LN Payout Plays Out In Email

The fallout from Live Nation’s proxy report to shareholders released April 15 and the disclosure of senior executive payouts was on full display in a pair of emails from industry gadfly Bob Lefsetz late April 19 – including a testy response from former LN Global Music CEO Jason Garner.

Lefsetz took Live Nation to task for paying “excessive” salaries, a lack of “entrepreneurialism” and its corporateness in general, and moved on to criticize Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard for making $5.7 million in 2010. And Garner for being “paid nearly $7 million to go away,” Lefsetz wrote.

The email blast was followed two hours later by another – apparently Lefsetz felt that LN director and corporate counsel Michael Rowles had been unfairly left out of the executive barrage.

At the bottom was attached a message from Garner in full flamethrower mode, opening with a dare to Lefsetz to publish it “if you have the balls” and – unshackled from the silence of a corporation – he could “finally say what every every relevant member of our industry thinks.” 

“I dare you to sit in Michael Rapino’s chair for one week – and then write your column,” Garner wrote.

“I dare you to do one thing, just one, that takes a risk to move our industry forward the way Michael [Rapino] and Irving [Azoff] have for their entire careers versus whining about the glory of the past and criticizing those who pour their hearts into our business today.

“I dare you, just once, to be on the other side of your cowardly, late night computer jabs and feel the way I’m sure Nathan [Hubbard] does right now after working 20 hours a day for the last five years. …”

Lefsetz, to his credit, and to his tradition, posted the email response prominently.