×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Irving Azoff Teams With Madison Square Garden

In his first major move since his exit as executive chairman of Live Nation Entertainment late last year, music power Irving Azoff is taking the reins of a multi-dimensional new-look joint venture with the Madison Square Garden Co., the diversified entertainment and sports firm.

Azoff will serve as chairman-CEO of the newly minted Azoff MSG Entertainment. As part of the setup of the company, an MSG subsidiary will pay his Azoff Music Management $125 million for a 50% interest in Azoff Music Management, the talent firm the veteran manager took with him when he ankled LNE last year. The MSG arm will also provide up to $50 million in credit to AMM.

AMM’s management clients include the Eagles, Van Halen, Lindsey Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac, Christina Aguilera and Steely Dan.

Azoff will also provide consulting services to MSG in connection with management of its live event venues, which include its eponymous New York venue, Radio City Music Hall, the Chicago Theater and the Forum in Inglewood. It was previously announced that the latter venue, which is being retooled for $100 million, will reopen with a run of concerts by the Eagles in January.

In another piece of the new multimedia operation, Azoff MSG will also encompass 50% ownership of Digital Brand Architects, a firm that manages more than 70 well-known bloggers. AMM said that it was investing in DBA in a separate announcement early today but did not place any dollar figure for the deal.

Other elements of Azoff MSG include investments in music publishing, TV production, live event branding and interactive TV.

The company will hold a 90% stake in a publishing company run by former ASCAP execs Randy Grimmett and Sean O’Malley. The TV production and branding unit will be helmed by Lawrence Randall, previously head of programming and entertainment for the NFL.

Another new partnership with Brian Shuster, his digital tech company ACTV8 and UTA will roll out “Streets of the City,” an interactive TV show that will let viewers scout talent and crowd-fund contestants.

MSG executive chairman James Dolan was also previously a board member at LNE; he stepped down from that role after Azoff departed the company, and MSG divested itself of 3.9 million shares of LNE stock.

Dolan said in a statement, “Our previous investment with Irving’s companies provided a positive return for MSG, and we believe this new venture offers us a compelling platform from which to capitalize on the enormous opportunities inherent in today’s dynamic entertainment environment.”

Azoff said that Azoff MSG would seek “artist-friendly and, as a result, fan-friendly projects. One way we’ll accomplish this is by supporting talent’s vision and committing capital, along with management consultation, in a variety of fields, to assist the artists in realizing their creative vision.”

Previously a top-flight talent manager and label exec, Azoff became CEO at Ticketmaster in 2008 after the ticketing giant acquired his Front Line Management. He moved into his role at LNE after the 2010 completion of Ticketmaster’s merger with concert promoter and venue operator Live Nation. After his abrupt departure from LNE, Azoff said he had chafed at the restraints of the company and was seeking new entrepreneurial opportunities.

More Music

  • Us Musician Michael Franti Performs on

    Michael Franti Signs Worldwide Publishing Deal With Position Music

    Michael Franti has signed a worldwide publishing deal with Position Music to maximize opportunities for his new music in film, television, advertising and gaming outlets. The singer and songwriter, best known for the 2010 hit “The Sound of Sunshine,” also moonlights as a poet and filmmaker and is known to promote social causes and humanitarian [...]

  • Billie Eilish Coachella Day 2

    Billie Eilish, Chance the Rapper, Post Malone to Headline Life Is Beautiful Festival

    Billie Eilish, Chance the Rapper, Post Malone and the Black Keys are a few of the more than 70 artists set to perform at the seventh annual Life Is Beautiful festival in Las Vegas, which takes place from Sept. 20-22. Following sold-out shows for the last two years, the rapidly growing festival brings several musicians hot [...]

  • Britney Spears Musical

    Britney Spears Musical 'Once Upon a One More Time's' Film Rights Land at Sony

    Sony Pictures has won screen rights to the Broadway-bound “Once Upon a One More Time,” a fairy tale featuring classic songs from Britney Spears, sources have confirmed to Variety. John Davis’ Davis Entertainment will produce the film along with Spears and her manager, Larry Rudolph. Neither a writer nor a director has yet been attached. [...]

  • NSYNC

    Is *NSYNC Planning a Reunion Without Justin Timberlake? 'There Are Offers'

    It’s a legitimate question. Following the surprise appearance of *NSYNC members Lance Bass, JC Chasez, Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick with Ariana Grande at the Coachella music festival on April 15, could the group stage a comeback play without Justin Timberlake? The foursome took to the stage deep into Grande’s song “Break Up With Your [...]

  • Linda Perry poses for a portrait

    Linda Perry Named as Honoree for Grammy Museum Benefit

    Linda Perry, who was nominated at the most recent Grammy Awards as producer of the year, isn’t finished with her 2019 Grammy-related honors. She’ll be the subject of a tribute concert as part of a Grammy Museum benefit gala being held in her honor in downtown Los Angeles June 29. The event is being dubbed [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Brothers Accused of Jussie Smollett Attack Sue His Attorneys for Defamation

    The two brothers who allegedly participated in a staged hate attack on Jussie Smollett have filed a defamation suit against Smollett’s lawyers, accusing the attorneys of smearing their reputations in a bid to salvage Smollett’s image. Olabinjo and Abimbola Osundairo filed suit in federal court in Illinois on Tuesday. The suit alleges that Smollett’s attorneys [...]

  • Steve Lassiter

    APA Names Steve Lassiter Co-Head of Worldwide Music

    Steve Lassiter, a 20-year veteran of talent agency APA, has been promoted to co-head of worldwide music, president and CEO Jim Gosnell announced today. Lassiter joins fellow co-heads of worldwide music Bruce Solar and Steve Martin. He most recently served as head of concerts at APA Nashville, where his roster includes Travis Tritt, the Charlie [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content