CCE Streamlining Continues

Clear Channel Entertainment continues to trim staff in preparation for the spinoff from its parent company, which is expected to be final by the end of the year. CCE Spinco, the temporary name of the live entertainment division, closed some offices in mid-October but, by the end of the month, Pollstar confirmed that layoffs were still taking place in an ongoing process.

In addition to the closure of Bill Graham Presents‘ Northwest office, which included Alex Kochan and staff members Ginger Caldwell and Mark Robertson, most operations in Minneapolis and Milwaukee were transferred to other locations.

Kochan told Pollstar he expects to announce his future plans shortly.

Frank LoPresti, CCE-Music’s former VP of festivals, left the company with the October 31st announcement that he has formed Clutch Entertainment Group LLC, based in Indianapolis. He started out with Sunshine Promotions some 10 years ago and came to CCE with its acquisition.

Clutch will produce and present the Rib America Festivals in St. Louis, Indianapolis and St. Paul, Minn.

“I’m going to take the three events and promote those and whatever new opportunities come along,” LoPresti told Pollstar. “I have a good relationship with CCE. I thank God for the opportunity to create and promote events, which is basically my passion.”

Pace Concerts’ Austin, Texas, office has also been permanently closed, according to a telephone answering machine message. Mandy Strudler headed up booking for the office, handling venues including Austin Music Hall, Sunset Station Pavilion and The Backyard.

At Pace‘s Nashville office, Jason Wright continues to book that city and Birmingham, Ala., according to a staff member. Published reports indicated he was being moved to Washington, D.C., but, according to his office, those reports were incorrect.

Nissan Pavilion GM Bruce Edwards has left the venue near Washington, D.C. A staff member declined to comment on whether or not an interim or permanent GM has been named.

Many of the individual layoffs have reportedly come from the marketing and talent buyer ranks. Confirmed gone are Eric Herz of Avalon Attractions in Beverly Hills and Brian Drusky of Belkin Productions in Pittsburgh.

Box Office Director Valerie Peterson was tipped to have left the BGP-booked Sleep Train Amphitheatre in Marysville, Calif. An automated voice mail system at the venue did not list her name in the staff directory at press time.

– Deborah Speer