Editor in Chief, is an award-winning journalist and best-selling author, a former Hollywood correspondent for The New York Times and a leading authority on the entertainment business and media. Before the Times, she was a correspondent for eight years for The Washington Post. She started out as a foreign correspondent, covering Europe and the Middle East for a decade. She is the founder and CEO of The Wrap, and the author of two books, including, “Rebels on the Backlot: Six Maverick Directors and How They Conquered the Hollywood Studio System.” She can be reached at sharon@thewrap.com.