January 14, 2010 | 5:28 am
“American Idol” creator Simon Fuller is leaving 19 Entertainment to start his own company.
Fuller, who had been looking to take over 19 Entertainment parent CKX Inc., has instead signed a consulting deal to the company that will keep him producing 19 Entertainment’s “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance.” CKX, which is headed by media magnate Robert F.X. Sillerman, will have a right to invest in Fuller’s as-yet-unnamed new company. An announcement of the new arrangement was made early today.
Fuller will also exit CKX’s board of directors as well, people close to the situation said.
“As an entrepreneur I feel I am about to enter my prime years and starting a new entertainment company at this moment fills me with great excitement,” Fuller said in a statement.
Sillerman said he was “delighted that going forward Simon will be free to focus his creative energy on developing new ideas and projects and that CKX has the opportunity to invest in his new business.”
Fuller’s departure from 19 Entertainment ends a power struggle with Sillerman that had been heating up over the last several months. Fuller had been waging a not-too-subtle campaign to unseat Sillerman, and Fuller’s camp had been predicting he would be running CKX in the coming year.
In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, Sillerman dismissed the idea that Fuller would get his desk.
“Simon is much more interested in creating things than he is in meeting with analysts and handling the chores of a public company chief executive,” Sillerman said. A corporate job, he added, would be a “huge waste of his talent.”
Fuller’s 19 Entertainment is the biggest unit of CKX. For the third quarter that ended Sept. 30, 2009, 19 Entertainment had revenues of $71.4 million, accounting for 82% of parent CKX’s total revenue. The bulk of CKX’s $11-million operating income for the quarter was also mostly from CKX. The company has not reported fourth-quarter results yet.
Besides 19 Entertainment, CKX also has a majority stake in Elvis Presley’s Graceland mansion and an 80% interest in licensing rights to the name and image of Muhammad Ali. However, it is 19 Entertainment that accounts for most of the revenue at the company.
– Joe Flint
This news is quickly followed by the announcement that Simon Fuller is teaming up with Perez Hilton. The press release gives Perez top billing.
Holy fall from grace Simon!
Perez Hilton and Renowned Director Jamie King Join Forces with American Idol Creator and Spice Girls Founder Simon Fuller to Assemble: The Boy Band for the Next Generation!
ONLINE AUDITIONS ARE UNDERWAY NOW!
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire/ — Perez Hilton, the self proclaimed “Queen of All Media,” has the proven ability to singlehandedly create a media blitz around an artist, as he has done for Lady GaGa, Katy Perry and countless others.
Jamie King is the most prolific pop music tour director in the world, the mastermind behind Madonna’s last four tours as well as recent tours for artists including: Britney Spears, Celine Dion, The Spice Girls, Ricky Martin, Christina Aguilera, Avril Lavigne and currently Rihanna’s 2010 World Tour.
Simon Fuller, one of the most successful music managers in the history of pop music and the genius behind the American Idol franchise, has made his name and his empire from discovering and cultivating new talent.
As entertainment power players with tremendous influence over today’s music marketplace, Hilton, King and Fuller are determined to form the next great Boy Band!
Says Perez, “I am beyond thrilled and honored to be working with Jamie King and Simon Fuller, both legends. We are looking for the best, brightest and boldest! This is a boy band unlike any other before. ALL of the members will sing. ALL of the members will dance. Finding our talented group won’t be easy, but the end result is going to be soooooooo worth it. I can hear the screaming girls already!”
“Now is the moment for the creation of a full-throttle, high-octane boy band! There’s a huge opportunity for the next generation of performers to create spectacle, both musically and physically, with kick-ass dance moves, amazing voices and mind-blowing concert skills,” says King.
Simon Fuller says, “I’m delighted to be working with Jamie and Perez. Boy bands have always been at the heart of pop culture with huge potential to excite a massive audience both here in the States and the rest of the world. With Jamie and Perez at the helm we have a real focus on what we are looking for. Together we will do everything to ensure that whoever is discovered becomes one of the most successful groups in recent years.”
Producers intend to seek undiscovered talent via ONLINE AUDITIONS, Please login to http://www.boybandsearch.com. Deadline for all submissions is March 3, 2010.
Producers are looking for teenage boys between 13 and 21 years old. Talent must be both EXCELLENT SINGERS AND DANCERS. All ethnicities.
Natural ability and talent is more important than previous training or professional performing experience.
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