Prometheus Global Media is the beleaguered media company that owns The Hollywood Reporter and Adweek jettisoned Backstage and the Hollywood Creative Directory. I was tipped this morning that there’s a Billboard exodus underway: popular publisher Lisa Ryan Howard was pushed out and high-profile Billboard editor-in-chief Danyel Smith and Billboard deputy editor Lou Hau have resigned. More staff are expected to follow. “Morale is in the toilet because the level of dysfunction there and inside Prometheus is off the scale,” an insider tells me. ”Lisa was the bright spot in people’s day. She buffered the staff from the dsyfunction.” But now she’s gone. I also hear that Prometheus is stopping annual reviews of employees so it can eliminate 2% raises. Billboard also just cancelled its Billboard Pro project aimed at artists, I’m told. ’The investment in it was insufficient to start with,” my source says. “Prometheus keeps trying at Billboard to cut its way to prosperity so it can pay its own way.” Prometheus, initially entitled e5 Global Media, made an 8-title acquisition from The Nielsen Company in 2009 and was formed jointly by private equity partner Pluribus Capital Management co-founder Jimmy Finkelstein and financial services firm Guggenheim Partners’ Todd Boehly who is managing partner in the Office Of The CEO. The pair are now running Prometheus after the CEO they hired amid considerable hype, Richard Beckman, was sidelined to events planning. As a result, Finkelstein, who is chairman of Prometheus, now oversees daily management. Neither Boehly nor Finkelstein have any entertainment media experience. Aother Prometheus publication, Adweek, suffered similar turmoil because of financial trouble and its high-profile management was exited as well.
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