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Live Nation Execs Post Solid Gains In 2010

LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — While it wasn't a great year financially for Live Nation, it appears as if it was for the company's top execs with Michael Rapino taking down more than $15.9 million and Irving Azoff receiving compensation of $22.8 million in 2010. While the company's financial reports did not reveal Mr. Azoff's 2009 compensation, Mr. Rapino's more than doubled from 2009.

According to the Wall Street Journal, both Messrs. Rapino and Azoff received a cash bonus of $2 million when the merger between Ticketmaster and LN completed, as well as a significant share of stock in the post-merger company.

Mr. Rapino's compensation package included nearly $2 million in salary, and $5.4 in stock as well as a "performance bonus" of $3.8 million. Performance rewards included $1.8 million for achieving "adjusted operating income" of $362.8 million.

Mr. Azoff's salary was $1.9 million with a bonus of $5 million along with other compensation, such as stock, resulting from the merger completion. Included in Mr. Azoff's compensation was a $1 million performance bonus, which Live Nation awarded in full despite the company narrowly missing the performance criteria for the bonus.

In 2010, Live Nation has twice been forced to lower their full-year performance estimates and reported a decline of 15% in their adjusted operating income, the company's preferred metric for measuring cash flow. The company's net loss also widened by $168 million to $228 million on the year while their revenue dropped by 9% in the face of a challenging live touring environment.

For more in-depth and acerbic commentary on Live Nation's executive compensation and a rather sharp retort from former Live Nation alum Jason Garner, check out Bob Lefsetz' columns.

Live Nation Compensation

Live Nation Addendum

– CelebrityAccess Staff Writers