USA

Hollywood Reporter's editor Matthew Belloni exits after disagreement with owners

The Hollywood Reporter’s Editorial Director Matthew Belloni is stepping down from his role after nearly four years in a surprise departure that followed disagreements with the publication’s owners.

Belloni, a former attorney, had worked for the entertainment industry publication for 14 years. He will stay on as an editorial consultant for a month.

“We respect and like Matt a great deal,” Modi Wiczyk and Asif Satchu, co-CEOs of Valence Media, the Hollywood Reporter’s parent company, told the publication. “It has been enjoyable to work together, and we greatly admire his commitment to impactful journalism. He has pushed the team to hold itself to a high standard, and we are proud of the work he and the entire editorial group have done these past years.”

The publication said no successor to Belloni has been named.

Belloni, 43, had served in a variety of editing roles at THR and became its top editor in 2016. He was part of the leadership that saw the Hollywood Reporter transition from a daily trade newspaper to a weekly magazine with a large digital presence. In February, the Hollywood Reporter had 25 million unique visitors, the publication said, citing Comscore data.

It’s not clear what triggered the move, but Belloni’s exit follows disagreements over the editorial direction of the publication.

“Today’s announcement is the result of a series of conversations I’ve had for a few months with Modi about the direction at THR,” Belloni said in a note to staff. “Some may want to read into that, but I’ll just say that well-meaning, diligent, ambitious people can disagree about fundamental priorities and strategies.”

He called his exit “100% amicable.”

The departure comes at a time when many publications are under pressure, as they anticipate a loss of advertising due to the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus. Already, other digital media publications like BuzzFeed have implemented salary cuts and entertainment industry businesses have laid off workers and shelved Hollywood productions.

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