- October 2, 2020
- Posted by: Stratford Team
- Category: Business
Live Nation’s movie-production arm — known for 2018’s award-winning “A Star is Born” starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga — is facing tough cuts as the coronavirus ravages the film industry, sources told The Post.
One source close to the situation said Live Nation Productions is in danger of “dissolving,” after it laid off Matthew Stein, the company’s head of scripted development and production, two weeks ago.
Live Nation Productions also cut roughly 14 employees that had previously been furloughed. The bare-bones division previously had about 20 employees, a source said.
“When he [Stein] got let go, he had to tell all of the staff they were dissolving Live Nation Productions,” one source briefed on the situation said.
A Live Nation rep confirmed Stein’s departure and that there were layoffs but denied that the division is closing.
The rep told The Post that Live Nation Productions “has a variety of projects in active stages of development and production that fit the division’s mission of sharing stories of artists and music with the world.”
Those projects will be largely shepherded by Live Nation’s head of unscripted development and production, Ryan Kroft, and general manager Chad Wassner, sources said.
With a “barebones” staff, Stein’s departure is still a big blow for the company, a source said.
A former producer exec from Sony Pictures, Stein joined the company in 2018, just before the release of the company’s first scripted features — “A Star Is Born” and the Netflix comedy “After Party,” which featured cameos from French Montana and Wiz Khalifa.
When asked why Stein was let go, a source close to Live Nation explained that the pandemic, which has crushed Live Nation’s live events and concert business, has caused it to make “difficult decisions.”
With no revenue coming in from concerts since March, Live Nation sold a 5.7 percent stake in the company worth $500 million to Saudi Arabia in April. That same month, the company furloughed and laid off hundreds of employees, followed by a series of cuts in May that affected 2,100 of its 10,500 staffers across multiple divisions to reduce costs by $600 million, according to reports.
In early September, the Beverly Hills-based concert promoter furloughed hundreds more, Billboard said. In order to generate some revenue, the company said it was launching drive-in concerts across the country.
Although Live Nation’s production division is not a big part of the business, the latest news doesn’t bode well for new film and TV projects until the pandemic subsides, sources said.
Launched in 2015, Live Nation Productions mainly cranks out music documentaries, including “Gaga: Five Foot Two,” “Believer” and “Justin Timberlake + the Tennessee Kids.”