Talent buyer Ali Harnell, formerly a Nashville-based promoter with Clear Channel Entertainment (CCE), has joined TMG/AEG Live as executive VP, based in Nashville.

Talent buyer Ali Harnell, formerly a Nashville-based promoter with Clear Channel Entertainment (CCE), has joined TMG/AEG Live as executive VP, based in Nashville.

The move reunites Harnell with TMG president Louis Messina, who first hired Harnell more than eight years ago when Messina was president of PACE Concerts. "She's fabulous," Messina says of Harnell. "I think Ali is one of the best in the business. She's energetic and smart, and she still has passion for the music and what she does."

The development will heat up the Nashville concert market, with CCE having been the only national promoter that was particularly active in the city.

CCE VP Brian O'Connell is based in Nashville, but O'Connell is primarily devoted to producing country tours. South region executive VPs Wilson Howard (in Columbia, S.C.) and Bob Roux (in Houston) oversee Nashville for CCE, and Howard worked a recent concert by Kid Rock and Gov't Mule promoted by CCE after Harnell's departure.

It is likely that a new buyer will be brought in for CCE in Nashville. The company operates Starwood Amphitheatre in Antioch, Tenn., in the Nashville market.

Harnell's background is more in the rock world, but Messina says she will represent TMG/AEG Live on any kind of music; upcoming shows at Nashville's Gaylord Entertainment Center (GEC) under the AEG Live banner include Alan Jackson and Martina McBride, Rod Stewart and Sarah McLachlan. "We're hitting the ground running," Messina says.

For the 20,000-capacity GEC, having another national promoter with an office in Nashville is a good thing. "It's terrific for us," says venue director Hugh Lombardi. "Competition is always good."