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NEAR TRUTHS:
A WORSE MOUSETRAP

The Bible’s credibility is at an all-time low. It seems that every week we hear charges of somebody playing fast and loose with the rules that determine the Bible’s Hot 100. Nearly every time, some act or another is charged with widespread manipulation of this profoundly broken system.

The fact is that the Bible’s civilian leaders, Valence/MRC’s Modi Wiczyk and Deanna Brown, unaware of the true dynamics of the biz, set out to build a better mousetrap and instead constructed a worse one—a contraption fully open to gaming by the world’s sharpest competitors. Still, don’t hate the player, hate the game. But the cabal can’t fix this because they don’t understand it.

The Valence bunch has conflicts across the board, with their dick clark productions deal and two awards shows affecting the biz they cover with Billboard, and even bigger issues on the Hollywood Reporter side, where editorial director Matt Belloni was reportedly pushed out the door for not helping to boost their projects despite the obvious conflicts of interest. Gavin Polone’s takedown of their allegedly self-dealing tactics in the Daily Beast is a must-read. Modi, he claims, “[sought] to promote projects in which Valence had an investment. Brown, according to Variety, also wanted Belloni to pull back on ‘hard-hitting’ reporting on the industry.” Polone suggests a similar path may be in store, if not underway, for Billboard. The Valence/MRC team has produced some acclaimed TV and film (Ozark, House of Cards, Uncut Gems), but they’ve also made some stinkers. The thing is, you can walk away from a stinker film or show. But you can’t treat the top charts in the music world with the same disregard. An entire industry relies on and configures itself around these charts—and is crying out for some sanity.

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