Top Executive Leaves Billboard Amid Examination of Coverage

Top Executive Leaves Billboard Amid Examination of Coverage

The resignation of the top executive at Billboard magazine was announced on Wednesday, amid an investigation into how the publication handled coverage of harassment allegations in the music industry.

Valence Media, the magazine’s parent company, said in a statement that John Amato had resigned as the chief executive of its Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group.

In May, The Daily Beast reported claims that Mr. Amato had suppressed articles in Billboard that were critical of Charlie Walk, a prominent record executive and longtime friend who had been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women and was subsequently fired by his label, the Republic Group. Mr. Walk denied the allegations against him at the time they were made. Days after that article was published, Valence announced an investigation, which is continuing.

In a memo circulated to employees and obtained by The New York Times, Asif Satchu and Modi Wiczyk, Valence’s co-chief executives, gave no explanation for Mr. Amato’s resignation. They added only that a new leadership plan would be announced “in the near future.”

Joel A. Katz, a lawyer for Mr. Amato, declined to comment, as did a spokeswoman for Billboard.

Mr. Amato’s departure is the latest tumultuous development at Billboard, whose position as the music industry’s most influential trade publication has been challenged. There has been frequent turnover of top editors, and a recent effort to update the magazine’s chart rules drew vigorous lobbying by both the major record labels and the streaming services.

Although Mr. Amato’s title encompassed Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter, he was far more associated with Billboard. He was a driving force behind efforts like the chart revisions, which went into effect last week, and a new Hot 100 Music Festival — named after the magazine’s standard singles chart — at Jones Beach Theater on Long Island. This year’s festival, set for Aug. 18 and 19, is to feature Halsey, Rae Sremmurd, Future and DJ Snake.

Mr. Amato, who helped found a taxi advertising company and was chief executive of Backstage, a publication aimed at actors, had been a top executive at Billboard since 2013 and at The Hollywood Reporter since 2014.

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