‘This Man Is Severe’
Ten Penske Media workers interviewed for this text describe their boss as somebody who stepped up for publications in hassle. “Jay Penske got here in and saved this enterprise,” stated Dea Lawrence, the chief working and advertising and marketing officer of Selection. “He’s a hero to the publishing world.” His firm has greater than 1,350 workers, based on the Penske Media vice chairman Gerry Byrne, practically helped them journalists and content material creators.
After the corporate purchased a controlling stake in Vibe and Billboard, which have places of work in New York, he flew there to satisfy with every new worker. “This was in the course of the pandemic, and so I believed, ‘Wow, this man is severe!'” stated Datwon Thomas, the editor in chief of Vibe. Mr. Thomas met Mr. Penske for lunch at Bryant Park Grill in Midtown. “Jay knew rather a lot about me and my background,” he stated, “and he knew rather a lot about Vibe.” 4 different Penske Media workers stated that Mr. Penske makes a apply of assembly with every of his new workers quickly after buying a property.
Mr. Penske will generally play hardball with the workers. When Tatiana Siegel, a longtime Hollywood Reporter journalist, accepted a job at The Ankel, a subscription publication began by the present enterprise author Richard Rushfield that has expanded underneath the previous Hollywood Reporter high editor Janice Min, Mr. Penske put a cease to the transfer . Ms. Siegel’s contract included a noncompete clause, and Mr. Penske held her to it. The events ultimately agreed that Ms. Siegel would decamp to Rolling Stone, committing 80 p.c of her work to it, with the rest going to The Ankler.
“Jay has been by far one of the best proprietor I’ve labored underneath at The Hollywood Reporter,” stated Ms. Siegel, who joined the journal in 2003. “My scenario was distinctive, and it was resolved amicably.”
The upstart publications Puck and The Ankler pose a brand new menace to Penske Media’s maintain on leisure protection. The competitors is harking back to what occurred greater than a decade in the past, when Deadline had the outdated guard quaking. Mr. Rushfield stated that start-ups might have a bonus over entrenched publications as a result of they don’t seem to be stored to anybody.
“In the event you’re at a publication like Selection, for instance, the variety of issues a studio has over you is difficult to maintain observe of,” Mr. Rushfield stated. “You want pleasant entry to studio executives and brokers reward wrapping your scoops. You want folks for covers. You want folks to talk at your conferences.” The consequence, he continued, is that “publications with completely different enterprise fashions, and extra aggressive reporting, can elbow their approach in.”