Jiboom, the publishing arm of Favored Nations Entertainment, is close to signing its first deals, according to Favored Nations GM Karen Hogan.

Jiboom, the publishing arm of Favored Nations Entertainment, is close to signing its first deals, according to Favored Nations GM Karen Hogan.

"We're in the process of negotiating a few deals right now; a little bit of administration deals and some signings as well," Hogan notes, saying she could not reveal the artist's names until the signings are complete.

Jiboom was established in early 2002, but "we just [actually] started building the publishing company right now," Hogan says. "It's just important, I think, when you're a label, that you have other opportunities" to pursue.

Another young Favored Nations venture has gotten off to a quicker start. FN Cool, a new imprint that launched in the beginning of 2004, focuses on jazz artists. It released its first album, "She's the Woman" by Bay Area guitarist Mimi Fox, in March. The label is also distributing one album each for fusion artist Larry Coryell (June) and Italian group Novecento (July).

Favored Nations was created in 2000 by guitarist Steve Vai and Ray Scherr, founder of the Guitar Center retail chain. Its primary label, Favored Nations Records, is dedicated to supporting material by career-oriented artists. Favored Nations has released titles by such artists as bassist Stuart Hamm and guitarists Eric Johnson and Dweezil Zappa, as well as Steve Lukather and Larry Carlton's "No Substitutions -- Live in Osaka," a 2002 Grammy Award winner for best pop instrumental album.