Grammys return to L.A.

Shrine to host 41st Annual telecast in '99

The East-West seesaw of the Grammy Awards has landed next year’s ceremony in Los Angeles. The 41st annual telecast, presented by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, will emanate from the Shrine Auditorium on Feb. 24.

The expected return of the ceremony, the music business equivalent of the film industry’s Academy Awards, was announced during a press conference held Tuesday at the Beverly Hills Hotel.”Welcome home Grammys,” said a beaming Mayor Richard Riordan. “Music-loving Angelenos everywhere share my excitement in having the Grammy awards back in Los Angeles, the entertainment capital of the world. The best duet in the world is the team of L.A. and the Recording Academy — together we make beautiful music.”

The announcement came four months after N.Y. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Recording Academy prexy/CEO Michael Greene got into a public row over remarks Greene allegedly made to a Giuliani aide during the press conference announcing the 1998 Grammy nominees.

The 1997 and 1998 Grammy Awards ceremonies were held in Gotham, and typically bounce back and forth between the two cities.

$30 mil generated

The ceremony and the two months of events that precede it generate nearly $30 million to the local economy.

“Mayor Riordan and his team are doing a brilliant job in helping us coordinate the participation of the music, political, arts and business communities to celebrate the world’s biggest, most important musical event,” Greene said.

Greene also presented a check for $2 million to the NARAS Foundation representing sales of the Grammy nominees’ CD, released this year through MCA Records. The disc of each year’s nominees rotates among the major labels. with sales proceeds earmarked for the foundation coffers.

Foundation board members Quincy Jones and David Foster accepted the check, which will go to the org’s programs providing outreach and medical services to in-need members of the music industry.

Publicity countered

The presentation, a first, was no doubt made to counter recent publicity asserting disbursements by the foundation total less than 15%, a figure well below industry standard. Greene has said the org distributes nearly 70% of the money it pulls in to the various programs.

Giuliani boasted about wooing the music awards show from Los Angeles two years ago, but aides say he was not surprised by the move.”Los Angeles and New York have shared the Grammys before,” a Giuliani spokeswoman said. “We know they’ll be back, because New York is the capital of the world.”

The 41st annual awards program will be exec produced by Pierre Cossette and telecast on CBS.