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ANSCHUTZ GETS IN CLEAR CHANNEL’S FACE

Grabbing Britney, Pursuing HOB — Just Another Day in the Life of a Billionaire
This week, deep-pocketed Philip Anschutz, his Concerts West company and his music industry consigliere Irving Azoff have sent industry behemoth Clear Channel an unmistakable message that it’s in the game for real as it closes the Britney Spears tour for a whopping $15 million guarantee for 33 dates (hitsdailydouble.com, 8/20).

Insiders claim that, while negotiating for the Britney tour, Clear Channel encountered problems with Britney/NSYNC gunslinger Johnny Wright over the boy band’s current jaunt. Some say that scenario figured into Britney’s move to Concerts West. Anschutz also leveraged his 7,000 movie screens, agreeing to promote the singer’s new album and film—a formidable alternative to Clear Channel’s outdoor advertising and 1,193 radio stations.

Britney is hardly an isolated Anschutz move. He is also actively pursuing House of Blues, offering $75 million in cash and $60 million in assumed debt for 51% of the company. That deal is being held up by HOB’s Greg Trojan and David Ferguson, who, while facing the prospect of unemployment, also must deal with Chase Capital Partners and Whitney Capital, which funded HOB’s $190 million purchase of Universal Concerts.

Whatever happens, rumors are flying about Jay Marciano and his frustration over the entire HOB experience. Insiders say he’ll make the move to Concerts West regardless of what goes down.

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