Leaders of Latin music's concert industry wrestled with tough questions about their changing roles Tuesday at the Billboard Latin Music Conference in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

At the "Playing Musical Chairs (In the New Touring Arena)" panel, moderator Michel Vega, VP and head of Latin music at William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, asked panelists to consider the pros and cons of radio stations and labels moving into concert promotion and management.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, both Ricardo Cordero, director of live events for SBS Entertainment in Puerto Rico - where the radio giant has promoted shows by Aventura, Ricardo Arjona and Hector Acosta "El Torito" - and Westwood Entertainment co-founder Jorge Juarez - whose company manages artists, promotes concerts and is majority owned by Sony Music - denied any conflicts of interest in their business models.

"We take offers from [other] promoters," said Juarez, when asked how he could fairly manage and promote the concerts of the same act. "We look at what will benefit the artist," both in terms of money and what he called "added value" as far as marketing and publicity.

In response to a question about whether SBS was unfairly leveraging its power over playlists to squeeze artists in a concert contract negotiation, Cordero said he wasn't a radio programmer and that SBS Radio decisions were separate from SBS Entertainment's deals. Also, SBS Entertainment is in competition with other promoters and has to offer an attractive deal to secure a date, said Cordero.

AEG Live VP of Latin talent Rebeca Leon said that SBS Entertainment wasn't even a promoter because it doesn't assume risk, an assertion that Cordero countered by saying SBS Entertainment had indeed paid artists to perform.

At one point, Vega asked Leon if AEG Live was planning on buying radio stations. After an awkward silence, Vega clarified, "It's a joke!"

All the execs on the panel, which also included supermanager and promoter Angelo Medina and Josantonio Mellado Romero, president of Puerto Rican promoters' association COPEP and Famma Events, were bullish on the Latin concert industry despite the recession. Leon said the 2010 U.S. Census would underscore the importance of the Hispanic market, which she says is still underserved as far as entertainment.

"Corporate America is whose attention we have to get," said Leon.
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