Entertainment Weekly

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

Don't cry for Warner Bros.

Posted on

No doubt, losing Madonna to Live Nation in what’s quickly become regarded as a historic deal (worth a reported $120 million), was a huge blow to Warner Bros. Records, her home for the last 25 years. However, while the financial terms were, for the most part, unmatchable, don’t think the label brass is necessarily quaking in the aftershock. For one thing, they had a long time to contemplate the possibility. A source tells Hollywood Insider that negotiations went back and forth for almost six months, during which Live Nation was neither the only bidder, nor the highest. Still, Warners ”knew it was kind of leading to that,” says the source. When the news finally broke internally, Warners’ staffers had just commenced three days of corporate meetings in their Burbank headquarters. Surprisingly, the vibe was optimistic. “They stopped for one second, and kept going,” says an insider who was present. “It was actually sort of comforting because business went on — talking about new talent, all these releases coming out, focusing on the 360 deals… It was like, yes, Madonna was, and will be for a while longer, a hugely important artist for the company, but she’s not the only artist.”

Meanwhile, on a conference call with Wall Street analysts yesterday,

Live Nation CEO Mike Rapino revealed that it would be at least two

years — and more realistically, three years — before they release

Madonna’s first studio album, and a tour is likely “within the next 24

months.” On Warners’ end, publicist Liz Rosenberg says that the 49

year-old icon’s next record (which may feature songs from recent studio

sessions with Timbaland and Justin Timberlake) could drop in March

2008, with yet another greatest hits package slated for later next year

or early 2009. Rosenberg adds: “We intend to work our asses off to make

them both huge successes.”

Meanwhile, on a conference call with Wall Street analysts yesterday,Live Nation CEO Mike Rapino revealed that it would be at least twoyears — and more realistically, three years — before they releaseMadonna’s first studio album, and a tour is likely “within the next 24months.” On Warners’ end, publicist Liz Rosenberg says that the 49year-old icon’s next record (which may feature songs from recent studiosessions with Timbaland and Justin Timberlake) could drop in March2008, with yet another greatest hits package slated for later next yearor early 2009. Rosenberg adds: “We intend to work our asses off to makethem both huge successes.”

Comments