Hollywood.com Sold to Its Own Owner
In a move that comes across like something Jimmy James from Newsradio would do, Hollywood Media chairman and CEO Mitchell Rubenstein has sold the company’s Hollywood.com domain to R&S Investments, which is controlled by Mitchell himself and Hollywood Media President Laurie Silvers.
The going rate was $10 million, which included a $1 million down payment and a projected $9 million in earn-out payments. Hollywood.com only made up about 4% of Hollywood Media’s revenue over the past year, and suffered a net loss of $2,482,482. Commentary on paidContent.org says:
This is a very strange turn of events…the company has been a target for the longest time, and in fact had been trying to sell it, on and off, but looks like a buyer never came through. In fact, as late as its latest 10-Q, the company said it was still trying to sell the company, and had restarted the process after halting it earlier in the year. It did sell off its Baseline/StudioSystems and Showtimes businesses in 2006 and 2007, the former to New York Times for $35 million. Also, the company hired Kevin Davis, the former GM of Variety.com, as its new President & COO a year ago, with the expressed purpose of relaunching Hollywood.com as a new consumer destination celebrity news site, and I know it was very close to relaunching it. I am assuming that part it still happening, but the timing is certainly strange…
Hollywood Media intends to turn focus to its online Broadway Ticketing business (including Broadway.com), which accounts for about 10% of the Broadway ticket market. The company also still owns CinemasOnline and a small stake in MovieTickets.com.