Live Nation Divided Over Mega Deals

Signers of Madonna, Jay-Z squabble over bold experiment
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2008 1:39 PM CDT
Live Nation Divided Over Mega Deals
Live Nation Inc. CEO Michael Rapino, seen here backstage at a Los Angeles venue in an undated photo provided by Live Nation.   (AP Photo)

Two top execs at music giant Live Nation are squabbling over how quickly to move forward with the enormous new deals they've been striking with artists in an attempt to reshape the failing business, the Wall Street Journal reports. The CEO wants to wait and see how current contracts—which give the company exclusive rights over concerts, recordings, and merchandise—pan out; the chairman wants to race ahead and snap up other artists.

Live Nation has given Madonna $120 million and Jay-Z $150 million in recent agreements, known as "360 deals." Chairman Michael Cohl has threatened to leave the company, and has only recently resumed speaking to CEO Michael Rapino. The company's stock has taken a hit, but other industry giants have cautiously begun to follow the model. (More music industry stories.)

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