|Former editors||Tony Gervino, Bill Werde, Ken Schlager|
|Total circulation||17,000 magazines per week
15.2 million unique visitors per month 
|Founder||William Donaldson and James Hennegan|
|Year founded||November 1, 1894(as Billboard Advertising)|
Billboard is an American entertainment media brand owned by
In the 1900s, it covered the entertainment industry, such as circuses, fairs and burlesque shows. It also created a mail service for travelling entertainers. Billboard began focusing more on the music industry as the
The first issue of Billboard was published in Cincinnati, Ohio, on November 1, 1894 by William Donaldson and James Hennegan.
 Initially, it covered the advertising and
After a brief departure over editorial differences, Donaldson purchased Hennegan's interest in the business in 1900 for $500, to save it from bankruptcy.
 That May, Donaldson changed it from a monthly to a weekly paper with a greater emphasis on breaking news. He improved editorial quality and opened new offices in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, London and Paris.
 He also re-focused the magazine on outdoor entertainment like fairs, carnivals, circuses,
As railroads became more developed, Billboard set up a mail forwarding system for traveling entertainers. The location of an entertainer was tracked in the paper's Routes Ahead column, then Billboard would receive mail on the star's behalf and publish a notice in its "Letter-Box" column that it has mail for them.
 This service was first introduced in 1904. It became one of Billboard's largest sources of profit
 and celebrity connections.
 By 1914, there were 42,000 people using the service.
 It was also used as the official address of traveling entertainers for draft letters during
In 1920, Donaldson made a then-controversial move by hiring an African-American journalist James Albert Jackson to write a weekly column devoted to African-American performers.  According to The Business of Culture: Strategic Perspectives on Entertainment and Media, the column identified discrimination against black performers and helped validate their careers.  Jackson was the first black critic at a national magazine with a predominantly white audience. According to his grandson, Donaldson also established a policy against identifying performers by their race.  Donaldson died in 1925. 
Billboard's editorial changed focus as technology in recording and playback developed. It covered "marvels of modern technology" like the
The jukebox industry continued to grow through the
By 1943, it had about 100 employees.  The magazine's offices moved to Brighton, Ohio in 1946, then to New York City in 1948.  A five-column tabloid format was adopted in November 1950 and coated paper was first used in Billboard's print issues in January 1963, allowing for photojournalism.  Billboard Publications Inc. acquired a monthly trade magazine for candy and cigarette machine vendors called Vend and, in the 1950s, acquired an advertising trade publication called Tide.  By 1969, Billboard Publications Inc. owned eleven trade and consumer publications, a publisher called Guptill Publications, a set of self-study cassette tapes and four television franchises. It also acquired Photo Weekly that year. 
Over time, the subjects Billboard still covered outside of music were spun-off into separate publications. Funspot magazine was created in 1957 to cover amusement parks and Amusement Business was created in 1961 to cover outdoor entertainment. In January 1961, Billboard was renamed to Billboard Music Week   to emphasize its new exclusive interest in music.  Two years later, it was renamed to just Billboard.   According to The New Business Journalism, by 1984, Billboard Publications was a "prosperous" conglomerate of trade magazines and Billboard had become the "undisputed leader" in music industry news.  In the early 1990s, Billboard introduced Billboard Airplay Monitors, a publication for disc jockeys and music programmers.  By the end of the 1990s, Billboard dubbed itself the "bible" of the recording industry. 
Billboard struggled after its founder William Donaldson died in 1925 and within three years was once again heading towards bankruptcy.  Donaldson's son-in-law Roger Littleford took over in 1928 and "nursed the publication back to health."   His sons, Bill and Roger, became co-publishers in 1946  and inherited the publication in the late 1970s after Roger Littleford's death.  They sold it to private investors in 1985 for an estimated $40 million.  The investors cut costs and acquired a trade publication for the Broadway theatre industry called Backstage. 
In 1987, Billboard was sold again to Affiliated Publications for $100 million.
 Billboard Publications Inc. became a subsidiary of Affiliated Publications called BPI Communications.
 As BPI Communications, it acquired
In 1994, Billboard Publications was sold to a Dutch media conglomerate,
VNU then changed its name to
Nielsen owned Billboard until 2009, when it was one of eight publications sold to e5 Global Media Holdings. e5 was formed by investment firms Pluribus Capital Management and Guggenheim Partners for the purpose of the acquisition.   The following year, the new parent company was renamed to Prometheus Global Media.  Three years later, Guggenheim Partners acquired Pluribus' share of Prometheus and became the sole owner of Billboard.   In December 2015, Guggenheim Digital Media sold several media brands, including Billboard, to its own executive, Todd Boehly. He formed The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group, which owns both Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter. 
In the 2000s, economic decline in the music industry dramatically reduced readership and advertising from Billboard's traditional audience.   Circulation declined from 40,000 in circulation in the 1990s to less than 17,000 by 2014.  The publication's staff and ownership were also undergoing frequent changes.  In 2005 Billboard expanded its editorial outside the music industry into other areas of digital and mobile entertainment. 
Bill Werde was named editorial director in 2008,
 and was followed by
Gervino was let go in May 2016. A note from Min to the editorial staff indicated that Senior Vice President of Digital Content Mike Bruno would serve as the head of editorial moving forward.