Live Nation’s recent 360 signings may have been one of the shortest trends in music history. The company, which signed Madonna, U2, and Jay-Z huge deals over the past year, is beginning to have second thoughts about the wisdom of tying its fortunes to a couple of ageing pop acts and a rapper contemplating retirement. The intra-company conflict has already claimed its first casualty, as The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Live Nation chairman Michael Cohl, who was pushing for an expansion to the program, is negotiating a severance package. As the founder of Concert Productions International Incorporated, Cohl changed the landscape of live music by bringing in corporate sponsors to underwrite production costs and ushering in new levels of exclusivity (and prices) with regard to tickets, but he was apparently unable to sell his bosses at Live Nation on the 360 program. Though the jury is still out on whether the exclusive artist pacts will pan out, Cohl’s ouster clearly indicates that Live Nation, whose stock has dipped forty-four percent since the announcement of the Madonna deal, is not sold on the profitability of the signings. [Idolator]
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