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Billboard, IndieWire Lay Off Staffers in Ongoing Cuts Across Penske Media Entertainment Trades (Exclusive)

Billboard and IndieWire are the latest PMC-owned media organizations to undergo layoffs, as two top editors and another staffer were laid off at Billboard on Friday, a Billboard staffer told TheWrap. Meanwhile, two staffers at IndieWire — another Penske property — were laid off as well.

The layoffs follow editorial cuts at Penske’s other entertainment properties, including Variety which lost four staffers this week and The Hollywood Reporter, which went through cuts the previous week, as TheWrap exclusively reported.

BIllboard’s international editor Alexei Barrionuevo, editor-at-large Joe Levy who works on the Billboard Pro team and hip-hop/R&B reporter Neena Rouhani were laid off. Barrionuevo and Levy both started working for Billboard in 2019. In addition, IndieWire TV editor Steve Greene tweeted on Friday that he had been laid off as well. Senior writer Jude Dry was also laid off at IndieWire, TheWrap has learned.

Representatives for Penske did not respond to two emails or phone outreach from TheWrap.

Billboard staff were informed at a town hall on Thursday that there would be layoffs because of poor financial performance over the last two quarters, the staffer said.

The Billboard layoffs follow cuts at other PMC-owned operations over the last few weeks, including The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. A former THR top editor told TheWrap last week that they anticipated more rolling layoffs to occur over the coming weeks.

As TheWrap reported earlier this month, the layoffs were expected after Penske Media publications missed its revenue targets last quarter. PMC insiders told TheWrap that THR missed its Q1 2023 sales goal by 75%, while sister site Deadline only hit 30% of their Q4 2022 revenue goals.

Penske Media Corporation assumed control of both Billboard and THR in 2020. PMC also owns Rolling Stone and Deadline.

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