Friday, June 20, 2008

Live Nation at war

Clear Channel spin-off Live Nation - concert promotion company trying to turn full-service music business - is suffering from a management bitch-fight over its 360 deals.

The signing of Madonna as a recording artist as well as a live star didn't entirely make Wall Street sing like they were expecting, and the LiveNation share price has lost 40% of its value since the announcement. Not all the loss is going to be down to the Madonna deal, but it does suggest a certain lack of conviction that the model and management are correct.

This, it seems, is a debate that has been taking place in the top of Live Nation, too - chairman Michael Cohl certain that this is still the way ahead; CEO Michael Rapino wanting to cool the pace.

Rapino looks like the victor, with Cohl believed to be looking for boxes while colleagues try to think of something witty and positive to put in a leaving card.

If you were Madonna, you might feel a little nervous that the company that signed you up for a trail-blazing 360 deal now seems to be wondering if it's the right road to be going down.