Fifty employees at Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter and Vibe will be laid off following a joint venture between the Penske Media Corporation and MRC Entertainment announced last week. A majority of the layoffs are impacting workers whose roles overlap with those of existing PMC roles, according to Digital Music News.
PMC, which owns Rolling Stone, Variety and Deadline announced the partnership with MRC, which owns Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter and Vibe, on Sept. 23. The agreement will bring the publications together under a newly launched PMRC banner, but the agreement is not a merger and both companies will remain separate.
“No future job cuts are planned,” according to an internally circulated memo from MRC founders Modi Wiczyk and Asif Satchu, according to Digital Music News. The workers being laid off will receive severance payments and COBRA insurance reimbursements
The layoffs come about six months after The Hollywood Reporter’s editorial director, Matthew Belloni, stepped down after openly clashing with MCR. Also in April, reports circulated that MRC would trim Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter’s budgets by $10 million.
Under PMRC, PMC will handle the daily operations of the expanded entertainment and music brand portfolio under the PMRC entity. MRC will be using its content production assets such as Dick Clark Productions to create new content and business opportunities drawn from stories and other intellectual properties pulled from the PMRC brands.