The Hollywood Reporter said Thursday that it has hired Nekesa Mumbi Moody as its editorial director, a move that comes after the trade last month parted ways with Matt Belloni. Moody, the Global Entertainment and Lifestyles Editor at the Associated Press, will relocate from New York to Los Angeles and begin the new gig June 15.
Moody has spent the past two-plus decades at the AP, in her most recent role breaking news and overseeing a team of more than 40 journalists worldwide, managing video, text, digital and photo coverage of the industry including movies, music, TV, video games, fashion, food, travel and event. At the AP’s music editor, she interviewed the biz’s biggest names, broke the news of Whitney Houston’s death, and was the first person to get official confirmation of the passing of Prince.
“Nekesa is an incredibly smart, well-respected journalist and seasoned leader who can confidently shape the next chapter of this venerable brand and we are proud to welcome her to The Hollywood Reporter,” said Deanna Brown, president of Billboard-The Hollywood Reporter Media Group.
Belloni exited abruptly April 6 after 14 years at THR, where he rose to the top editorial position after the exit of Janice Min, who had transformed the publication from a daily trade paper to a weekly glossy. He had stressed in a memo to staff that the decision to leave was “100% amicable,” between he and owners Valence Media, thought there had been scuttle that there had been friction.
Sources told Deadline that Valence, which also owns entertainment entities like dick clark productions, had been wanting a heads up or some say over THR stories that put a harsh spotlight on its industry allies.
THR, Billboard and Vibe are part of The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group, a division of Valence Media. In addition to dcp, it owns Media Rights Capital and has minority stakes in A24, Fulwell 73 and T-Street.
“Nekesa is a brilliant journalist and we are fortunate to have her lead The Hollywood Reporter, where we know she will set a high bar for the work we do, as well as the way we do it,” said Valence Media Co-CEOs Modi Wiczyk and Asif Satchu. “We have enjoyed getting to know her and have found her to be strong, generous of spirit, and the type of leader who wants to see her teams excel and grow.”