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Billboard Acquires Spin, Vibe and Stereogum, Azoff and Leiweke’s Oak View Buys Venues Today

image from[UPDATED] Two big music media deals close out 2016. Hollywood Reporter and Billboard Media Group have acquired SpinMedia’s music assets Spin, Vibe and Stereogum and Irving Azoff and Tim Leiweke's Oak View Group bought Venues Today.


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Hollywood Reporter and Billboard Media Group have acquired troubled SpinMedia’s music assets Spin, Vibe and Stereogum. SpinMedia CEO Stephen Blackwell serve as Chief Strategy Officer of the newly acquired company.

Details of the sale were not announced.

The combined properties will create the world's largest music brand by digital traffic, social reach, and audience share reaching 45 million unique visitors and one in every three U.S. millennials.

"In recent years, we set out to own the topic of music online, and the acquisition of these incredible music assets helps us do just that,” said Media Group co-president John Amato. “By making these storied brands part of our family, The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group will be able to fully capture the value of millennials and music, and continue to strengthen its leadership position in this critical arena.”

“Bringing in these historic brands under Billboard gives us the chance to serve passionate music audiences from rock to urban to pop in one massive portfolio,” said Media Group co-president Janice Min. "The power and scale of these combined, complementary digital assets gives us the ability to deliver even more ways to reach our audience through TV, video, live events, and social and online media."

Billboard and the Hollywood Reporter were themselves reportedly for sale earlier this year.

Azoff and Leiweke's Oak View Acquires Venues Today

Ray Wadell

Ray Wadell

In another major music trade deal the Oak View Group announced the acquisition of Venues Today, a leading live entertainment and venue trade publication. 30 year Billboard veteran Ray Waddell will help the acquisition as SVP of Media and Conferences. Oak View Group was founded earlier this year by music industry veterans Irving Azoff and Tim Leiweke.

In his new role, Waddell will oversee the Venues Today print publication,, the e-newsletter, VT Pulse, as well as the company’s directories and conferences. Venues Today founder, publisher and editor Linda Deckard will remain with the publication and continue to lead the newsroom as publisher.

“Venues Today is the voice of record for our industry and a key acquisition for OVG in bolstering our media portfolio,” said OVG CEO Tim Leiweke. “Linda is an icon in this business and has built an incredible brand and with Ray now at the helm the potential to grow that brand and its reach is unlimited.”

Besides Venues Today and VT Pulse, the 15-year-old corporation publishes two resource guides: the International Venues Resource Guide and the North American Fairs & Festivals Resource Guide. Venues Today is also involved in three conferences – Venue Operations Summit (VOS) in Nashville, Sport, Entertainment & Venues Tomorrow (SEVT) in Columbia, S.C., and Raising the Industry in Sport & Entertainment (RISE) in Long Beach, Calif.

"I'll always be grateful to Billboard for providing me the opportunity to cover this dynamic industry, and I wish nothing but the best for the brand going forward,” added Waddell. “If I've learned anything in covering this business, it's that change is to be embraced, and I am thrilled to play a role in the game-changing vision of Tim Leiweke and the incredible OVG team. Stay tuned!"


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