Shelli Azoff Hands Off Day-To-Day Responsibilities for the Forum to Arena's General Manager
After brief HR investigation based on anonymous tip, Azoff is given new role at Azoff MSG Entertainment.
Shelli Azoff is handing over day-to-day management responsibilities of the Forum to general manager Nick Spampanato and will take on a different role at the company that manages the popular Los Angeles-area arena. Shelli is the wife of famed music manager Irving Azoff and was a managing partner with an equity stake in the arena.
“Shelli Azoff has been elevated to Chief Marketing Officer of AMSG responsible for creating and implementing the Company’s worldwide marketing strategy,” a statement from Azoff MSG Entertainment reads. "In that role, Shelli will continue to be tasked with setting marketing strategy at the Forum where she has successfully built a thriving and growing live entertainment business, but will turn over day-to-day responsibilities to the Forum’s longtime General Manager Nick Spampanato.”
The announcement caps several days of speculation about Azoff’s future at the iconic venue, purchased by Madison Square Garden Company in 2012. An HR investigation into Azoff’s management of the arena was opened several weeks ago after several anonymous complaints were made to a Madison Square Garden tip line, while several former and current Forum employees have been contacted by private investigators looking into the matter.
Individuals close to the sensitive situation have characterized the allegations as part of a proxy fight in the larger venue wars between MSG and AEG, both of which have hired ex-employees in recent years. The battle has led to an investigation by U.K. regulators, looking into block-booking by AEG between its Staples Center in Los Angeles and the O2 in London. Ultimately, officials with the Competition and Market Authority opted not to further investigate the coupling of venues, which AEG’s chief operating officer Jay Marciano said was in response to block booking between the Forum and Madison Square Garden, a claim Irving Azoff denies.
Shelli had been general manager and managing partner at the arena since it opened in 2014. The eight executives who reported to her at the Forum will now report to Spampanato, while she takes on higher level marketing and planning tasks including putting together events for the Grammys (Jan. 28) which are taking place in New York this year.