Chicago's JAM Productions Considering Purchase of Clear Channel Entertainment

News   Chicago's JAM Productions Considering Purchase of Clear Channel Entertainment JAM Productions, a concert and theatre presenter located in Chicago, is considering acquiring theatrical producing giant Clear Channel Entertainment, Variety reported May 23.

Variety cites sources at JAM as taking a serious interest in its competitor CCE, while noting that a purchase depends on the stock price.

Scott Zeiger was recently named the new Chief Creative Officer of Clear Channel Entertainment and Chairman/CEO of Clear Channel Entertainment Productions, a newly formed division of Clear Channel Entertainment. The news comes one week after Clear Channel Communications, the radio and advertising behemoth which is also a heavy hitter in the world of legitimate theatre, announced that it would spin off 100 percent of its subsidiary company Clear Channel Entertainment.

JAM Theatricals is one of the producers of Broadway's Spamalot and Glengarry Glen Ross. It also produced the recent Broadway productions of Frankie and Johnny and The Retreat From Moscow. In Chicago, wrote Variety, JAM backs "Second City," while operating subscription series in more than 30 venues.

The newly created company Clear Channel Entertainment—whose umbrella encompasses theatrical entertainments, concerts, sporting contests and many other live events—is a separate, publicly traded company in which Clear Channel Communications will not hold any ownership. Its far flung interests will lie in North America, Europe, South America, Asia and Australia.

After some infrequent investments in Broadway shows in the late '90s, Clear Channel in 2000 bought SFX, the concert venue owner and promoter that had earlier swallowed the beleaguered Canadian producing and theatre-owning outfit Livent. Since then, it has had a hand in producing 42nd Street, Sweet Smell of Success, The Graduate, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Hairspray, Movin' Out, Wonderful Town, Fiddler on the Roof, Caroline, or Change, Dracula, La Cage aux Folles, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Spamalot, All Shook Up, Sweet Charity and Lennon. Clear Channel also owns a large number of theatres across the continent, including New York's Hilton Theatre (formerly the Ford Center for the Performing Arts); Chicago's Oriental, Shubert and Cadillac Palace theatres; Boston's Colonial and Wilbur Theatres; Toronto's Pantages Theater.

Clear Channel was founded 30 years ago by Lowry Mays. He began with one radio station in San Antonio. The company went public in 1984, and, in 1996, after U.S. regulators loosened the rule regarding ownership of radio stations, it bought up many properties, becoming the dominant name in that field. Mays stepped down last May to undergo surgery.