Streamlining CCE Spinco

The streamlining of CCE Spinco in preparation for the company’s spinoff from Clear Channel Communications continues with the closing of Bill Graham Presents – Seattle and layoffs of that unit’s staff.

Also thought to be affected to one degree or another are the company’s Birmingham, Milwaukee, Minneapolis and Nashville offices. Some individual marketing staffers and talent buyers are expected to be let go; however, no specific layoffs were confirmed at press time.

What is known is that BGP’s Northwest operation, based in Seattle, is no more. Calls made to the office were automatically transferred to BGP Executive VP Rick Mueller’s office in San Francisco, which acknowledged that the Seattle office was closed.

Heading up BGP Northwest had been industry veteran Alex Kochan, who came out of retirement a year ago to head up the Seattle outpost. No forwarding information for Kochan was available at press time.

The office primarily booked the struggling White River Amphitheatre in Auburn, Wash., and the Amphitheatre at Clark County in Ridgefield, Wash.

A spokesperson for Clear Channel Entertainment was unavailable at press time to confirm the closing of any offices or layoffs, either imminent or in progress. However, a receptionist at one CCE company alluded to changes with a suggestion to “call back next week” to confirm personnel changes.

Although the rumor mill had the company pink-slipping hundreds of employees, it now appears that the cutbacks will be far from draconian. Some larger CCE offices may go virtually untouched with just a few lower level employees shown the exit door.

Prior to the latest streamlining, nearly a dozen execs and other staffers were let go, including former Chief Operating Officer Miles Wilkin, executive VP Mike McGee and communications VP Sydney Greenblatt.

Former CCE chief executive Brian Becker, who has since been replaced by Michael Rapino, recently finalized terms of his split from Clear Channel.

One rumor making the rounds involves speculation that Becker might be interested in teaming with Wilkin to make an offer for CCE’s theatrical division.