Irving Azoff, Chief Executive Officer of Ticketmaster Entertainment

Irving Azoff

Ticketmaster officially confirmed its acquisition of a controlling stake in Front Line Management Group on Thursday morning, just hours after news of the deal started circulating.

As expected, Ticketmaster has purchased a 30 percent share of Front Line from Warner Music Group for $123 million, and appointed Front Line founder Irving Azoff as chief executive of the broadened company.

The new entity will be known as Ticketmaster Entertainment, Inc., a name chosen “to reflect its continued emergence as a diversified live entertainment and marketing company,” according to an official statement.

The description sounds like the mission of Live Nation, and the move markedly changes the music industry map.  “While the Ticketmaster name has been synonymous with live entertainment for some time, today we took a significant step in solidifying our position in the music business,” said Ticketmaster chairman Barry Diller.   The Front Line roster includes a broad number of superstars, including the Eagles, Jimmy Buffett, Neil Diamond, Van Halen, Fleetwood Mac, Christina Aguilera, Stevie Nicks, Aerosmith, Steely Dan, Chicago, Journey, and Guns N’ Roses.

Reporting into Azoff will be Sean Moriarty, President of Ticketmaster Entertainment and CEO of Ticketmaster; Terry Barnes, Chairman of Ticketmaster; Eric Korman, President of Ticketmaster; and Howard Kaufman, Special Advisor to Azoff.  The deal is expected to close during the current quarter.