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Live Nation Nears a Deal for Managers of Music Acts

Live Nation Entertainment, the giant concert company that includes Ticketmaster, is in advanced negotiations to buy the management companies behind U2 and Madonna, according to several people with direct knowledge of the talks.

If the deal is consummated, it will further strengthen Live Nation’s already deep ties with U2 and Madonna, two of the highest-earning and most durable pop acts of the last 30 years.

As part of the deal, Live Nation would pay more than $30 million for both Principle Management, the company of U2’s longtime manager, Paul McGuinness, as well as Maverick, run by Guy Oseary, Madonna’s manager, according to these people, who spoke on the condition that they not be named because they were not authorized to discuss the deal publicly.

In what would be one of the most surprising shifts in years among the forces behind pop megastars, Mr. Oseary, 41, would take over the day-to-day management of U2. Mr. McGuinness, 62, who has managed U2 almost since its inception - and in doing so became one of the most highly esteemed executives in the music business - would become Principle’s chairman, with a role that was not fully clear.

A spokeswoman for Live Nation declined to comment, and Mr. Oseary could not be reached Tuesday afternoon.

In a statement, Mr. McGuinness said: 'It could be seen as slightly poor etiquette for a manager to consider retiring before his artist has split, quit or died, but U2 have never subscribed to the rock ’n’ roll code of conduct. As I approach the musically relevant age of 64 I have resolved to take a less hands-on role as the band embark on the next cycle of their extraordinary career.'

'I am delighted that Live Nation, who with Arthur Fogel have been our long term touring partners, have joined us in creating this powerful new force in artist management. I have long regarded Guy Oseary as the best manager of his generation, and there is no one else I would have considered to take over the day-to-day running of our business.'

According to Pollstar, a concert industry trade magazine, the top 10 highest-grossing tours include four by U2 and one by Madonna. U2’s last tour, called 360, had more than $700 million in ticket sales and was seen by nearly seven million people around the world.

Live Nation, which besides its concert promotion and ticketing business manages the careers of some 200 acts through its Artist Nation division, has had close ties with both U2 and Madonna for years. In 2007, it struck a $120 million deal with Madonna that covered touring and recorded music rights for a decade, and it later sold the recording rights to Universal. In 2008, it made a deal with U2 to handle the band’s touring and merchandising exclusively for 12 years.

From New York Times

Comments

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ngl

Yes, Madonna needs a new manager. However, after over 30 years of success in the Biz I though Madonna was capable of managing herself in a functional way. Perhaps Freddy D. was a better manager (83-98) for Madonna than we give him credit for.

Lou

And, boy - did MDNA *need* promotion! It was dire!

Rico

Yes Guy needs to go..... he seemed so uniformed ....MDNA ERA was dead before anyone knew it..

Dee

I agree that promotion of MDNA was not well done. As a tour manager Guy Oseary seems like he knows the deal but as far as album promotion...NO WAY! I still say MDNA can be resurrected over a year later..

Gary Ryckewaert

It would be good for Madonna to get a new manager, let's face it. Yes MDNA was not handled very well but if we are being honest, Mr Oseary will be like a kid with a new toy. He will be focusing most of his time on his new toy, U2. Madonna would be better with a new manager with a new perspective.....one that would market her material properly. I thought MDNA was a fantastic album and was disappointed it did not do better. I think the one area her people need to focus on is radio. Madonna gets very little radio play on current hits stations here in the U.S. I don't think most programmers even listened to MDNA in it's entirety. How hard would it be to get meetings with the programmers at the top stations here in the U.S.? Get them all together in some cool hip way and have them listen to her new music because I think she would get a lot more play and a lot more sales. MDNA was as good, or better than what any other dance artist put out that year.

THE QUEEN!

If it means she starts her concerts on time, them I am all for it!

tracy

I personally think guy oseary is a dreadful manager!! madonnas career seems to have been on a downward spiral since she teamed up with him!! I think she'd be well shut of him!!he seems to have no idea what promotion even is!!xxx

Mark

Get ready for $1500 ticket prices for M's next tour, then!

Cookie Monster

If guy manages U2 will he have time for Madonna too? Maybe that is a bad thing but maybe it's a good thing if it means madonna gets a new manager as the promotion for the mdna album was awful

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