Chairman reportedly frustrated with co.'s strategy

The battle over strategy among the two top execs at concert promoter Live Nation appears to be ending with chairman Michael Cohl departing. The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday on its website that Cohl’s exit is being negotiated.

Cohl, the head of the company’s artists division, has been the key driver behind the so-called 360 deals signed by Madonna and Jay-Z and wanted to continue with up to 15 artists. CEO Michael Rapino, who is above Cohl in the hierarchy, is looking to take a more cautious approach, waiting to see how the first two, which cost $120 million and $150 million, respectively, pan out.

Cohl’s departure could be finalized as early as next week, and it is currently unclear if Live Nation would insist on implementing a no-compete clause. Cohl sold his Toronto-based Concert Prods. Intl. to Live Nation last year and became Live Nation’s biggest shareholder. He is most famous for promoting Rolling Stones tours since the 1980s, creating corporate sponsorships and ushering in triple digit ticket prices.

Live Nation’s stock has fallen 44% since the Madonna deal was announced in October, and Thursday the stock closed at $13 per share.

Live Nation had no comment on the Journal report.

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