Exit Stage Left For LN?

Much may be read into Live Nation’s global theatre chairman David Ian moving out of the company’s Grosvenor Street building in London, but the timing of the move may be partly because there’s no longer any room for him.

More space is at its Argyll Street offices, which have just been switched around to accommodate the arrival of other key people currently at Grosvenor Street, including newly promoted international music chief exec Alan Ridgeway and Graham Pullen’s special events department.

U.K. music and venues president Paul Latham and a promoting team including Steve Homer, John Dunn, Andy Copping and Toby Leighton-Pope have already moved from the first floor to the third as part of the LN plan to reorganise its U.K.-based ops under one roof.

Although tax restrictions associated with Live Nation’s spin-off from Clear Channel Communications prevent the company from hiving off its U.K. theatre businesses right now, the "global" bit of Ian’s title has been somewhat diminished by the company selling off the majority of its U.S. theatrical assets to focus on live music operations.

Live Nation chief Michael Rapino has already made it clear that he wants to concentrate on the core music business, which would indicate the U.K. theatres will go at some point down the line.

Latham’s venue team is already handling the running of the actual rooms.

Rather than make space for Ian at Argyll Street, where Live Nation is reorganising for its longer-term future, it looks to make more sense for him to return to the headquarters of David Ian Productions in Covent Garden.

Although he’s continuing to run the company’s theatre production business, it looks likely that he’d have been returning to Covent Garden eventually.

When Ridgeway, Pullen and all have moved out of Grosvenor Street, Live Nation will no longer have space in the building and Argyll Street will be HQ.

Ian launched David Ian Productions in early 2006, shortly after Live Nation spun off from Clear Channel. He’s continued to produce for Live Nation, but as the company clearly has no long-term plans to grow its theatre business, he’s also produced his own West End shows, including the revival of "Grease."

When it announced that its U.S. theatre portfolio was up for sale, a Live Nation spokesman said he couldn’t predict either if or when the U.K. venues and the theatre production business would follow.