Janice Min to Head Billboard, THR as Co-President of Entertainment Group for Guggenheim

6:28 PM PST 01/07/2014 by THR Staff
Christopher Patey
Janice Min

In her expanded role, Min will be responsible for editorial direction of both iconic brands. John Amato will lead business initiatives and Jeff Wilbur will be president of a separate group consisting of Adweek, CLIO Awards and the Film Expo Group.

Guggenheim Media today announced that Janice Min has been tapped to lead Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter as co-president/chief creative officer of the Entertainment Group of Guggenheim Media. In her expanded role, which is effective immediately, Min will be responsible for all editorial direction of the iconic entertainment and music brands.

Working parallel to Min, John Amato will lead business initiatives of both Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter as co-president of the Entertainment Group, also effective immediately. Both Min and Amato will report directly to Todd Boehly, president of Guggenheim Partners and chairman of Guggenheim Media.

Concurrently, Guggenheim Media announced that its Prometheus Global Media would be split into two operating entities: 1) the Entertainment Group, consisting of Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter; and 2) Adweek, CLIO Awards and the Film Expo Group.

Jeff Wilbur will, as president, head up the group consisting of Adweek, CLIO Awards and the Film Expo Group. In that role, Wilbur will partner with the existing leadership to further strategic business initiatives that are currently underway. Wilbur, who most recently was the chief financial officer of Prometheus Global Media, has held financial roles at Kayne Anderson and Guggenheim Partners, where he managed investments in the Guggenheim portfolio.

"We believe that this new structure will not only foster growth, but allow enhanced opportunities for advertisers, readers, viewers and/or audiences and, of course, our employees," Boehly said. "We see significant growth potential beyond our current platforms. The new structure will also allow synergies within each of these two new organizations which will foster growth and enhanced opportunities for each of our constituencies."

"Janice has proven to be a visionary editor and leader, not only at THR, but throughout her career. In just three years, she has built one of the most powerful brands in entertainment media," Boehly continued. "She has innovated, both in print and digitally, consistently leading the way in not only driving new initiatives, but in breaking some of entertainment's biggest stories. As co-president/chief creative officer of Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter, we are confident she will continue to bring consumers straight into the heart of the entertainment and music industries."

"The combination of Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter under one editorial voice creates a true entertainment super-brand," said Min. "I'm excited to be at the center of two organizations so influential in driving the conversation in popular culture. The breaking news, personalities and glamour -- all wrapped in a sophisticated media environment -- that the two brands deliver make for a thrilling combination."

Amato, who as co-president will head the business side of both Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter, is a media entrepreneur and executive who led Backstage LLC as chairman and CEO, including the successful acquisition of Sonicbids, until overseeing the sale of the company to RZ Capital in December. Prior to Backstage, Amato led Show Media, the country's leading transit-based, out-of-home-advertising company.

Joining Min's editorial team as she oversees both outlets will be current Hollywood Reporter creative director Shanti Marlar, photo and video director Jennifer Laski, and executive editor, overseeing news, Matthew Belloni. All three were instrumental in the revamping of The Hollywood Reporter.

Since assuming leadership of The Hollywood Reporter in 2010, Min has overseen a transformation of the daily trade publication into the leading global entertainment media outlet. The New York Times has called the cover of The Hollywood Reporter's weekly glossy print edition "prized real estate" and under the business direction of publisher Lynne Segall the publication has seen explosive growth. From 2012 to 2013, revenue grew 75 percent in the consumer/luxury space, and 35 percent in digital revenue, with new advertisers including Delta, Mercedes-Benz, Ralph Lauren and Sony Electronics.

The Hollywood Reporter also has won 20 National Entertainment Journalism Awards from the L.A. Press Club, including best website, best entertainment publication and best entertainment journalist, since Min became editorial director. Min was also awarded the NEJ's Luminary Award for Career Achievement in 2012.

The Hollywood Reporter's website, THR.com, now draws more than 12 million monthly unique visitors (ComScore) -- a 38 percent year-over-year increase -- who have access to breaking news, features, profiles, top-tier photography and video, industry stats and figures and a range of high-powered blogs, including awards season-focused The Race and the entertainment industry's premier legal blog, Hollywood Esq. The brand reported a 33 percent rise in mobile visitors in November 2013 over the previous year.

In addition to introducing fashion, beauty, luxury, automotive and lifestyle into The Hollywood Reporter, Min also widely expanded its Awards Season Roundtables, bringing together A-list talent including Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Matthew McConaughey, Quentin Tarantino, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Naomi Watts, Ben Affleck, Nicole Kidman, Denzel Washington, Jamie Foxx, Judd Apatow, Richard Gere, Alan Arkin and Charlize Theron for intimate discussions both in print and on video. In 2013, the Roundtables became a television series, The Hollywood Reporter Roundtables, that aired on PBS SoCal stations.

Min has also launched a number of high-profile THR events and partnerships, including its Oscar Nominees Night party, which The New York Times, in a piece on the event, reported has been partly responsible for the magazine's growing reputation as the " ‘new' Vanity Fair."

The Hollywood Reporter's Emmy Nominees Night party, Next Gen event, Power of Style luncheon, Power Lawyers breakfast and Women in Entertainment breakfast have also emerged over the course of Min's tenure as definitive entertainment industry events, attracting Hollywood's biggest stars and insiders.

Recently, Min launched a branded Hollywood Reporter store in partnership with Hudson News at LAX airport; and in November, she oversaw the launch of The Hollywood Reporter's standalone fashion, beauty and luxury site, Pret-a-Reporter. With Winfrey as the recipient of the Sherry Lansing Leadership Award in December, the magazine saw its highest-profile Women in Entertainment breakfast in the history of the event. In 2012, Min led the creation of a partnership with Google to host an exclusive party for the White House Correspondents Dinner.

Overseeing editorial for Billboard, Min will be taking the helm of music's most influential media outlet, which is read by talent, the industry's top decision makers and 10 million monthly unique visitors online (ComScore), representing a 37 percent year-over-year increase in web traffic. Billboard reported a 30 percent year-over-year rise in ad revenue in December (making that month the highest-grossing in the magazine's history) and 16 percent rise in media revenue year-over-year 2013 over 2012.

Billboard hosts some of the music industry's most important events, including ABC's Billboard Music Awards, which in 2013 featured performers including Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, Justin Bieber, Prince, will.i.am, David Guetta and Lil Wayne and, with an audience of 12 million people -- a rise of 30 percent over the previous year -- drove 1 million song downloads. The Billboard Power 100, Latin Music Conference and Awards, broadcast on Telemundo, and Women in Music luncheon are also landmark events in the industry calendar.

As the world's top chart franchise, Billboard publishes 285 charts per week and has an archive of granular weekly charted data across multiple music genres going back over 50 years to the magazine's founding.

The full memo to staff from Boehly below:

Good evening,

I am writing to inform you of some changes we are making within Guggenheim Media. We are excited about the benefits that will inure. We hope that you will be too.

Effective immediately, we are splitting PGM into two separate operating entities, one consisting of Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter and the other including Adweek, The Clio Awards and Film Expo Group.

We believe that this new structure will not only foster growth, but allow enhanced opportunities for advertisers, readers, viewers and/or audiences and, of course, our employees. These brands can be a continuous voice against the backdrop of our live events and provide global opportunities to work with talent both in terms of in depth industry insight and promotional opportunities.

Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter are two of the most storied and important media vehicles in the entertainment industry today, and both brands extend well beyond the industries they represent. Our challenge is to capitalize on these great brands to benefit all of our constituencies, including each of you.

While content remains king, the changing media landscape has made scale more critical than ever. We believe we can enhance content and maximize scale by combining key functions and taking advantage of significant opportunities that the THR and Billboard brands provide. To accomplish these goals, we have made the following changes:

Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter

• Janice Min has been tapped to lead Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter as Co-President/Chief Creative Officer of the Entertainment Group of Guggenheim Media. In her expanded role, which is effective immediately, Janice will be responsible for all editorial direction of the iconic entertainment and music brands. All editorial functions and content will report into Janice. Janice has proven to be both a visionary editor and leader, as well as a gifted manager -- not only at THR, but throughout her career. We believe that having the editorial vision of Janice, who can drive content across both entertainment and music, as well as the scale and weight of our combined audiences, will allow us to create the entertainment and music Super-brand. We are thrilled she has agreed to accept this role.

• Working parallel to Janice, John Amato will lead business initiatives of both Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter as Co-President of the Entertainment Group, also effective immediately. Both Janice and John will report directly to me. John is a media entrepreneur and executive who led Backstage, LLC, as chairman and CEO, including the successful acquisition of Sonicbids , until overseeing the sale of the company to RZ Capital in December. Prior to Backstage, John led Show Media, the country's leading transit-based, out-of-home-advertising company.

• Joining Janice's editorial team, as she oversees both outlets, will be current Hollywood Reporter creative director Shanti Marlar, photo and video director Jennifer Laski, and executive editor, overseeing news, Matthew Belloni. All three were instrumental in the revamping of The Hollywood Reporter.

Adweek, The Clio Awards and Film Expo Group

As is the case with Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter, Adweek, The Clio Awards and Film Expo Group have some of the best known and respected names within their segment of the advertising, marketing and film industries. Creating an organization that puts all of these great names and brands under one roof – in a figurative way—will provide the best opportunity for future growth and success. We also believe it will provide the greatest benefits for all of the constituents of these entities.

• To lead this effort and capitalize on the synergies within this group and the whole Guggenheim organization, we have named Jeff Wilbur as President. Jeff will partner with the existing leadership to further strategic business initiatives that are currently underway. Jeff, who most recently was the Chief Financial Officer of Prometheus Global Media, has held financial roles at Kayne Anderson and Guggenheim Partners, where he managed investments in the Guggenheim portfolio.

Here are a few other key facts:

• Your benefits and payroll administration will remain the same.
• Reporting staff will remain largely the same.
• We will continue to maintain current office space in LA and NY.
• We will be moving corporate functions down to the new operating groups to streamline and better service the specific needs of the individual brands, as well as to enhance accountability.
• Our ownership group will remain the same; all of PGM assets are portfolio companies of Guggenheim Partners and we remain brothers and sisters and/or partners with DCP and the LA Dodgers.

We have some of the greatest brands in the world, in the most attractive of industries. We also have what we believe are some of the most talented and dedicated people within these organizations.

We are confident that with this structure, the people of the organizations discussed in this email can take our brands to the next level. Our greatest opportunities lie ahead.

Please feel free to contact your managers or Janice, John or Jeff with any questions you might have.

Todd Boehly
President, Guggenheim Partners
Chairman, Guggenheim Media

comments powered by Disqus