Valence Media Layoffs to Hit The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard

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Courtesy of Valence Media

Editorial staff at trade magazines The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard will be affected by previously reported layoffs and financial cuts coming down at parent company Valence Media, Variety has learned.

Leadership at the organization, run by Media Rights Capital founders Asif Satchu and Modi Wiczyk, has been asked to prep lists of layoff candidates at both publications, one insider with knowledge of the company said.

The cuts at THR could affect up to 30% of the newsroom, the Daily Beast reported on Monday. A Valence spokesperson did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In addition to layoffs, THR will pause its weekly magazine production for three weeks in April, with a permanent reduction in frequency expected afterward. The publication is said to lose $10 million a year. Cuts and production changes at music-focused Billboard were not immediately clear.

Last week, Variety reported that cuts were expected across the entire Valence operation — which includes the news divisions, Dick Clark Productions and content studio MRC. The staffing shake-up comes on the heels of the exit of top editor Matthew Belloni, who departed over contentious issues of editorial independence with co-CEOs Satchu and Wiczyk.

The standoff, according to numerous sources, was over an edict to soften up coverage of the industry, especially in the form of directives to Belloni from THR-Billboard president Deanna Brown. Brown leaned on Belloni to go easy on certain Hollywood figures in order to protect relationships that are vital to Valence’s other businesses. DCP, for instance, produces the Golden Globes, which depends on landing high-wattage celebrity presenters.