National Enquirer editor Dylan Howard is parting ways with the company. According to a report in Variety, his contract with American Media, which owns the Enquirer, expired on March 31 and was not renewed. Howard is one of the people behind the “catch and kill” scheme in which women were paid for stories alleging affairs with president Trump. The stories were subsequently killed. He was also accused of extortion and blackmail by Amazon founder, CEO and president Jeff Bezos after the Enquirer reported on Bezos’s extramarital affair. Howard joined AMI in 2009 and in 2014 was promoted to chief content officer, its top editorial post. He has recently focused more on such projects as television production deals and podcasts. On April 1, AMI cut the salary of its employees by 23 percent. The $100 million sale of the company to magazine distributor James Cohen, which was announced last April, has yet to close.
influence.co, an online community of influencers, creators and the clients they work with, has hired former Billboard executive editor Nick Catucci to spearhead the launch of nofilter, a publication that will target both industry professionals and a general audience. Catucci, who will also serve as editor-in-chief for the company’s newly launched media division, has also been editor-in-chief at RollingStone.com and articles editor at NYmag.com. The company says that the new publication will “focus on the generational shift towards influencers and creators as touchstones of our day-to-day lives and culture.” influence.co, which has members in 131 countries, lets users maintain professional profiles, share content and connect with collaborators. Last month, the company said that it had raised $4.4 million in seed capital to date.
Matthew Belloni, who has been editor-in-chief at the Hollywood Reporter since 2017, is leaving the publication. A successor has not been named, and Belloni will remain for a month as an editorial consultant. A report in the New York Times says that a dispute with executives from the publication’s parent company, Valence Media, over coverage of the entertainment industry was behind Belloni’s departure. Sources told the Times that Belloni was under pressure to give positive coverage of people and projects connected with Media Rights Capital, a film and TV studio founded by Valence’s chief executives, Modi Wiczyk and Asif Satchu. In a memo to staffers, Belloni says that the split is “100% amicable.” Valence has been working with the Poynter Institute for the last 18 months over how to maintain editorial independence and provide ethics training. THR is coming off the three biggest months in digital audience in its history, with 25 million unique visitors in February, according to Comscore.