Becker, Zeiger are co-CEOs of new venture.

Brian Becker, former chairman and CEO of Clear Channel Entertainment—now Live Nation—and Scott Zeiger, former chairman and CEO of Clear Channel Entertainment’s productions division, have formed BASE Entertainment. The new company—which has offices in New York, Las Vegas and Houston—is a producer, presenter, venue programmer, and operator involved in live, theatrical entertainment and content on a worldwide basis. Becker and Zeiger are co-CEOs.

“Our focus will be on properties we develop, acquire or with whom we have a proprietary relationship,” Becker tells Billboard.biz. “We will not be a touring promoter in the conventional music industry sense. We plan to commercially operate the content we develop and acquire.”

Partnered with Los Angeles-based private equity firm Clarity Partners, BASE Entertainment recently acquired interests in numerous properties from Live Nation, including Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom - The Las Vegas Spectacular, Cirque du Soleil's Delirium, rights to build and operate two venues in the newly branded Planet Hollywood Las Vegas' Resort & Casino and the Broadway-bound original musical Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me. That deal was closed last week, though Becker would release no figures.

Through a combination of development and acquisition, Becker and Zeiger will continue to grow BASE Entertainment from its initial properties into a worldwide, live entertainment company whose portfolio of projects already includes Broadway and touring theatrical productions, entertainment venues, Las Vegas attractions and various intellectual properties.

“There are great opportunities in the development and operation of intellectual properties, especially those that originate from and have utilization in live entertainment,” says Becker. “Scott and I identified and began developing this strategy two years ago, and now we look forward to implementing it with our team at BASE Entertainment.”

BASE is joining forces with MBST, a full-service management company that produces film, television and live stage productions and has a roster of more than 35 clients, including Robin Williams, Billy Crystal and Woody Allen. The joint venture will create theatrical and comedic attractions for Broadway, Las Vegas and touring markets. MBST is a wholly-owned subsidiary of CKX, Inc.

Becker says BASE will have “sit-down productions,” or residencies, in some markets, particularly in Las Vegas. BASE will produce the Gordy Brown Comedy Show in a custom-built 700-seat performance space at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. The $2.5 million production begins performances in August.

Becker stepped down from the CCE helm a year ago when CCE parent Clear Channel Communications announced it would spin off its live entertainment division (Billboard.biz, April 29, 2005).