×

Ringling Bros. Circus to End After 146 Years

After more than a century, “The Greatest Show on Earth” is coming to an end.

Feld Entertainment, which owns the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, announced Sunday that the show will be getting its curtain call in May. The company broke the news to the circus’ nearly 500 employees after shows in Orlando and Miami over the weekend, according to the Associated Press.

“This was a difficult business decision to make, but by ending the circus tours, we will be able to concentrate on the other lines of business within the Feld Entertainment portfolio,” Juliette Feld, CEO of Feld Entertainment, said in a statement. “Now that we have made this decision, as a company, and as a family, we will strive to support our circus performers and crew in making the transition to new opportunities.”

The news comes after rising operation costs, falling ticket sales, and costly legal battles made the show increasingly more difficult to produce. PETA and other animal rights groups led protests against the circus and, after state and local laws placed more pressure on the company’s use of exotic animals, it ended its elephant act last May.

PETA was quick to applaud the news on Twitter, calling it “the end of the saddest show on earth.”

The circus began in the late 1800s, when Phineas Taylor Barnum’s show of animal and human oddities merged with the Ringling brothers’ juggling act and started traveling by train across the country. The Feld family acquired the circus in 1967.

More Biz

  • splice

    Splice Raises $57.5 Million in Latest Funding Round

    Splice, a favorite of music creators that allows access to a library of three million rights-cleared sounds, announced today that the company closed a Series C funding round at $57.5 million. That brings Splice’s total amount raised to roughly $102 million since its launch in 2013. It raised a Series B in November of 2017. [...]

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    WGA Leaders to Meet With Showrunners on Agency Packaging Fight (EXCLUSIVE)

    WGA leaders are set to meet Wednesday night with a group of showrunners who are raising concerns about the guild’s handling of negotiations with talent agents over the issue of packaging fees and agency-affiliated productions. The meeting is set for 7:30 p.m. at WGA West headquarters. WGA West president David Goodman is expected to attend. [...]

  • Bill Murray St Vincent 2014

    Weinstein Co. Sued Over Trademark Infringement in Bill Murray Film

    A horse-racing announcer has sued the Weinstein Co., claiming that the company infringed on his trademarked phrase in a 2014 Bill Murray movie. Dave Johnson is the man behind “And down the stretch they come!,” which he began using while calling races in Illinois in the 1960s. The phrase took off when Johnson moved to [...]

  • HALLIE ANDERSON AND JESSICA PAGE Mom

    Mom + Pop Promotes Hallie Anderson and Jessica Page to Co-General Managers

    Mom + Pop Music has promoted Hallie Anderson to co-GM and head of marketing and Jessica Page to co-GM and head of digital, the company announced today. They had previously served as VP of marketing and VP of digital strategy, respectively. “Being able to promote, empower and support Hallie and Jess in their new positions [...]

  • Disney Fox Takeover Placeholder

    Disney, Fox Employees Grapple With Day One Transition on Two Hollywood Lots

    What kind of a boss will Disney be? That’s a question facing employees at 20th Century Fox, Fox Searchlight, National Geographic Partners, FX Networks, and other assorted parts of Rupert Murdoch’s former media empire. Wednesday was their first full day as staffers of the Walt Disney Co. and the initial moves have done little to [...]

  • Jay Wilson Joins Mascot Label Group

    Jay Wilson Joins Mascot Label Group as VP of Publicity

    Jay Wilson has been named VP of publicity for Mascot Label Group, the company announced today. A veteran of Republic, Glassnote and Universal Records, In his new position Wilson will conceive and implement media strategies for the company and its roster of artists such as Beth Hart, James Morrison, P.O.D., Robert Randolph and the Family [...]

  • Tencent Music Shares Drop Despite Solid

    Tencent Music Shares Drop Despite Solid First Earnings Report

    Proving that good is not always good enough, Tencent Music Entertainment shares fell 9 percent after the Chinese company released its 2018 earnings, wiping out $2.7 billion in market capitalization of what is arguably the biggest audio music service in the world. Chalk it up to big expectations and a short track record: Wednesday’s earnings [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content