Jenner Holds On To The Baby

The co-founders of the company that runs the UK and European Festival Awards will stay at the helm, despite UK trade magazine operator Mondiale Publishing buying a majority stake in the firm.

Steve Jenner and Chris McCormick – who started the original business from their bedrooms in 1999 – will retain “prominent operational positions” according to the statement announcing the sale to Mondiale, the UK’s leading publisher for the production industry and owner of the sector-leading Total Production International.

In 2010 when other companies were reportedly circling the company, Jenner told Pollstar that selling it would be like “handing over my baby”. But Mondiale – which also stages the Total Production Awards – appears happy to let him to hang on to it.

Fellow shareholders Justin Madgwick and current managing director James Drury, who two years ago joined the company from Audience magazine, will remain as members of a restructured board.

The financial details of the deal haven’t been made public and it’s not known if Madgwick and Drury will have operational roles.

In November Jenner became UK and European director of operations for Intellitix, the RFID ticketing specialist run by Ticketpro chief Serge Grimaux. Drury is now head of Scout magazine, a London-based free-issue magazine that previews and reviews entertainment in the city.

This year’s UK Festival Awards, which is at London’s Roundhouse Dec. 3, has also attracted major sponsorship from Eventbrite, the ticket website that sells through social network sites such as Facebook.

Welcoming the new sponsor on board, McCormick described Eventbrite as “one of the most progressive forces in the reformatted ticketing landscape” and one “that has a lot to offer to the festival market in the UK and beyond.”

The UK Festival Conference, held the same day as the awards show, will also be at the Roundhouse. Last year it was at The Forum, one of the venues that HMV is trying to offload, meaning the crowd had to move across north London from one venue to the other.

The European Festival Awards will be staged January 9 in Groningen, The Netherlands, as part of the annual Eurosonic-Noorderslag showcase festival and conference.