EXCLUSIVE: UPDATED 5:58 PM: On a hard day of staff cuts at The Hollywood Reporter, the pain is being felt at the top now too.
EVP and Group Publisher Lynne Segall is out at THR as well, we’ve learned from a trusted source. The industry vet rejoined the trade back in 2011 after stints at Deadline and the LA Times among others.
PREVIOUSLY, 5:25 PM: One day after Valence Media purged staffers at The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Vibe, Dick Clark Productions and Knives Out producers Media Rights Capital, the axe came down hard this afternoon on some top editorial employees at the Tinseltown trade.
As well as (now former) chief film critic Todd McCarthy (who penned a guest column about his departure for Deadline on Thursday), THR will be losing senior reporter Rebecca Sun and senior film editor Piya Sinha-Roy, who joined just last September. Additionally, real estate and city editor Peter Kiefer, senior events editor Ramona Saviss, art production manager Michelle Mondragon, senior production manager Maya Eslam, photo editor Lisa Dragani, video producers Marya Gullo and Natalie Heltzel have also been handed their pink slips today by Valence’s Modi Wiczyk and Asif Satchu.
We hear that the core THR film team of Borys Kitt, Pam McClintock, Chris Gardner, executive film editor Tatiana Siegel and editor-at-large Kim Masters are among those who are safe, for now. But sources also tell us the internal expectation at THR is that more cuts may come if the trade continues to bleed money as it has to the tune of around $10 million in recent years.
Already in choppy financial waters before the coronavirus pandemic shut down Hollywood and most of the world, THR saw editorial director Matt Belloni suddenly exit the publication on April 6. In a goodbye memo to his team, the successor to Janice Min played the diplomatic card and said “well-meaning, diligent, ambitious people can disagree about fundamental priorities and strategies.”
The fact is things were so bad that, right in the middle of an economic downturn, legal beagle Belloni took a walk after refusing to submit to repeated pressure from above to play nice on the page with parties that Valence considered pals or business associates.
Valence did not respond to request for comment on Wednesday’s layoffs. If they do, we will update with their statement.
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