The longtime music manager will be CEO of Azoff MSG Entertainment, which vows to develop “artist-friendly and, as a result, fan-friendly projects” in music, TV, and digital media. Irving Azoff will own 50% by folding in Azoff Music Management, where he’ll continue to handle clients including the Eagles, Steely Dan, Van Halen, and Christina Aguilera. Madison Square Garden will kick in $125M for its 50% and will provide as much as $50M in revolving credit loans. Outside of music management, Azoff and MSG Executive Chairman Jim Dolan see themselves largely as a source of venture capital. “We don’t know what the next big thing is going to be, but we want our phone to ring so we get a chance to help find it and nurture it,” Azoff tells me. “This was a dream we had to have a place where we could move quickly.”

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Although Azoff’s roots are in music, the new company also plans to be active in television: Former NFL programming and entertainment chief Lawrence Randall will lead the effort to buy and produce shows including live entertainment. In addition, Azoff MSG will own 90% of a music publishing venture run by industry vets Randy Grimmett and Sean O’Malley. It will have 50% of Digital Brand Architects, which manages bloggers. It also will be a partner with ACTV8 and United Talent Agency in the rollout of a TV show to discover street musicians called Streets Of The City. Azoff says they plan to announce a network and a foreign partner “shortly”.

Azoff and Dolan are longtime allies. (Among other things, Azoff manages Dolan’s blues band: JD and the Straight Shot.) “We’ve always wanted to do this kind of thing,” Dolan says. “We’re finally in a position where we can do that. … We’ve been collaborating on ideas and relating as business executives for a long time. This is a natural outgrowth of that.”

12 months
Four comments. I guess Twilight or Hobbit wasn't mentioned so the secretaries aren't clear who Irving is....
stephen jackson
12 months
Perhaps finally, this is the entity that will smack around Live Nation and AEG. They've had a...
12 months
Have to agree. He's wily and plays the game hard, but he's very good at what he...