You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Scher ankles Metropolitan

Exec may have been unsatisfied with direction of company

John Scher, founder of concert promotion firm Metropolitan Entertainment Group and organizer of the Woodstock revival shows, has ankled his post at the company after 30 years at the helm.

Exec will be replaced as chief exec by Scott Mackin, who heads Covanta Energy Corp., a majority stakeholder in MEG. However, the company’s day-to-day operations will be handled by senior VPs Keith Beccia and Debra Rathwell.

Sources close to the situation said the move stemmed from tension between Scher and Covanta over the direction of the company — particularly over the potential sale of Metropolitan to radio and live-event behemoth Clear Channel Communications.

Scher expressed some dissatisfaction with the direction in which the concert industry, led by Clear Channel, is headed in an interview with Daily Variety just two days before he resigned.

Complaints voiced

“The proliferation of a single entity booking national tours and the consolidation of the music industry … are ignoring the expertise of a regional promoter,” he said. “And radio doesn’t care about career development. They only look to play a song and not go deeper or even tell you who the artist is. This is not healthy for the music business.”

But Beccia maintained that, while Metropolitan “has been for sale for some time,” Covanta has no plans to sell to Clear Channel in the near future.

Meanwhile, Scher will remain a director of the company and also will be president of Hybrid Recordings, the promoter’s inhouse label. Hybrid’s recent releases include the soundtrack to the Fine Line pic “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.”

Pure passion

“I have put my heart, soul and indeed my entire professional business life into Metropolitan,” Scher said in a statement Wednesday. “I believe we have developed a solid, multifaceted entertainment company that has a very bright future.”

Scher, who got his start booking such bands as the Grateful Dead and the Rolling Stones into New Jersey’s Capital Theater in the 1970s and ’80s, also worked with such greats as Anita Baker and the Isley Brothers.

Metropolitan currently operates such venues as Gotham’s Hammerstein Ballroom, the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center and Baltimore’s Pier Six Concert Pavilion.

More Music

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    It'll Take a 'Village' to Salute the Kinks at Tribute Show Saturday

    The Kinks’ classic 1968 album “The Village Green Preservation Society” has always needed some fervent champions to keep its reputation alive, or even to keep it in print, in the 50 years since it first came out and proved to be a massive flop. You could give a name to the fervent cult that’s made [...]

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Turns Himself in to Chicago Police

    R. Kelly, who was indicted Friday afternoon on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four victims, turned himself in to a Chicago police station on Friday night. He is set to appear for a bond hearing on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/7k9VvbTPjg — Megan Crepeau (@crepeau) February 23, 2019 The incidents — in which three of [...]

  • Gary Clark Jr This Land

    Album Review: Gary Clark Jr.'s 'This Land'

    Not that many years ago, people were talking about Gary Clark Jr. in terms of his ability to revive a fairly commercially moribund genre: the blues. But his third full-length studio album, “This Land,” makes good on his potential to make a record that fits quite nicely within the larger realm of mainstream rock ‘n’ [...]

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Is ‘Going Down Hard,’ Criminal-Defense Attorney Predicts

    When R. Kelly was arrested on child-pornography charges in 2002, after a videotape emerged that purported to show him having sex with an underage girl, he managed to have the case dismissed through a combination of skillful lawyering, repeated delays (the verdict did not come down for six years), and the fact that the girl [...]

  • Carrie Underwood House

    Carrie Underwood Lists Former Mansion Outside Nashville (EXCLUSIVE)

    Pop country music queen Carrie Underwood has listed her lavishly appointed mansion in a guard-gated golf course development in the affluent suburban community of Brentwood, Tenn., about 20 miles south of downtown Nashville, for $1.45 million. The seven-time Grammy winning fourth season “American Idol” winner isn’t seeking much profit on the property she bought for [...]

  • Here’s How Much Money 10 Artists

    Here’s How Much Money 10 Artists Are Owed by PledgeMusic

    For eight years, PledgeMusic was a success story: A direct-to-fan platform where artists worked directly with their audiences to fund their albums, tours and all stripes of merchandise, with fans able to purchase everything from custom guitar picks to private concerts. Yet last June, Variety broke the news that the company is struggling to pay [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content