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Penske Media buys big stake in SXSW in bid to save pageant: report

Penske Media Corp. — the writer of titles together with Rolling Stone, Billboard and Selection — has struck a deal for a 50 p.c stake in South by Southwest, in accordance to a report on Sunday.

The deal will give the favored Texas tech, film and music pageant a “lifeline” amid the coronavirus pandemic, The Wall Road Journal reported.

“It’s been an extremely powerful interval for small companies, SXSW included,” the occasion’s chief govt and co-founder, Roland Swenson, mentioned in an announcement.

“When [Penske founder] Jay Penske got here to us with curiosity in turning into a associate, it was a real lifeline for us.”

The pageant was dealt a monetary blow after Austin officers canceled it final March over COVID-19 fears. SXSW laid off a 3rd of its 175 year-round workers final summer time, the report mentioned.

This 12 months, organizers mentioned they’d be going virtual-only, with the hopes of bringing the occasion again in individual in 2022.

SXSW’s founders, who launched the pageant in 1987, will proceed to handle and function the occasion, in accordance to the Journal.

However Penske, the digital media firm based in 2004 by racing scion Jay Penske, will reportedly personal the most important stake.

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