Life goes on at Live Nation, with Michael Rapino, Michael Cohl, Arthur Fogel and other top brass holding steady. But on June 11th, the company saw its internal strife become uncomfortably public.
Cohl, Live Nation’s chairman of the board, threatened to leave the company over differences of opinion, according to sources. The rift was quickly patched, and Live Nation returned to radio silence. A company statement was contemplated then canceled.
Live Nation is facing uncertain prospects for its third-quarter stockholders report amid a slowing economy. LN president Rapino wants to slow further deal making and look at how current deals are working out. Cohl, on the other hand, wants to quickly strike deals with many more artists, sources said.
The differing philosophies recently came to a head. Rapino and Cohl have returned to speaking terms and Cohl has dropped his threat to leave, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Cohl was apparently prepared to buy back his company, CPI, and open a business in Miami, the WSJ reported. Maybe Cohl simply had a change of heart or it’s possible Live Nation pointed out his nine-year non-compete clause.
Either way, Cohl has the financial stability to walk away from the company and retire comfortably even if his shares in LN crater, although Cohl would certainly appreciate having cold hard cash. And amid all this brouhaha, Bob Sillerman’s name keeps cropping up.
Sources told Pollstar that the WSJ was inaccurate in at least one regard: Cohl would not have the ability to take big-name artists with him. U2, for instance, remains loyal to Arthur Fogel, and touring exec Faisel Durrani is close to Jay-Z.
The deal making at LN may be slowing down but sources say it hasn’t completely stopped, with Live Nation hoping to bring Shakira onboard with a 360 agreement. The price tag is said to be enormous, however, and making it happen could depend upon the hiving off of something like the motorsports division.