Not so long ago, it was customary to see the name of Robert F.X. Sillerman somewhere in one of the many SFX press releases that became the trademark of the company's long term acquisition program.
The man and the company had become synonymous -- until he sold SFX to Clear Channel Communications in a $4.4 billion stock swap on Feb. 29. Since then, the absence of Sillerman's name from SFX releases has generated questions.
These questions ranged from guessing Sillerman's continuing role with the company and whether he would, in fact, stay on, to the state of the stock market and whether there was a point where the respective values of SFX's stock in relation to Clear Channel's might become an issue of contention with SFX stockholders before the deal was actually finalized.
Although SFX spokespersons have been vague on the issue, stating that there was no word on Sillerman's exact title or plans, a March 22 SFX release now provides some hint of Sillerman's intentions. The release, outlining the creation of a web venture between SFX's eSuperstars and aBid4Chairty to provide a one-stop experiential website for "dream experiences and memorabilia," features a quote from "Robert F.X. Sillerman, Executive Chairman of SFX, Inc."
On March 22, an SFX spokesperson confirmed Sillerman's title as "executive chairman of SFX," and verified that the March 22 release marked the first time Sillerman had been mentioned publicly with an SFX title since the Clear Channel deal was announced. For now, it appears, Sillerman and SFX are linked once again. In the several months leading up to the Feb. 29 purchase of SFX by Clear Channel Communications, SFX amassed numerous concert promotion, venue, Broadway production, sports and internet assets. SFX develops and manages touring Broadway shows, and sells Broadway subscription series and individual productions in 55 markets. An integrated franchise that promotes and produces a broad variety of live entertainment events locally, regionally and nationally, SFX has 122 venues overall, and owns or operates venues in 31 of the top 50 domestic markets.
-- By Murdoch McBride