Alibaba Eyes Billboard, Hollywood Reporter Aquistion As Another Key Editor Exits
Just weeks ago, the Hollywood Reporter and Billboard Media Group acquired SpinMedia’s music assets Spin, Vibe and Stereogum. Now comes word that it may itself be acquired by Chinese based conglomerate Alibaba.
Last summer rumors circulated that Eldridge Industries, the owner of music industry trade Billboard Magazine, TV production company Dick Clark Productions and The Hollywood Reporter had hired investment bankers Moelis & Co and Goldman Sachs Group to carry out a review of its media holdings in advance of a possible sale. In the Fall, Chinese conglomerate Alibaba acquired Dick Clark Productions.
Now Alibaba is rumored to be eyeing Billboard and the Hollywood Reporter, insiders tell Hits. Alibaba has said that it will invest $7.2 billion in media acquisitions over the next few years. Owning key trades publications for both music and film would offer highly visible cornerstones.
Meanwhile, another key staffer has exited Billboard. Editor Andrew Flanigan tweeted on Friday that he was exited for a position at NPR. Last month, Ray Waddell left Billboard after 30 years for a post running a touring trade at Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff’s recently launched Oak View Group. Top Billboard analyst Glen Peoples left the magazine earlier in the year to become a data journalist for Pandora.
Personal news: Today’s my last as an editor for @billboard, and I am very sad to say goodbye to all my friends there
— Andrew Flanagan (@philouza) January 6, 2017