A fierce battle has broken out among top executives at Live Nation Inc. over the concert-promotion company's ambitious strategy to reshape the struggling music industry by making wide-ranging but expensive deals with artists such as Madonna and Jay-Z.In related news, last year's renaming of Philly's TLA to The Fillmore has been reversed. Maybe Irving Plaza will get its name back too.
The battle is over the limits of that strategy, in which Live Nation has pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to a handful of performers in return for exclusive rights to release their recordings, promote their concert tours and sell T-shirts and other merchandise bearing their images.
Having laid out so much cash -- an estimated $120 million for Madonna and $150 million for Jay-Z alone -- Live Nation Chief Executive Michael Rapino has sought to slow the pace of deal making so he can ascertain that deals already struck are working before entering new ones. But the company's chairman, concert promoter Michael Cohl, wants to quickly strike deals with as many as 15 more artists. [Wall Street Journal] (thx adam)