Speculation that Madonna is considering an exit from her Warner Music Group home continues to circulate. Most of the focus centers around a deal said to be in the works with Live Nation that would encompass recorded music, touring, merchandising, and other business concerns.

Arthur Fogel, president of TNA International and chairman of Live Nation's
Global Touring Division, has produced Madonna's last three world tours (2006, 2004, 2001), which grossed almost $400 million combined. Fogel would likely be at the forefront of any negotiations between Madonna and Live Nation.

Michael Rapino, CEO of Live Nation, the world's largest live event producer and venue operator, has expressed a desire for LN to form longer-term and more complex relationships with artists. But a multi-faceted deal with an artist of Madonna's stature, one that would include a label component as well as a Madonna's lucrative touring business, would be the most ambitious undertaking yet under Rapino's watch.

One source estimated the value of the Live Nation offer to be $180 million, with the touring giant potentially licensing the recording rights for roughly $30 million.

It is believed that Madonna has two more albums due on her contract with WMG, and an album of new material is expected late 2007 or early '08, possibly to be followed by a greatest hits project. It is doubtful that WMG, the only label Madonna has ever been signed to, would give up the Material Girl without a fight. Sources say that the company has made a counter-offer to Madonna that also includes a touring component that could be helmed by rival promoter AEG Live. AEG Live declined to comment.

Madonna's respect for Fogel's talents is clear. "Arthur Fogel knows how to
make the impossible possible," she told Billboard in 2005. "He's a touring genius."

Fogel, currently producing the Police reunion world tour, could not be reached for comment.