A former top executive at The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard, who exited the trade publications in April downsizings, has landed at their smaller digital rival, The Wrap.
Lynne Segall will be joining as the chief revenue officer of The Wrap, a newly created post. She had been the executive vice president and group publisher of The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard.
“Hiring Lynne is one of the most important investments we’ll make,” said The Wrap founder and CEO Sharon Waxman. The 12-year-old entertainment news site has been pushing into the events business in recent years but still relies on advertising for close to 80 percent of its business.
Like many media outlets, The Wrap laid off or furloughed people earlier in the pandemic as videos and photo shoots were cancelled, reporters moved to in home and live events pivoted to digital.
The Wrap was originally backed by Maveron, the venture capital firm founded by Dan Levitan and Howard Schultz seeded with money from the Starbucks IPO. While they remain major shareholders, Waxman said they have not put in new money in years and that the operation has been self-funding.
“I can’t say for sure if we”ll make money this year because a lot of the revenue will move from Q4 to Q1 next year because they moved the Oscars.”
A big ad pie is still the “for your consideration” ads that studios run around the Oscars and Emmys. With many movie premieres postponed, it may mean less advertising next year.
Segall, however, has proven adept at boosting ads at THR and earlier at the LA Times, where she was the vice president, entertainment.
And of course she’ll be competing against her former publications, which in a $225 million deal last week saw Hollywood Reporter’s parent company MRC, formerly known as Media Rights Capital acquired by Variety owner Penske Media Corp., which will now be the dominant player in the field.
“It’s an odd time because so much media is not going to make it through COVID,” Waxman said. “We’ve always been lean and mean and it’s served us well.”