Hollywood Reporter-Billboard CEO Resigns After Probe Into Ties to Record Exec Accused of Misconduct

Investigation looked into John Amato’s friendship with record executive Charlie Walk

Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group Co-President John Amato
Getty Images for Billboard

John Amato has stepped down as CEO of The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group two months after the company launched an investigation into whether Amato interfered in stories about former Republic Records president Charlie Walk, who was accused of sexual harassment.

The announcement was made in a staff memo Wednesday morning from Valence Media co-CEOs Asif Satchu and Modi Wiczyk. The executives stated that an interim leadership plan will be unveiled “in the near future.”

Valence Media did not immediately respond when asked about the status of the investigation.

According to The Daily Beast, Amato attempted to stop at least three stories about Walk’s reported misdeeds from being published at his own outlets. It was well known that Amato and Walk were friends.

Earlier this year, Walk was accused by five women of sexual harassment, which eventually led to his exit from Republic Records in March. In February, shortly after the first accusation came out, Fox removed Walk as a judge on its music competition show “The Four.”

Amato’s departure follows a reorganization of the two media companies’ parent company, which are now under Valence Media. Amato has served as co-president since 2014 and was named CEO in 2017.