Is Prometheus In or Out of Publishing THR and AdWeek?

By Steve Smith

Conflicting reports about the fate of venerable media trade magazines made the rounds late last week and over the weekend. There is widespread speculation regarding Prometheus Global Media’s intentions for the slate of magazines the company purchased from Nielsen only 18 months ago? Starting with a report in the New York Post, word got out that the investors were looking to unload the company, which now publishes The Hollywood Reporter as well as Billboard, AdWeek, BrandWeek and MediaWeek properties.

Guggenheim Partners and Jimmy Finkelstein’s Pluribus Capital Management were said to be in discussions with other media companies about selling or merging Prometheus. Guggenheim Partners was quick to deny the story. On Friday, according to reports, Prometheus CEO Richard Beckman sent a memo to staff denying that the magazines or company were for sale. “I can reassure you that my partners at Guggenheim and Pluribus and I are committed to making Prometheus Global Media into a world-class media company," Beckman wrote, in a message reported at TheCutline.

Meanwhile, in the face of internal and external denials, Sharon Waxman reports at TheWrap that in fact the Prometheus-owned b2b brands are up for sale.

Waxman’s source claims the titles are losing considerable money. In revamping THR and giving Billboard a consumer focus, the company has been investing heavily in reorienting those marquee titles. The Hollywood Reporter is now under the editorial leadership of former US Magazine head Janice Min who converted the daily into a weekly with a celebrity focus. Prometheus also brought in a controversial and high profile new lead for the Ad/Brand/MediaWeek brands, Vanity Fair columnist and Newser founder Michael Wolff and says it is planning a relaunch soon of those brands.

Prometheus did not reply to our requests for comment in time for this report.