MSG Entertainment To Lay Off 350 Employees, Says Goodbye To SVP Laurie Jacoby
Noam Galai / Getty Images – Madison Square Garden Arena
The venerable Madison Square Garden Arena tops Pollstar’s Q1 charts with 410,207 tickets reported sold and $43.3 million grossed.
MSG Entertainment, following the news that its annual Christmas Spectacular featuring the Radio City Rockettes is canceled for 2020, plans to lay off some 350 employees — about one-third of its workforce — because of the ongoing COVID pandemic.
First reported by the New York Post and confirmed to Pollstar by sources with direct knowledge of the cuts, MSG Sports is reducing its staff by about 50, or 15%, of its corporate staff. MSG Sport is the owner of the NHL’s New York Rangers and the NBA’s New York Knicks.
Laurie Jacoby, a 22-year veteran of MSG Live and Madison Square Garden, was notified Aug. 5 that her position as senior vice president of concerts and entertainment is among those that were cut.
“This was a difficult decision for both companies, as we know that our success rests on the strength of our people, who consistently set the industry standard for excellence and professionalism,” a spokesperson for the companies told the Post. “While we believe this is a necessary step to protect the long-term future of our businesses, we continue to actively pursue solutions that will allow us to safely reopen our doors, so we’re able to bring as many employees back as quickly as we can, once a return date for live events is established.”
The loss of Jacoby — Pollstar’s current Venue Executive of the Year and a perennial nominee and winner — is especially notable. She’s had a hand in hundreds of high-profile concerts and events at Madison Square Garden Arena and Radio City Music Hall including Billy Joel’s historic residency, Phish’s “Bakers Dozen” runs, The Allman Brothers Band annual residencies and many more.
“Thank you to all of the artists, agents, managers and promoters that I’ve had the privilege of working with over the past 22 years at Radio City Music Hall and Madison Square Garden,” Jacoby said in a post on LinkedIn. “I’ve had a front row seat to so many magical moments and I count myself very lucky to have been able to do so.”
The Madison Square Garden Company spun off MSG Entertainment and MSG Sports into separate entities in April, just as the COVID pandemic was wiping out live events worldwide.