"Billboard is excited to announce the addition of Tasha Green as new fashion editor," begins the breathy post on what has been the music industry's "must read" trade for decades. Green does come with real fashion cred. She was The Wall Street Journal's men's style editor, and the music biz is a boys club. Before that she was at Men's Vogue, Departures and did a stint as a ready-to-wear designer.
But why, you might wonder, does a music trade need a fashion editor?
“I am looking to bring people in who are great journalists first and foremost and people who can help bring Billboard to a larger audience,” according to Janice Min, chief creative officer and co-president of Guggenheim Media, which own Billboard. Ms. Min, who started at People and ran US Weekly, has successfully taken the same approach at film trade The Hollywood Reporter, which she still also runs.
Under Min, the pages of the Hollywood Reporter are now filled with gossip and last week's trending tweets alongside ads for pricey watches and even pricier real estate. To be fair, she has not completely abandoned occasional in depth journalism, which she might argue is only possible because of the jewels dripping from the nearly naked waif on the facing page.
Will Min's Formula Work At Billboard?
Bill Werde, Billboard's last chief, tried to appeal to both the old and new music industries along with hard core music fans without falling entirely over the celebrity cliff. His recent departure signals that he may have been less successful at turning his approach into revenue.
But music has never offered as large or as wildly affluent ruling class as film and tv. And music's new leaders - from indie mogels to aspring rappers - seem more interested in tech and the startup culture than they do in recovering real estate values on Mulholland Drive.