Pollstar Moves Headquarters To Los Angeles

Pollstar, the leading trade media platform for the live entertainment industry, will relocate its headquarters from Fresno, Calif., to Los Angeles, parent company Oak View Group (OVG) announced today.

Pollstar, producers of the annual Pollstar Live! Conference & Awards which will mark its 30th anniversary in 2019, has been based in Fresno since its inception in 1981. Pollstar will begin bolstering its Southern California presence immediately.

The move to OVG headquarters in Westwood, Calif., represents yet another step in the evolution of OVG’s rapidly growing Media & Conferences division, which includes the weekly Pollstar magazine, the recently re-launched and redesigned pollstar.com, and the new “Pollstar Daily Pulse” e-newsletter, along with Pollstar directories, and the industry’s most trusted database of current box office reports, tour histories, routes, and global venue, company, and industry personnel information. 

Pollstar’s flagship event, the Pollstar Live! Conference & Awards, and its Production Live! sister conference both enjoyed record-setting attendance in February, 2018. Pollstar will also expand its international reach in partnership with renowned global music industry conference Midem via the inaugural Live Music Summit at Midem in Association with Pollstar on June 7.

These changes, however, will necessitate staffing transitions and reorganization. Pollstar’s editorial, technology, and box office staff, the latter two led by CTO Dan Martin and Box Office Manager Brad Rogers, respectively, will remain largely unaffected, as will Pollstar’s London operation. Sales/sponsorships and operations will be led out of Los Angeles, and additional executive sales and senior edit personnel are expected to soon join OVG in L.A., London, and a new New York City office.

As expected, co-founder and editor-in-chief Gary Bongiovani will retire from Pollstar in June, 2018, while co-founder Gary Smith will remain with Pollstar in an executive advisory capacity. “When Gary and I founded this publication, we set out to revolutionize the quality of data available to those who make their living in the live entertainment industry, and we accomplished that goal,” said Smith. “I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the next era in the history of Pollstar, building on that legacy with the team at OVG.”

Pollstar’s move to Los Angeles comes at a time when the touring industry is performing at unprecedented levels, with promoters, agencies and artists posting record revenues. This relocation will enable Pollstar to become more fully engaged with many of the most influential stakeholders in this dynamic business.

“Live is leading the way in the music business in terms of popularity, revenue, and career development, and the majority of the most influential agencies, promoters and managers are based in Southern California,” noted OVG CEO Tim Leiweke. “We are reacting to this robust market by investing significant resources in growing Pollstar across all metrics—editorial influence, superior data, and global reach. Relocating Pollstar’s HQ to the epicenter of the live music business is the right move at the right time.”

In addition to the transition to L.A., which will begin immediately, OVG announced two key hires for the Media & Conferences division. Veteran media executive Jon Guynn, is now on board as VP of Operations for the division. Guynn was Publisher for Southland Publishing in L.A., where he was the organizational leader for the team that published the award-winning Los Angeles Downtown News and Pasadena Weekly newspapers, and Arroyo Monthly magazine.

Additionally, Bob Allen will join OVG Media & Conferences as Box Office Liaison, serving to coordinate the data exchange between Pollstar and VenuesNow, and cover notable box office achievements and trends across all OVG media platforms. Allen comes to OVG from Billboard, where he served as Boxscore Manager for more than 20 years.

Also announced, OVG’s Erin Grady and Taylor Johnson have each been promoted to Senior Director positions for Media & Conferences, based in L.A. and New York, respectively.

Beyond the Pollstar platform, OVG’s Media & Conferences division includes the venue industry’s leading trade publication in VenuesNow and its digital properties; and a controlling interest in influential sports technology website SportTechie.com. VN’s flagship live event, the VenuesNow Conference, will stage its second edition June 19-20 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles after a hugely successful debut last summer. More announcements relating to OVG’s Media & Conferences division, including additional personnel moves and media and event partnerships, are expected in the coming months.

Founded by Smith and Bongiovani in 1981 in Fresno, Pollstar quickly became an indispensable tool for those in the touring business and the most respected trade in live entertainment as the go-to source whenever mainstream media covers the concert world. OVG acquired Pollstar last summer with the vision of expanding the trade’s influence via investment in editorial and information technology, elevating Pollstar Live! (already the largest music industry conference in the world), and maximizing synergies throughout the global sports and live entertainment information technology sphere with VenuesNow and SportTechie.com and the conferences. Key strategic moves include the successful launch of Pollstar Daily Pulse, a revamped pollstar.com, a record run for Pollstar Live!, and key hires including Andy Gensler as Executive Editor, OVG Media & Conferences, and Rob Knapp as Managing Editor and Don Muret as Senior Editor for the re-imagined VenuesNow (formerly Venues Today). Ray Waddell, president of OVG Media & Conferences, will continue to lead the division.

“Pollstar built a remarkable media brand in Fresno, synonymous with credible live entertainment business news and industry data, and perfectly positioned for growth in influence and relevance,” said Waddell. “I couldn’t be more excited about the team we have in place as we remain focused on becoming an even more powerful tool for those in the business of live entertainment and facilities.”

Since its founding in 1981, Pollstar has been the only dedicated trade publication covering the worldwide concert industry. Pollstar data is the leading resource for the touring industry encompassing box office numbers, routing, and directories. Pollstar produces a weekly print magazine, publishes daily content to Pollstar.com and its “Daily Pulse” e-newsletter, and executes the world largest gathering of live music industry professionals Pollstar Live! which in 2019 will celebrate its 30th anniversary. The annual conference features the industry’s most important executives and thought leaders on a variety of panels, keynotes and networking opportunities. The conference culminates with the Pollstar Awards! which highlight the most impactful companies, executives, tours, and achievements over the past year.

Oak View Group (OVG) is global advisory, development and investment company for the sports and live entertainment industries. Based in Los Angeles, OVG is helmed by its CEO Tim Leiweke and backed by Azoff MSG Entertainment. OVG comprises of a sponsorship and partnership company, a consulting division, a venue security company, a media division, a venture fund/equity division and an Arena Alliance. The Arena Alliance is designed to serve a select group of leading facilities with access to unprecedented scale and resources through sponsorship optimization, untapped revenue streams, insights and access to premier sports and live entertainment content.