Somebody Please Save Live Nation Entertainment…

Last year, Live Nation Entertainment lost $163.2 million, according to just-released financial details.  Costly missteps involving Irving Azoff and Artist Nation were to blame, all part of a broader story that now looks scary and horrifying.

I. Annual Losses.

2012: —$163.2 million

2011: —$83.0 million

2010: —$228.4 million

2009: —$60.2 million

2008: —$239.4 million

$774.2 million

II. Debt.

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III. Stock Performance.

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IV. Executive Compensation (in 2011, the latest disclosures).

Michael Rapino, Pres/CEO $11.9 million

Irving Azoff, Exec. Chairman$34.6 million

Nathan Hubbard, CEO (Ticketmaster) $4.1 million

Alan Ridgeway, Pres. Int’l/Emerging Mkts.$2.2 million

Michael Rowles, General Counsel$1.5 million

Kathy Willard, CFO$2.0 million

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Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino Just Purchased This $14.7 Million Mansion…

(more compensation details here)

27 Responses

  1. Dave

    And the “reinvention” of the music biz is complete. Money losing exeperience based business models prove lame.

  2. Roger

    Makes you wonder how big those salaries would be if they made a profit!

  3. Joda

    I’m definitely not a LN apologist, but wouldn’t a lot of those losses be from advances given against the future gate & revenue of mega artists, and the purchase of companies?

    If that’s the case, the details of those transactions would be needed to put the P & L’s into context.

    As it stands now it just looks like a wholesale horror show, but I doubt it’s that bad… or is it?

    • Jackson


      Hiring of Irving Azoff was the bold and daring move that also cost $10s of millions in losses.

      Big Champagne was the bold and daring acquisition that also cost $10s of milions (just to acquire) and is that paying off.

      Artist Nation was bold and daring also ($10s of million in write-downs on the bad vision)

      Good ideas? Question for debates. Either way Wall Street doesn’t reward the capital intensive expansion you talk about.

      • Megumi

        >Wall Street doesn’t reward the capital intensive expansion

        You are correct, but there has been a lot of talk about LN going private again. John Malone’s Liberty has been quietly buying LN stock. And Azoff is on their board of directors now.

      • zogg

        They have run it like a bad hedge fund though Irving and Co made sure they reaped the profits.

  4. Whoa, what?!

    Nope. LET THEM FAIL. They are a monopoly of sorts. There are way too few companies doing what they do.

    The next company that does any of this well is going to have to start booking regionally- not nationally- and start dealing with clubs and the local music scenes around the country.

    The national picture is GONE. 125,000 albums come out a year, where are these bands at venues?

  5. Chris Daniels

    History folks. Clear Chanel loaded LN with debt on the split and LN has never been able to get out from under it. Read “Ticketmaster” / love em or hate em the facts go back to Bob Sillerman and billions in debt service expense.

    • Nathaniel

      But the debt has exploded since then and so have the losses.

  6. zogg

    The old school business model is dead and has been. These numbers seem deluded something is wrong with this whole picture it’s as if there running it like a hedge fund or Peter paying Paul.

    Great PR though you would be believe from the hype that they have reconstructed the business,who will they sell it to next? God bless the person who has to count Irvings money.

  7. cbold

    Live Nation’s debt skyrocketed in 2010 due to their acquisition of TicketMaster, which led them to take on TicketMaster’s debt. Since then, they’ve kept their debt relatively stable.

    As for losses, Live Nation has been spending a lot of money in acquisitions, however, some of those losses can be attributed to the incredibly high booking fees some artists charge. To begin Live Nation Artists with Madonna, they signed her for $120 million. As record sales decline, artists are turning to live shows to ensure revenue.

  8. Concerned Executive

    Looting like this doesn’t last forever boys and shareholders will demand a shake-up in my experience. Then you got the banks which will hog-tie the business especially if this here economy goes where I think it’s going. Then you got the next gig to think about remember every party ends you have a rep to think about. My advice to Live Nation execs would be to cut the jumbo size salaries and 1999 decisions by about 75%. Steve Jobs paid himself $1 remember that.

  9. jengloff

    You couldn’t lose money faster if you put in a pile and set fire to it.

  10. ArnaudAubron

    775 millions de pertes cumulées pour Live Nation entre 2008 et 2012 ! Chapeau bas

  11. GerhardMaree

    Wys net weereens dat die huidige model nie werk nie.

  12. AsceticJunkies

    this is crazy and definitely scary for a lot of folks, but do we really want to save livenation and ticketmaster?

  13. jason Miles

    there is too much debt and negative numbers for them to ever recover-a total money grab

  14. Panic Button

    Michael Rapino talking to investors today:

    “So we’re proud, in 2012, we deliver what we said we’re going to deliver. Since we merged these companies, we’ve had to get the economy right and our business model right. We’re past that now.

    We had a good 2011, which was kind of the first year to prove to the market that the 2010 year was the exception to the rule. So delivering a second strong year of growth was important to get the consistency in the story and in our business.”

  15. Wiser

    And its MY problem you have a bunch of overpaid executives who drain the coffers of your doesn’t get it company.

    You drown in your own corporate greed, c’est la vie

  16. edwimp

    Not that I’m a huge fan of LiveNation but this is crazy…

  17. Derek Staples

    Will be interesting how the acquisition of HARD will affect these numbers after their festival season. Does EDM matter in the bigger picture?