Roger Ames just the ticket for agency

Ticketmaster, the world’s largest ticket agency, has named head Roger Ames as CEO, international. Based in London, the former EMI North America head and Warner Music Group CEO will oversee Ticketmaster’s operations in 19 markets outside the United States.

In a statement, Ticketmaster Entertainment CEO Irving Azoff called Ames “a widely respected industry leader” whose “vast experience and acumen will play an instrumental role in strengthening our core international business and helping to identify and drive future growth.”

With the music business at a continuing crossroads and CD sales dramatically down from previous years, the live music circuit has become the primary source of revenue for most touring bands.

Ames’ appointment also comes at a crucial time for Ticketmaster. The company struck a deal in February to merge with leading concert promoter Live Nation — which would combine two of the most powerful forces in live entertainment under one umbrella — but the deal is facing opposition from some in Congress on antitrust grounds.

Ticketmaster sold 141 million tickets worldwide in 2008, enjoying a near monopoly in everything from concerts to legit in both the West End and on Broadway to sporting events, including the Olympics in China as well as the upcoming Games in London. Last year it reported net income of $169 million on $1.2 billion of revenue, according to the Wall Street Journal.

As head of the EMI Group, North America until last year, Ames oversaw the company’s music operations in the U.S. and Canada, including its Capitol, Virgin and Blue Note labels, with a roster ranging fom Coldplay to the Rolling Stones.

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