Prometheus Global Media
|e5 Global Media|
|Industry||Digital media, trade publications|
|Predecessor||Nielsen Business Media|
|Headquarters||New York City, New York, United States|
|Ross Levinsohn, CEO|
Prometheus Global Media is a New York City-based B2B media company. The company was formed in December 2009, when Nielsen Company sold its entertainment and media division to a private equity-backed group led by Pluribus Capital Management and Guggenheim Partners. Guggenheim acquired Pluribus's stake in the company in January 2013, giving it full ownership under the division of Guggenheim Digital Media.
The company owns and operates a number of major entertainment industry trade publications and their associated digital properties, including Adweek, Backstage, Billboard, Film Journal International, and The Hollywood Reporter.
On December 17, 2015, it was announced that Guggenheim would spin out its media properties to a group led by former executive Todd Boehly.
On December 10, 2009, the Nielsen Company announced that it would sell its Business Media division, which included brands such as Adweek, Billboard, and The Hollywood Reporter, to a new company known as e5 Global Media; a joint venture between Guggenheim Partners and Pluribus Capital Management—a company led by James Finkelstein, Matthew Doull, and George Green. Two Nielsen properties, Editor & Publisher, and Kirkus Reviews, were not included in the sale, and were to be shut down.<ref name=adage-adweeksold>"Adweek Group Among Titles Sold to e5 Global Media Holdings". Ad Age. Retrieved 18 June 2014.</ref> Editor & Publisher would instead be sold to the Duncan McIntosh Company,<ref>Milbourn, Mary Ann (2010-01-14). "OC boating publisher buys 'Bible' of newspaper industry". OC Register. Retrieved 2010-10-08.</ref> and Kirkus Reviews would be sold to Herbert Simon.<ref name=NYT_Rich2>Rich, Motoko (February 10, 2010). "Kirkus Gets a New Owner – From the N.B.A.". The New York Times. Retrieved March 22, 2012.</ref> The company's first CEO was Richard Beckman,<ref>"Richard Beckman’s 'Big Bang' At E5 Global Media Should Be Known By July. - min Online". min Online. 2010-05-03. Retrieved 2016-12-09.</ref> previously an executive and publisher at Condé Nast and Fairchild Publications,<ref>"Richard Beckman Leaves Condé Nast to Head e5 Global Media". January 12, 2010. Media Decoder. New York Times.</ref> and former publisher of magazines GQ and Vogue.<ref name="NYT-pays">"Ex Men’s Vogue Publisher Finds A New Home At Conde Nast". Amanda Ernst. June 18, 2009. Adweek.com.</ref>Beckman's career suffered a setback in 1999 following "some inappropriate behavior" resulting in injuries to Vogue's West Coast advertising director Carol Matthews, while Beckman was Matthews' publisher at Condé Nast.<ref name="NYT-pays">Kuczynski, Alex (September 22, 1999). "Conde Nast Pays Woman Injured by Executive". The New York Times.</ref>
Beckman's first major move was a re-launch of The Hollywood Reporter; with the hiring of Janice Min, formerly of Us Weekly, as editorial director, THR replaced its daily print publication with a weekly magazine, and performed a significant redesign to its website with an increased focus on breaking scoops. The new format was meant to compete against up-and-coming blogs focusing on industry news, such as Deadline.com and TheWrap, along with its then-struggling rival Variety. The changes had a significant impact on the publication's performance: by 2013, ad sales were up more than 50%, while traffic to the magazine's website had grown by 800%.<ref>Barnes, Brooks. "From Has-Been to Life of the Party". New York Times. Retrieved 11 October 2013.</ref><ref>Barnes, Brooks. "Hollywood Reporter to Become a Weekly Magazine". New York Times. Retrieved 11 October 2013.</ref> In October 2010, the company was renamed Prometheus Global Media; named after the Greek mythological figure, Beckman stated in an internal memo that the new name would "[carry] more weight and gravitas in the marketplace."<ref name=folio-name>"What's in a Name?". Folio. Retrieved 18 June 2014.</ref>
Re-organization and acquisition
In late-2011, Prometheus went through a number of cost-cutting measures. In August 2011, Backstage was sold to a group of investors led by John Amato in a transaction funded by Guggenheim, and the following month, Prometheus laid off the staff responsible for the Hollywood Creative Directory and announced it had sold the publication.<ref name=deadline-backstagesold>"UPDATE: Prometheus Selling ‘Back Stage’; The Hollywood Reporter’s Parent Company "Dropping Assets Like Flies Now"". Deadline. Retrieved 30 May 2014.</ref><ref name=thr-backstagesold>"Prometheus Global Media, Investor Group Strike Alliance for Back Stage". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 30 May 2014.</ref><ref name=deadline-cuts>"The Hollywood Reporter’s Parent Company Continues To Cost Cut: Prometheus Pulled Plug On Hollywood Creative Directory; Adweek Also In Trouble And In Turmoil". Deadline. Retrieved 30 May 2014.</ref>
In January 2013, Guggenheim Partners acquired the stake in Prometheus owned by Pluribus Capital, giving it full ownership; following the acquisition, former Yahoo! executive Ross Levinsohn was named as CEO of the new Guggenheim Digital Media division, which would oversee Prometheus and other digital assets for Guggenheim companies (such as Dick Clark Productions). In April 2013, Guggenheim re-acquired Backstage (which had also acquired Sonicbids, a platform for allowing musicians to book gigs online) and made its CEO John Amato president of the Billboard Group—a new group consisting of Billboard, Backstage, and Sonicbids.<ref name=billboard-group>"Guggenheim Digital Media Announces Formation of Billboard Group". Billboard.biz. Retrieved 29 May 2014.</ref><ref name=variety-shakeup>"In Guggenheim Shakeup, Ross Levinsohn No Longer Overseeing THR or Billboard". Variety. Retrieved 29 May 2014.</ref><ref name=nyp-bound>"Prometheus bound". New York Post. Retrieved 29 May 2014.</ref><ref name=adweek-guggenbackstage>"Guggenheim Digital Media Buys Remaining Stake in Backstage, Sonic Bids". Adweek. Retrieved 29 May 2014.</ref>
In a January 2014 restructuring, Levinsohn was shifted to a business development role and no longer directly manages the Prometheus properties. Additionally, the company was split into two operating groups; an Entertainment Group was formed by merging The Hollywood Reporter into the Billboard Group, with Janice Min becoming co-president and chief creative officer of the group alongside Amato. The remaining properties, consisting of Adweek and Film Expo Group, are led by Jeff Wilbur.<ref name=variety-shakeup/><ref name=billboard-minthr>"Janice Min to Head Billboard, THR as Co-President of Entertainment Group for Guggenheim". Billboard. Retrieved 29 May 2014.</ref>
On May 29, 2014, Prometheus announced it would acquire the publishing assets of Mediabistro—a network of websites focusing on various aspects of the mass media industry—which includes the media job listing site Mediabistro and its network of blogs such as AgencySpy, FishbowlNY, Lost Remote and TVNewser—for $8 million. The acquisition did not include Mediabistro's expo business, which were retained under the name Mecklermedia.<ref name=adweek-mbbuy>"Adweek Parent Prometheus Buys Mediabistro Editorial Assets". Adweek. Retrieved 29 May 2014.</ref><ref name=fishbowlny-pgmsell>"Prometheus Global Media to Acquire Mediabistro". FishbowlNY. Retrieved 29 May 2014.</ref> On January 13, 2015, Adweek and Film Expo Group were merged into Mediabistro to form a new Prometheus subsidiary, Mediabistro Holdings. At the same time, its blogs were re-launched under the new "Adweek Blog Network" banner, and all of Mediabistro's social media-oriented blogs were merged into SocialTimes.<ref name=adweek-blognetlaunch>"9 Popular Sites Become Core of New Adweek Blog Network". Adweek. Retrieved 16 January 2015.</ref>
In March 2015, Guggenheim Partners reported that its president Todd Boehly was exploring the possibility of forming his own company. A representative stated that such a company would "likely be harmonious with Guggenheim, especially since Todd's role for some time has been strategic and transaction-oriented, rather than working in or managing any of our day-to-day businesses."<ref name=variety-bohleycompany>"Guggenheim Partners Says President Todd Boehly Is Exploring Forming His Own Company". Variety. Retrieved 4 January 2016.</ref> On December 17, 2015, in response to losses across Guggenheim Partners, the company announced that it would spin out its media properties to a group led by Boehly, including the Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group, Mediabistro, and Dick Clark Productions, all under their existing leadership.<ref name=deadline-guggensell>"Guggenheim Prepares To Sell Hollywood Reporter, Dick Clark Productions To Exec". Deadline.com. Retrieved 18 December 2015.</ref><ref name=thewrap-todd>"Guggenheim Media Spins Off Money-Losing Hollywood Reporter, Billboard to Company President Todd Boehly (Exclusive)". The Wrap. Retrieved 18 December 2015.</ref><ref name=thr-spinout>"Hollywood Reporter Parent Company Spins Off Media Assets to Executive". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 3 January 2016.</ref>
On July 17, 2016, Canadian private equity firm Beringer Capital announced that it had acquired Adweek.<ref name="tc-sold">"Adweek acquired by private equity firm Beringer Capital". TechCrunch. Retrieved 19 July 2016.</ref> In December 2016,Prometheus acquired SPIN, Vibe, Stereogum, and Death and Taxes from SpinMedia.<ref>"Spin, Vibe & Stereogum sold to Billboard/Hollywood Reporter". BrooklynVegan. Retrieved 2017-01-02.</ref>
- Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group
- Mediabistro Holdings