to win glorious triumphs,
even though checkered by failure,
than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much,
because they live in that grey twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat. (1899)
***The job offers keep coming for Paula Abdul.
ABC entertainment president Stephen McPherson on Saturday said he would like to have the former "American Idol" judge on the network's top-rated reality hit "Dancing with the Stars."
NEW YORK —
They'll want to know how much Jackson's most valuable asset, his 50% stake in Sony/ATV Music Publishing, is worth.
The general view is that Sony/ATV, a joint venture formed in 1995, should be worth at least $2.1 billion, the amount Universal Music paid in 2006 for BMG Music Publishing.
But some of the most popular properties in music are in Sony/ATV's catalog of more than 750,000 copyrights — including 251 songs that John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote for The Beatles.
"He was a brilliant businessman to get into music publishing when it wasn't sexy," says Primary Wave Music Publishing CEO Larry Mestel.
Music publishing has thrived even as CD sales plummeted:
SONY/ATV'S BEATLES SONGS
Some Beatles songs owned by Sony/ATV Music
Ticket To Ride
All You Need Is Love
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
And I Love Her
Please Please Me
Love Me Do
Other writers whose work Sony/ATV owns or administers include Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, Joni Mitchell, Willie Nelson, Wyclef Jean, Kraftwerk and Diane Warren.
Hits run from Jailhouse Rock to Moon River. (Jackson's compositions, including Billie Jean and Beat It, are with Mijac Music Publishing, administered by Warner Music.)
What makes these assets so hard to value is that few beyond Sony/ATV CEO Martin Bandier know the details of its complicated deals.
And Sony won first-refusal rights over Jackson's stake in 2007 when it teamed with Barclays to help the singer after he defaulted on a $300 million loan.
Jackson had used his Sony/ATV stake as collateral, raising the possibility that an outsider might pick up his right to select half of the Sony/ATV board and veto major strategic decisions.
When someone has first refusal, other bidders "don't stretch," says Boston Consulting Group's John Rose.
That said, Sony is "big enough to make something happen" if it wants to avoid a squabble, says Hudson Square Research analyst Daniel Ernst.
"It will take awhile, though, for this to shake out."
Warner Music’s Biggest Problem:
Really, you can fire everyone and cut back all use of paper clips, but if you want to have a successful record company, you’ve got to have hits.
In the five years of Edgar Bronfman and Lyor Cohen’s reign over Warner Music, they’ve had few hits.
The WMG stock has sunk to all-time lows, then revived very slightly based on completely strange reports from stock analysts.
Now the cows have come home to roost: massive losses posted yesterday.
How sad it must be for the remaining WMG staff and shareholders that as this news is released, the company’s biggest-selling album is No. 20 on the charts, with 27,000 copies sold for the week.
But Zac Brown is on WMG’s Atlantic Records, run by Craig Kallman.
WMG reported a third quarter loss of $37 million, compared to $9 million same time last year.
WMG stock opened at $5.59 yesterday and closed at $5.28.
Have Stock in Media?
By Dylan Stableford
More public media companies held their earnings calls this week.
Playboy warned that its magazine may lose 47 percent of its ad pages during the third quarter.
News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch’s sprawling media empire, reported a startling $3.4 billion fiscal year net loss, driven by shrinking ad revenues for his print and online properties, including MySpace, and an unprecedented global economic downturn.
This, after a week that saw Sony, Reed Elsevier, Time Warner et al post sharp revenue declines.
To put this all in perspective – and to understand why investors often freak out during these conference calls – let’s take a look at the stock prices for a few publicly-traded media companies since the recession began
For argument’s sake, let’s use September 2, 2008 as the starting point.
September 2, 2008: $4.09
September 2, 2008: $37.68
These are admittedly rough estimates.
Murdoch said he believes “the worst is behind us.”
We can only hope