This article was first published in the April 26th issue of Billboard Magazine.
Azoff MSG Entertainment's latest dealings in the marketing and publishing arenas say much about where the action is in the music business. On April 8, AMSGE, the joint venture between Azoff Music Management and the Madison Square Garden Co., announced its third acquisition since Irving Azoff and MSG partnered up last September. The group acquired a 50 percent stake in Burns Entertainment, a Chicago-based matchmaker of celebrities and advertisers that recently paired Romeo Santos and Macklemore with Dr Pepper and Azoff management client Chelsea Handler with 7-Up.
Meanwhile, sources familiar with AMSGE say Azoff and former ASCAP executive Randy Grimmett have lured hitmaker Ryan Tedder to the publishing rights organization (PRO) they're building under the AMSGE umbrella, which looks to be a much more focused venture compared to the company's forays into marketing. As the Handler deal indicates, Burns Entertainment is hardly limited to music. It gives Azoff - who also manages the Eagles and Christina Aguilera - further reach into the worlds of film, TV and sports. In fact, the venture between AMSGE and Burns will be called Burns Entertainment & Sports Marketing.