Metropolitan’s Not Out

Metropolitan Talent announced March 19 it is undergoing a restructuring because of the withdrawal of a major investor thanks to the economic downturn. The company has been forced to lay off some staff, but remains open for business while it is in “serious discussions” to replace the exiting investor.

“Senior management at Metropolitan Talent, Inc. (co-CEOs John Scher and Al Cafaro, CFO Errol Antzis) has made the difficult decision to lay off and furlough a number of staff members as it moves forward and restructures its business taking into account the economic climate as well as the current volatility of the overall music industry,” according to a company statement.

“Metropolitan was on the verge of announcing an exciting new strategic reorganization when a major investor withdrew due to the economy and the investor’s own liquidity issues. … The layoffs and furloughs were a necessary action due to restructuring and the prevailing economic conditions.”

Despite the setback, Scher assured Pollstar that reports the company had closed were false. The company’s three divisions – concert production, artist management and Hybrid Recordings – will continue operations, Scher said.

Senior Producer Ian Noble is finalizing the summer season lineup at Constellation Brands Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center (the CMAC) in Canandaigua, N.Y., for Metropolitan Talent Presents. In addition to the CMAC shows, Metropolitan is currently promoting more than 30 concerts and preparing for events through the fall including four Metallica shows.
Management clients Bruce Hornsby, Art Garfunkel and Little Feat remain active with touring and recording projects, and Hybrid Recordings continues to push Liza Minnelli’s record Liza’s at the Palace as well as a number of new music projects, the statement said.

Scher and Cafaro resurrected Metropolitan Talent in 2003, after Scher went to court to have a previous non-compete agreement with then-Clear Channel Entertainment lifted. Scher prevailed and immediately booked the new company’s first show with Metallica at Giants Stadium in New Jersey.              – Deborah Speer