Ross Levinsohn Named CEO of Hollywood Reporter Parent, Jimmy Finkelstein Exits

The Wrap
Ross Levinsohn Named CEO of Hollywood Reporter Parent, Jimmy Finkelstein Exits
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Ross Levinsohn Named CEO of Hollywood Reporter Parent, Jimmy Finkelstein Exits

The Hollywood Reporter's parent company has named former Yahoo executive Ross Levinsohn CEO, replacing Dottie Mattison just seven months after she took the job.

In a further corporate shift, co-owner Jimmy Finkelstein sold his stake in Prometheus, the umbrella company for THR, Billboard, Adweek, the Film Expo Group and the CLIO Awards, to Guggenheim. That umbrella company has been renamed Guggenheim Digital Media.

The trade newspapers have struggled to find a working business model since their purchase by the two partners in 2009 for $70 million. TheWrap reported last year that THR stood to lose $6 million in 2012, though that was denied by the company at the time.

Also read: New Prometheus CEO Named as The Hollywood Reporter Bleeds $6M

Bringing in Levinsohn provides them with digital expertise.

Many were surprised when Mattison was named CEO earlier this year, having joined Guggenheim Partners in September 2010 after overseeing Wal-Mart's global apparel operation. Finkelstein, previously chairman of Prometheus, now exits the company.

With Levinsohn, who recently left Yahoo after he was overlooked as CEO in favor of Marissa Mayer, Guggenheim gains a seasoned digital executive. He will assume his position immediately, a spokeswoman told TheWrap.

Mattison was hired last July after the company fired Richard Beckman, who was pushed aside a year before as ad sales in the upscale fashion and luxury categories did not materialize in the glossy, revamped print edition of THR. Mattison will take a position on the board of directors and remains a senior managing director.

The company appears to be looking to diversify its media properties, and has tasked Levinsohn with finding new companies to invest in or acquire.

"Guggenheim Digital Media will play an integral role in developing our iconic portfolio of existing media and entertainment assets, as well as identifying new, ground-breaking investments and partnerships in the music, media, technology and digital entertainment spaces,"  Todd Boehly, president of Guggenheim Partners, said in a statement. "Ross's deep industry expertise and impressive track record of executing digital media strategies makes him the ideal person to spearhead this new effort."

Levinsohn started at Yahoo in 2010 and was named interim CEO last May after CEO Scott Thompson resigned when a member of the board found that he lied about his resumé.

Previously, Levinsohn was in charge of media and advertising sales as head of the Americas unit. Before that, he served as News Corp.'s head of Fox Interactive Media.

"I am excited to be part of the dynamic Guggenheim family of companies," Levinsohn said in a statement. "Guggenheim Digital Media has a powerful and competitive portfolio of iconic media assets today, and I look forward to identifying new opportunities for growth as the media and technology industry continues to rapidly evolve."

Besides changing the company's name, Guggenheim said on Thursday that it had acquired the remaining stake in the firm from Pluribus Capital, the investment group the partnered with Guggenheim to purchase THR and its other brands from Nielsen in 2009.

Levinsohn, who is currently in New York, is expected to return to Los Angeles in the coming weeks to take over.

While Guggenheim's media holdings have suffered the budgetary woes that have afflicted the publishing industry over the last decade, the financial firm owns about $160 billion in assets, including the Los Angeles Dodgers, which it acquired last March for $2.15 billion.

For the Record: An earlier version of this post said Dottie Mattison joined Guggenheim Partners in October 2009. She joined in September 2010.

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