Gary Gersh to Run Expanded Global Touring Operation for AEG: Exclusive
Rich Schaefer and Rich Holtzman to join Gersh in newly created global touring division
AEG is promoting music industry veteran Gary Gersh to president of global touring and talent for AEG Presents, where he will oversee all aspects of the global concert promoter's worldwide touring operations and talent relations.
Former LoyalT Management co-founder Rich Schaefer, who joined AEG in June, has been promoted to senior vp of AEG Presents' global touring division, while Portugal. The Man manager and former StubHub executive Rich Holtzman will be joining the group as senior vp of artist development and marketing. Schaefer is based in New York, while Holtzman lives in Los Angeles. Rounding out the senior management team for the new global touring division are long-time AEG Presents evp Larry Vallon, svp Debra Rathwell, svp Ali Harnell, svp Bobby Reynolds, vp and general manager Cody Lauzier.
Gersh joined AEG in 2015 after serving as chief executive of The Artist Organization, a management company with clients that included Portugal. the Man, John Legend, Lenny Kravitz, Tears for Fears and Chromeo. A longtime record label executive, he helped launch EMI America and is a founding partner at Geffen Records and later served as president and CEO at Capitol/Blue Note Records. He's worked with bands like Soundgarden, Nirvana, Rage Against the Machine, Beastie Boys and the Foo Fighters and ran two successful management companies; G.A.S. Entertainment, which he created with John Silva in 1999 and later TAO, which he ran until the end of 2014.
"It's a new position where we've brought together a number of our touring units to build out a bigger, broader and more focused AEG Presents touring group," Gersh tells Billboard, saying the new division will focus on international opportunities for artists and will be making promotions and new hires in the future with the aim of building an "ambitious, aggressive and globally focused touring group."
AEG's partner companies, like Goldenvoice, Bowery Presents, Concerts West, Messina Touring Group, Marshall Arts LTD, and Madison House Presents, will continue to operate independently, Gersh said, adding that the new global touring division seeks "to be at all levels of where artists are in their growth."
"Whether it's a brand new artist or one that is an arena or stadium act already, we are looking at creating a situation where we would help artists develop over time," Gersh said. "One of the things AEG Presents has been good at is building long term business relationships with artists. We want to look at working with more artists and expand the way we think about the relationship, beyond North America and Europe into new territories."
AEG Presents CEO Jay Marciano said the goal of the new division is to work with "artists who have developed global fan bases," and said in a statement that Gersh's "extensive background as an accomplished label president, artist manager and touring executive made him the obvious choice to spearhead the expansion of our touring division," adding, "his plan to centralize tour operations to more closely align with our growing international network of touring producers will further establish AEG as a leader in global touring.”
AEG Presents also announced several current employees will be transitioning into the new global touring division including Nicole Neal, who has been promoted to vp of marketing, as well as global talent buyer Jonny Shuman, who joins the LA team from AEG Presets Rocky Mountains. Global talent buyers Rob Owens, Elliot Lefkowitz and Casey McCabe will now work within the global touring division along with Lindsay Dworman who has been promoted to touring coordinator.
Gersh is speaking at this year's International Entertainment Buyer's Association conference on Sept. 30 in a keynote Q&A that covers his long career in music and his vision for AEG. Learn more at ieba.org.