EXCLUSIVE: I’m told it was decided Friday that Chris Albrecht would exit IMG and the settlement was negotiated over the weekend and concluded today. So what happened 11 months after he went there with such fanfare after being axed from HBO in disgrace after his Las Vegas arrest for assaulting his girlfriend that unearthed a long-ago sexual harassment scandal? Albrecht in September 2007 was made head of the global media unit at IMG, the marketing and management giant owned by Teddy Forstmann. Albrecht was also made a special limited partner in Forstmann Little, and Chris and Teddy were to raise a $250 million fund for investments in media and entertainment content. But my insiders tell me that Forstmann Little in these financially tightfisted times wasn’t able to raise the money talked about. Secondly, Forstmann didn’t like Albrecht, and Albrecht didn’t like Forstmann. Thirdly, Albrecht’s nose was out of joint when Teddy went after the purchase of reality czar Mark Burnett’s company in the spring without involving Chris. (By the way, I heard that contemplated IMG-Burnett $500 million deal fell on hard times this summer and may be dead.) And finally, Albrecht was offered a very good settlement to walk away. There should be a news release from Forstmann Little coming
IMG speeded up its announcement after I scooped the news. It said the parting was amicable. “While Albrecht acknowledges that IMG has world-class media production and distribution businesses in both sports and entertainment, when he joined the company in September 2007 the parties intended to raise substantial funds to augment and expand IMG’s media and entertainment business,” the statement said. “However, market conditions intervened to frustrate that goal.” IMG called the separation “amicable.” IMG said Albrecht will now relaunch his Foresee Entertainment, an independent content creation, development and distribution company he founded in 2007 before joining IMG.
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