NEW YORK A battle has broken out among Live
Nation Inc's top executives over the concert-promotion
company's strategy to reshape the music industry by making big,
expensive deals with artists, the Wall Street Journal reported
on its Web site on Wednesday.
Live Nation Chief Executive Michael Rapino has tried to
slow the pace of multimillion-dollar deals with artists, while
Chairman Michael Cohl wants to accelerate it by striking deals
with as many as 15 more artists, the Journal reported.
Live Nation struck a $120 million deal with Madonna and a
$150 million deal with Jay-Z, the paper reported. It has held
talks for a similar deal with South American pop star Shakira,
according to several people involved, though no agreement has
been reached, the Journal said.
The disagreement between the two executives in recent weeks
resulted in Cohl threatening to leave Live Nation, and the
board at one point was prepared to intervene, the Journal
The executives are speaking again and Cohl has changed his
mind about leaving, the Journal reported, citing a person
familiar with the matter.
A Live Nation spokesman was not immediately available for
Music companies are trying to sign up artists to such
"360-degree" deals which can include recording, publishing,
touring, digital and other rights. The deals are
all-encompassing as a way for music companies to try to make
money even as their traditional business of selling music is
undercut by free, and often pirated, music on the Internet.
A 12-year global contract signed earlier this year with
Irish rock band U2 includes merchandising and licensing rights,
sponsorship and strategic alliances, digital rights, fan clubs
and Web sites and other marketing and creative services.
(Reporting by Robert MacMillan; Editing by Louise Heavens)