Live Nation Salaries

You’ve got to read this "Fast Company" article on Nathan Hubbard:

In it Nathan decries my accusation that he made $5.7 million last year.

He claims it’s untrue.  That most of it was stock options.  His 2010 salary and bonus WAS ONLY $1.3 million!

$1.3 million.  Why?

Have we lost our minds here?  A corporation loses triple digit millions and you pay the employees a sum eclipsing the income of my whole neighborhood?

I’d hide too.  I wouldn’t respond either.

Furthermore, I take issue with the other $4.4 million, the stock options that haven’t yet vested and theoretically won’t be worth anything if the stock doesn’t move up.

The price can be moved downward.

Just read this article:

The Warner Music board lowered the price at which Edgar Bronfman’s stock options vested, ensuring that he got paid.  Do you really think the Live Nation board won’t do the same thing?  A Live Nation board controlled by Irving Azoff?

Both these companies are losing money.

Sony loses 37% of its value under Howard Stringer and they cut his salary and bonus by 15%:

We need more of that kind of thinking in the corporate world of music.

If you own a private company, I don’t care how much money you make.  It’s yours!  Obey the law, pay your taxes and keep the rest.  But if you want the public to invest you’ve got a fiduciary duty, you have to put stockholders first, not yourself.  Steve Jobs famously takes only a dollar a year in salary.  Granted, he has made a fortune in stock options, but he rescued a company from the precipice and turned it into the second most valuable enterprise in America…do you really want to argue about how much he got paid?

Not me.

Deliver results, we’ll give you rewards.

But all we’ve got right now with Ticketmaster is red ink.

Then there’s U2.  In today’s "Los Angeles Times" there’s a story about IATSE picketing the band’s video shoot in Winnipeg:

You can read a brief, comprehensive explanation of what happened here:

And you’ve got the famously Irish U2’s tax evasion issue:

Now if Bono were Gene Simmons, an egotistic money whore, I would not be so incensed.  But isn’t this the guy who’s trying to save the world?

And speaking of Sony, did you see that Facebook hired George Hotz?

In case you haven’t been paying attention, Mr. Hotz is the individual who cracked the iPhone and the PlayStation 3.

You don’t sue these people, they know more than you do, you HIRE THEM!

Facebook hiring George Hotz is like the record industry hiring Shawn Fanning.

It should have.  Doug Morris, admittedly ignorant about technology, is now running Sony Music and recording revenue has been decimated.  Why is he in charge again?

In other words, you can’t hire a techie to make the music.

But you can sure hire a techie to market and sell it.

You co-opt your enemies.  You don’t sue people who have more power than you.  We saw how well that worked out for the record industry, suing file traders…  Bad publicity and continued sinking sales.  Huh?

And for those of you still lamenting P2P piracy, please enter the new decade.  EVERYTHING’S AVAILABLE FOR FREE ON YOUTUBE!!  IT DOESN’T PAY TO STEAL!!

I’d love to see Nathan Hubbard revolutionize Ticketmaster.  And if Irving Azoff can make Live Nation work, more power to him.

But that does not mean that these individuals should profit so handsomely as the corporation loses money.

And it’s not only the corporation and its investors, it’s Live Nation’s employees.

That’s what’s wrong with America.  The rich get richer and the poor lose their jobs.  Scratch that, the middle class lose their jobs and become poor.

If you don’t think Live Nation and Ticketmaster can enter a steep decline, you haven’t watched the Sony movie.  Even worse, once upon a time people loved Sony, they’ve always hated Ticketmaster.

In today’s world you give to get.  He who takes gets called out.

And not to get all political on you, but after incessantly crying for federal spending to be cut, the "Los Angeles Times" revealed Michele Bachmann has been the beneficiary of federal funds:

It’s not trivial.  Her husband got $30k from Minnesota ($24k of it pass-through money from the federal government) and the family farm got $260k in farm subsidies.  She says the subsidies went to her in-laws, but she claimed between $32k and $105k on her financial disclosure forms.


All I’m saying is we’ve got two classes in America.

The rich profiteers and those scurrying to get on reality TV.

Irving Azoff is a brilliant manager.  He did a great job of binding Ticketmaster to Live Nation.  But if he wanted to get on my good side, he too would work for a dollar plus stock options, he’d get the public on his side, now he just looks like a profiteer.

As for Mr. Hubbard…  He’s a smart bloke.  But wouldn’t it have been better to hire someone like George Hotz to run Ticketmaster?  Isn’t it really a data company?  Isn’t this where programmers triumph?

We’ll see.

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