Joe Levy is joining Billboard as its new Editor In Chief replacing Danyel Smith who abruptly left the music industry trade recently. Levy was previously editor at Rolling Stone and more recently Blender and Maxim ("The Ultimate Guys Guide - Check out sexy photos and videos of celebrities, Hometown Hotties, and our Hot 100"). Levi insists that his appointment does not signal an exleration of Billobard's shift towards consumers touted when Smith was hired.
"“We don’t intend to make it any more consumer-facing than it already is,” Levy told the NY Post. “I hope I’ll bring more enterprise reporting and do more of the deep looks we’re capable of taking.” Added Billboard Editorial Director Bill Werde, "“We’re always evolving”.
Billboard's "evolution" has been an uneven one since Prometheus Global Media bought the magazine along with Adweek and The Hollywood Reporter for $70 million in 2009. Billboard Pro, an initiative designed to serve the growing indie artist community closed months after launching and half dozen or so key staffers have exited in recent months.
Sister publication, The Hollywood Reporter, has found more success, with it's online edition soaring and increased music coverage - often reposted by Billboard - taking a more central role.