The following is an op-ed (or, at least, quirky reporting) by the former news editor of Pollstar magazine.
Oak View Group has just announced it is moving the headquarters of Pollstar to OVG’s Los Angeles office, and that founder Gary Bongiovanni will be leaving at the end of June.
CelebrityAccess has learned that layoffs are plentiful (“just about everyone” according to a source) and has learned the names of some of the individuals but will not report them – however the layoffs affect at least the graphics department, executive staff and subscription sales.
Pollstar’s editorial will be run out of Los Angeles (but that has been the case since November) and the sales operations will remain the same (but much of the sales had already shifted to OVG’s sales department, especially regarding the Pollstar Live! conference) Word is that only one person was left on from the ad sales staff. As had been anticipated, Bob Allen, former manager of Billboard Boxscore, has joined OVG’s Media & Conferences division (how this affects the traditional Pollstar boxoffice department run by Brad Rogers – spelled “Rodgers” in OVG’s press release – and Chad Ivie is not yet known). Jon Guynn has also joined OVG as VP of operations (and was in on the exit interviews).
Staff is also expected to be added to Pollstar’s London office and, apparently whatever the New York office is (OVG has just announced that it has an office in New York).
Gary Smith, who just recently was named CEO of Pollstar by its board of directors, will remain on in an “executive advisory capacity.” Smith has had a contract to work at Pollstar for several more years. Bongiovanni, however, who began the company about 35 years ago literally on his kitchen table, will move on to retirement.
The OVG statement says, “These changes … will necessitate staffing transitions and reorganization. Pollstar’s editorial, technology, and box office staff, the latter two led by CTO Dan Martin and Box Office Manager Brad Rodgers (sic), respectively, will remain largely unaffected, as will Pollstar’s London operation.”
The staff was about 50.
It’s hard to say what will happen with the office, filled with hundreds of concert posters submitted for Pollstar’s annual poster contest, if so many people are not going into it tomorrow. Neither of “the Garys” were in the office May 31, CelebrityAccess has learned.
Last summer, Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke came to the Fresno office to talk to the staff.
“First and foremost we’re buying the company,” he told the staff. “Second, because I know this is the No. 1 question I’d have if I were you: We’re not moving the company. The company will stay in Fresno. You will all continue to work at this company and we will continue to grow the company.”