Layoffs sweep MSG Entertainment
MSG Entertainment, which operates New York venues Radio City Music Hall and Madison Square Garden, has announced 350 layoffs, totalling a third of its corporate workforce.
Its sister company, MSG Sports, which owns basketball team, the New York Knicks, and ice hockey team, New York Rangers, is also cutting 50 jobs, or about 15% of its corporate staff.
“This was a difficult decision for both companies, as we know that our success rests on the strength of our people, who consistently set the industry standard for excellence and professionalism,” a rep for MSG Entertainment and MSG Sports told New York Post.
“This was a difficult decision for both companies, as we know that our success rests on the strength of our people”
“While we believe this is a necessary step to protect the long-term future of our businesses, we continue to actively pursue solutions that will allow us to safely reopen our doors, so we’re able to bring as many employees back as quickly as we can, once a return date for live events is established.”
According to the Post, employees affected by layoffs will receive a severance and benefit package, as well as outplacement support.
The news of the layoffs comes after MSG announced the cancellation of its annual musical holiday stage show, Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes presented at Radio City Music Hall, due to uncertainty associated with the pandemic.
The company also operates the MSG Sphere Las Vegas, which is expected to be complete in 2021, and its sister venue in London following a year later, pending approval.
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Exclusive: 32,000 stream David Bowie memorial concerts
Last week’s David Bowie tribute concerts in New York were live-streamed by 32,000 people worldwide.
The two The Music of David Bowie gigs, at Carnegie Hall on Thursday 31 March and Radio City Music Hall the following night, could be streamed live over Skype for a recommended minimum donation of US$20 or £15 to the events’ charity partners.
The concerts were the 12th in Knitting Factory founder Michael Dorf’s Music of series, which raises funds for music education programmes for underprivileged children.
Speaking to IQ, Dorf revealed that donations from those 32,000 viewers raised a total of US$45,000 – an impressive sum, even if it does work out to just over $1.40 per stream (seven per cent of the recommended $20).
Performers at the shows included Ann Wilson of Heart, who opened with ‘Space Oddity’, REM’s Michael Stipe, who played a stripped down version of ‘Ashes to Ashes’ accompanied only by a piano and model/backing vocalist Karen Elson, Blondie, who performed ‘Heroes’, Mumford & Sons performing ‘It Ain’t Easy’, Perry Farrell playing ‘Rebel Rebel” and The Flaming Lips, whose frontman Wayne Coyne sang ‘Life on Mars?’ while riding on the shoulders of a man in a Chewbacca costume (because why not).
Long-time Bowie producer Tony Visconti also led a house band that included Spiders from Mars drummer Mick ‘Woody’ Woodmansey.
David Bowie died aged 69 on 10 January 2016.