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SFX Renaming Itself Clear Channel Entertainment

Music: Concert venue operator wants link with parent company's breadth of offerings.

July 10, 2001|JEFF LEEDS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Concert conglomerate SFX, looking to trumpet its parent company's promotional firepower, is changing its name to Clear Channel Entertainment.

The shift is designed to point out to artists and advertisers the breadth of media outlets owned by Clear Channel Communications, which acquired the former SFX for more than $4 billion last year.

Clear Channel, the biggest owner of radio outlets, has about 1,200 radio stations, a pair of television production firms and a portfolio of billboards. It also owns or operates more than 70 concert venues in the U.S. and Europe.

"By being under the same brand, it's going to . . . [show] what we can offer our clients, our marketing partners and folks in the creative community," said Clear Channel Entertainment Chairman Brian Becker.

A new management team announced plans Monday to raise extra money with cross-marketing efforts, such as producing TV events from its concerts, Becker said.

Other possibilities include releasing CD compilations of music played at Clear Channel-backed motor-sports events and selling Internet broadcasts of Clear Channel concerts.

As part of its management shuffle, Clear Channel Entertainment promoted Executive Vice President Steve Smith to chief operating officer. Ed Stacey was named chief financial and administrative officer, Paula Balzer was appointed chief marketing officer, Mike Trager was named head of television, and Jeff Lewis will be chairman of the sports division. Dale Head, senior associate general counsel at Houston-based Maxxam Corp., was hired as general counsel.

The company also plans to consolidate its television operations--which include documentary maker Black Canyon Productions and television and film company Tollin/Robbins Productions. The unit had focused on sports-related programming, but will begin trying to leverage other content owned by Clear Channel, Becker said.

Shares of San Antonio-based Clear Channel Communications closed Monday at $60.41, up $1.16 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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