Rapino Talks Spinco, Layoffs

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — As the layoffs and resignations continue at Clear Channel Entertainment, Michael Rapino said the final spinoff will be completed by the end of the year.

Rapino addressed the spinoff publicly at the Billboard Road Work ’05 Touring Conference and Awards last week in New York.

“We will be our own free-standing company as of December, with a yet-to-be-determined new name,” Rapino said. “We will no longer be part of the Clear Channel corporation.”

Rapino said the new company would be “a collection of our music assets – promoters, festivals, our venues – [along with] our theatrical division, our motorsports division and our sports division.” The spinoff will “give us incredible new freedom to operate as a more nimble and dynamic young company.”

He addressed the recent layoffs, calling them an attempt to give the new entity “a much more focused approach to the business than what we’ve done in the last few years.”

“At the end of the day we’re a music company. We make 90% of our profit as a venue and music concert company. We’re just cleaning up a lot of the other divisions and shutting down non-core businesses so we can continue to be the best music/concert/venue company in the world.”

Specific movement in the company recently included the resignation of CCE-Music’s former vice president of festivals Frank LoPresti to form Clutch Entertainment Group.

Office closings during October included most operations in Minneapolis and Milwaukee, with staff members such as Alex Kochan being transferred to other locations. Pace Concerts’ Austin office was also closed permanently, but the Houston and Birmingham operations are still in tact. There were rumors of Jason Wright leaving the Nashville Pace office for Washington, D.C., but there has not been any movement in that arena as of yet.

Individual layoffs have included Eric Herz at Avalon Attractions in Beverly Hills, and Brian Drusky of Belkin Productions in Pittsburgh.

According to the company, the changes will be continuing for the next few weeks, until the spinoff is completed. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers