Posts Tagged ‘Tim Leiweke’

CHANGES AT AEG

March 14, 2013

So Phil Anschutz has taken AEG off the shopping block and at the same time, Tim Leiweke is leaving the company.  What????  Didn’t Tim build that company with Phil?

I don’t know, maybe Tim is going into politics.  Regardless, this is big news.  Perhaps AEG tries to close the football deal and then put the company back on the market.  It would be harder to sell the company once the NFL franchise is in place since any new owner would need the approval of the NFL and team owners.  Perhaps Phil doesn’t want a football team.  I’m just blown-away that Tim Leiweke is no longer with AEG.

Below is our friend Bob Lefsetz ‘s thoughts on the matter.  BTW, if you are at Austin Spring Break…I mean SXSW, have a great time.  Wish I was with you…kind of.

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There’s only one owner here.

That’s what Rupert Murdoch told Barry Diller after Barry did the impossible, create a fourth television network. Barry believed he earned ownership. But Rupert felt otherwise.

You think you want a job, you think you want to sell out, but if you’re not in charge of your life someone else is.

I really don’t care if Phil Anschutz sells AEG or not. Hell, from the beginning it appeared he was asking too much, begging the question of whether he was seeking valuation or…

But one thing I’m categorically against is football in downtown L.A.

As my football fanatic friend Jeff says, we’ve now got it good, without a local team we get the best games on television. As opposed to being subjected to our local outfit on TV every Sunday, assuming they sell out and the game is not blacked-out.

Then again, true fans have the DirectTV package wherein they get every game.

As for going to the game… It’s better on television. You can feel it at the stadium, but you just can’t see it. Which is why attendance is faltering.

But this is kind of like the movie credit game. And the automobile factory game. Cities and states fall over themselves to give incentives to draw these enterprises, but the payback is minimal, the only people benefiting are the teams/companies themselves.

But ain’t that America, where we rob from our brethren, argue amongst the hoi polloi, and the rich walk straight to the bank.

Tim Leiweke will say he too did the impossible. Revitalized downtown L.A., brought a hockey championship to the city. And I don’t want to minimize his efforts, but Phil wasn’t always on board with them, and Tim never realized he didn’t own AEG. He acted like he did, but he didn’t.

As for Farmers Field, you can’t drive in L.A. to begin with. You’re gonna make it worse?

Leiweke strong-armed the government.

But no one reads the newspaper and if they watch TV news, it’s for the robberies and pet rescues.

It’s good we’ve got AEG as a concert promoter. They counterbalance Live Nation.

And Staples Center is far better than the decrepit Forum, at least for now.

Then again, Staples is evidence of our country today. It’s gigantic. There are three levels of skyboxes. The upper deck is so high and so far removed that almost no one can sell it out. Staples makes money, but it’s a lousy place for events.

Whereas the Forum was intimate. After Dolan gets through revitalizing it, will it become the concert destination?

We’ll see.

But know that billionaires rule the earth, and we’re just pawns in their game.

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LIVE NATION & AEG

October 20, 2011

The other day there was a great comparison made between Live Nation and AEG.  To paraphrase; “Live Nation is a concert promoter who happens to own facilities while AEG is a facility owner that happens to own a concert promoter”.  Oversimplification, probably…yet it has merit. 

Michael Rapino and company didn’t collect the assets of Live Nation; they inherited them…or at least most of them.  Part of Live Nation’s strength is also its weakness, real estate.  Specifically the under-performing amphitheatres they seem stuck with through long-term contracts with municipalities, sponsors, vendors, and/or a combination.  Although Live Nation did shed (pun intended) a few of these venues like Nashville and Columbus, the problem persists in Florida, California, the Carolinas, and the like.  The company’s profits seem to be tied to touring which would explain why the venues can be even more troublesome. 

As a concert promoter, Live Nation uses its facilities’ income (ticket rebates, parking, facility charges, F&B, rent, sponsorship, etc) to entice more shows to go their way (concert promoter over facility owner).  Meanwhile (w/ exceptions of course) Tim Leiweke runs AEG and AEG Live as separate entities.  Randy Philips’ organization makes offers to tours and shows based on revenues those events can produce.  They can’t (under most circumstances anyway) pay over 100% of the show’s gross to an act without the ancillary revenue.

Maybe another oversimplification, but Live Nation’s business model seems very similar to 6 Flags Amusement Parks.  Both based on volume over the individual sale.  6 Flags keeps attendance up with season passes costing a similar price to a single-day entry, along with constant discounting and couponing (maybe they make $ from the $.05 they can redeem from their Coke can coupons), with the goal to make their money on parking, F&B, merchandise, upgrades, sponsorship, etc.  Same look at Live Nation, although in their case, they are giving much of the ancillary income back in guarantees to the performer (s). 

What’s the best model, it depends on what business you’re in.  Public companies have the advantage of Wall Street capital to fund operating expenses.  The problem of course, they do eventually have to make a profit (something Live Nation has yet to do).  Since AEG is a private company, it is hard to say how much money they make.  At the same time, no one would believe that a billionaire like Phil Anschutz would stand-by and watch money hemorrhage for too long.  I would also argue that Tim Leiweke is one of the most capable executives in our business and would have a similar view as Phil. 

No one really knows what the future holds, but if Irving and Rapino’s plan is to take Live Nation private, it looks like a good one from the outside.  Hopefully then, the playing field will be more level…or at least look that way.

MOVING FORWARD

March 2, 2009

Many of you have emailed regarding the positive spin I tried to put on the TicketMaster / Live Nation merger in the newsletter a few weeks ago  https://liveworksnews.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?action=edit&post=274.  If the notes I received were actually from SEC regulators, the deal would never happen.  But of course they aren’t.  The hearings on Capital Hill are a near formality in my humble opinion.  The two companies would have never announced the deal if their lawyers didn’t think the merger would pass the “sniff test” both hear and in the EU.  Might they have to sell-off a few businesses to make everyone happy, sure…but this deal is happening and will close, so we might as well move forward.  You know that Irving and Rapino are….Tim and Randy at AEG too. 

It is interesting the way others view our business.  For instance, pick-up the March 2009 issue of Fast Company.  In it are “The World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies”.  As you would expect, the usual suspects are there; Apple, Google, Amazon, Zappos, Disney, Warner Music Group, CAA…wait, WARNER MUSIC GROUP and CAA!!!!  And not just WMG and CAA, both AEG and Live Nation are listed as “Companies to Watch”.  Are we all missing something?  Are we too busy playing armchair quarterbacks to see that the time of innovation is passing us by? 

Truth is there are a lot of good things we can talk about.  WMG now has a merchandising company that makes a profit not only for them, but for their artists too.  CAA teamed clients Will Ferrell and Tony Hawk with Sequoia Capital to create web brands FunnyorDie.com and ShredorDie.com.  AEG continues to invest in our business by building state-of-the-art facilities and Live Nation is about to pull-off one hell of a merger (too bad it probably won’t do anything for my stock). 

The time for innovation is now.  Just think about how many companies were started during the Great Depression.  Banks are going to be put under more pressure to give out business loans.  Have an idea, it is time to Move Forward!

Talk with you soon…

Jim