Hollywood Reporter, Variety Staff ‘Freaked Out’ Over Penske-MRC Media Merger (Exclusive)

The merger creates one parent company out of two longtime Hollywood trade rivals

The consolidation of Hollywood’s longtime, competing trade publications — Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard — has left editorial staff “freaked out” from the sudden move and questioning what a larger Penske Media empire could mean for critical industry coverage and layoffs, insiders told TheWrap on Wednesday.

“The staff is freaked out,” said an insider who got the news during a 7 a.m. Billboard editorial meeting in a vague email from MRC co-CEOs Modi Wiczyk and Asif Satchu. “People are really upset. It’s how [MRC] constantly handles everything.”

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Lindsey Ellefson

Lindsey Ellefson

Media reporter • lindsey.ellefson@thewrap.com • Twitter: @ellefs0n

J. Clara Chan

J. Clara Chan

Media and politics reporter • jclara.chan@thewrap.com • Twitter: @jclarachan

Sharon Waxman

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.