The Madison Square Garden Company and Azoff Music Management Join Forces to
Create a Powerful, Broad-Based Entertainment Company to Develop Current and
Future Opportunities in the Music, Media and Entertainment Businesses
Irving Azoff to Serve as Chairman and CEO of Azoff MSG Entertainment LLC
NEW YORK and LOS ANGELES, Sept. 4, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Madison Square
Garden Company (Nasdaq:MSG) and Azoff Music Management (AMM) today announced
that they have reached an agreement to create a new music, media and
entertainment company focused on continuing the development of AMM's existing
businesses and exploring new ventures and growth opportunities that maximize
opportunities for clients, partners and associated brands. The new company, to
be called Azoff MSG Entertainment LLC (Company), will continue Azoff's long
history of creating new avenues and opportunities for artists, enabling them
to realize the full value of their creative vision.
Azoff Music Management Logo
The Company is a new-model music, media and entertainment company, at the
forefront of the emerging revenue streams and groundbreaking technologies of
the fast-changing 21^st century, which will put artists and their fans first,
and create ongoing opportunities for artists and talent in today's changing
marketplace, maximizing their potential through innovative marketing, branding
and live events.
MSG Executive Chairman James Dolan has long recognized Azoff's leadership role
in the music and entertainment businesses, dating back to 2008, when MSG was a
key investor in Front Line Management Group (then managed by Azoff), and then
later during Azoff's tenure with Live Nation Entertainment.
AMM will contribute to the Company its existing artist management business and
other businesses that are in development. A subsidiary of MSG will pay AMM
$125 million for a 50% interest in the Company and will also agree to provide
up to $50 million of revolving credit loans to the Company.
The Company is expected to be a platform for the future growth of MSG, and
will commence business with four integrated units, each designed to achieve
maximum value for artists and brands in today's evolving business environment
and new media platforms.
*Azoff Music Management – Irving Azoff will continue to provide management
services to such superstar clients as the Eagles, Van Halen, Lindsey
Buckingham of Fleetwood Mac, Christina Aguilera and Steely Dan and other
long standing Azoff clients.
*Global Music Rights – The Company will own a 90% interest in a music
publishing venture run by CEO Randy Grimmett and COO Sean O'Malley, whose
business is the acquisition, development, licensing and exploitation of
copyrighted works for the purposes of music publishing, co-publishing,
licensing, administering, developing a musical library, and acting as an
agent on behalf of such works. Grimmett and O'Malley bring with them more
than 25 years of combined experience of musicpublishingin public
performance royalty licensing and distribution.
*Television Production and Live Event Branding -- A new television
production and live event brandingunit, to be headed by Lawrence Randall,
former head of programming and entertainment for the National Football
League (NFL). The unit will acquire, develop, produce and exploit live and
televised event entertainment through organic growth and acquisitions.
*Digital Brand Architects (DBA) – The Company will own a 50% ownership
interest in this business in support of its growth and expansion plans.
DBA is managed by Karen Robinovitz, Raina Penchansky and Kendra
Bracken-Ferguson. DBA manages more than 70 notable bloggers, connects them
with brands, and provides consultancy services to many brands looking to
exploit opportunities in the social media network space. Allison
Statterwilloversee and coordinate thisuniton behalf ofthe Company.
*In addition, the Company will partner with Brian Schuster and leading
digital technology company ACTV8,along with United Talent Agency, in a
worldwide rollout of "Streets of the City."It is the first ever
completely interactive, live music discovery TV show that allows viewers
to scout street talent and support contestants on the show through
crowd-funding on TV.
"This joint venture provides a unique opportunity for MSG to strengthen its
position within the music, entertainment and media landscape in conjunction
with Irving Azoff – one of the true giants of the industry," Dolan said. "Our
previous investment with Irving's companies provided a positive return for
MSG, and we believe this new venture offers us a compelling platform from
which to capitalize on the enormous opportunities inherent in today's dynamic
"The missionof our new venture is to go into a business where we can better
an artist's welfare, well-being and their ability to market their products,"
Azoff added. "We're looking for artist-friendly and, as a result, fan-friendly
projects. One way we'll accomplish thisis by supporting talent's
visionandcommitting capital,along with management consultation, in a
variety of fields, to assist the artists in realizing their creative vision."
In addition to his role as Chairman and CEO of the Company, Irving Azoff will
provide consultancy andadvisory services to MSG in connection withthe
management ofits live event venues. This includes the Forum in Inglewood, CA,
which MSG acquired in June of 2013, and other MSG-managed buildings.
In turn, inaddition to its financial investment in the Company, MSG
executives will provide the Company with consulting services based on their
years of experience in live event production.
The consummation of the transaction is subject to customary governmental
filings and other customary conditions.LionTree Advisors served as MSG's
financial advisor on the transaction.
About The Madison Square Garden Company
The Madison Square Garden Company is a fully integrated sports, media and
entertainment business. The Company is comprised of three business segments:
MSG Sports, MSG Media and MSG Entertainment, which are strategically aligned
to work together to drive the Company's overall business, which is built on a
foundation of iconic venues and compelling content that the Company creates,
produces, presents and/or distributes through its programming networks and
other media assets. MSG Sports owns and operates the following sports
franchises: the New York Knicks (NBA), the New York Rangers (NHL), the New
York Liberty (WNBA), and the Hartford Wolf Pack (AHL). MSG Sports also
features the presentation of a wide variety of live sporting events including
professional boxing, college basketball, bull riding and tennis. MSG Media is
a leader in production and content development for multiple distribution
platforms, including content originating from the Company's venues. MSG
Media's television networks consist of regional sports networks, MSG Network
and MSG+, collectively referred to as MSG Networks; and Fuse, a national
television network dedicated to music. MSG Networks also include
high-definition channels, MSG HD and MSG+ HD, and Fuse includes its
high-definition channel, Fuse HD. MSG Entertainment is one of the country's
leaders in live entertainment. MSG Entertainment creates, produces and/or
presents a variety of live productions, including the Radio City Christmas
Spectacular featuring the Radio City Rockettes. MSG Entertainment also
presents or hosts other live entertainment events such as concerts, family
shows and special events in the Company's diverse collection of venues. These
venues consist of Madison Square Garden, The Theater at Madison Square Garden,
Radio City Music Hall, the Beacon Theatre, the Forum in Inglewood, CA, The
Chicago Theatre, and the Wang Theatre in Boston, MA. More information is
The Madison Square Garden Company logo is available at
The Azoff Music Management Logo is available at
CONTACT: Barry Watkins
The Madison Square Garden Company
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