The Wall Street Journal says Cohl is currently negotiating his resignation, having fought with Chief Executive Michael Rapino for weeks over so-called “360 deals.” In such deals, Live Nation gives superstars hefty upfront payments in exchange for financial rights in nearly all their business. Think Madonna and U2 and Jay-Z.
It seems, according to the reports, fairly simple: Cohl wants to sign more of these deals and Rapino wants the pace of these signings to slow; the board tells them to work out their differences; Cohl heads out the door.
Still, there is the fundamental question of whether these “360 deals” are good business or not. As the New York Times points out, the “deals were expensive for Live Nation – a reported $120 million for Madonna and $150 million for Jay-Z – spurring many industry executives and analysts to debate whether the company was paying too much.”
While Cohl could be gone as soon as next week, it will take some time to sort through which executive had it right.