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Parent Company of Variety, Rolling Stone Under Pressure to End Saudi Business Relationship

Penske Media, the parent company of Variety, Rolling Stone and Deadline, is under pressure to end a lucrative business relationship with Saudi Arabia in light of the alleged murder of Saudi dissident and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

Saudi leaders find themselves in the midst of a diplomatic crisis following Khashoggi’s disappearance earlier this month during what was supposed to be a routine visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Turkish media has reportedly obtained audio of what they say is the torture and subsequent murder of the journalist.

The developments have prompted multiple media outlets and journalists to pull out of the annual Future Investment Initiative forum held in Riyadh next week.

In February, Penske Media secured a $200 million contribution from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia. At the time, Penske dubbed the investment a “significant milestone” for the company.

The New York Post reports Penske “has been using the money for acquisitions and to pay down debt.”

News that talent agency Endeavor would extricate itself from a pending $400 million investment with the Saudi fund has heightened pressure on Penske, which has yet to take action.

[Featured photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images]

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