Monday, August 10, 2009


After American Idol connections finished contract negotiations with American Idol host Ryan Seacrest and apparently ceased contract negotiations with judge Paula Abdul, they still were not finished with wheelings and dealings.

American Idol creator Simon Fuller’s company 19 Entertainment over the weekend announced the acquisition of a 51 percent stake in UK-based Storm Model Management Ltd, the agency that’s roster includes models Kate Moss, Jourdan Dunn, Lily Cole, Cindy Crawford, Eva Herzigova, Carla Bruni and Emma Watson.

This, of course follows Idol connections' $45 million deal with Seacrest that keeps him as host of its popular American Idol television show and apparently working on other projects. And it comes just weeks after the Idol executives and Idol judge Paula Abdul failed to reach a meeting of the minds in setting her salary to return to Idol.

Apparently Fuller and Storm’s owners have spent more than a year working the deal expected to “create new joint entertainment platforms for its talent, as well as developing the Storm brand in new and exciting directions.”

“With 19 moving more into the world of fashion and style, the opportunity to join forces with Storm … was irresistible,” commented Fuller. “Together we can push the boundaries, blur the lines and redefine what a model agency should be in this fast-moving world where fashion is playing an increasingly important role in setting and reflecting culture and tastes.”

19 Entertainment also revealed that its growing fashion portfolio includes a joint venture with, Victoria Beckham’s critically acclaimed dress collection which sits alongside her denim and sunglasses lines, a multimillion-dollar fragrance partnership with Coty, and a joint venture with designer Roland Mouret.

CKX reported that the “deal is a continuation of (its) mission to form partnerships with high-value entertainment companies or individuals” – and lists among its current roster Muhammad Ali Enterprises, Elvis Presley Enterprises, David Beckham, Victoria Beckham, “American Idol” and “many others.”

Also, in a separate financial announcement today, CKX chairman and CEO Robert Sillerman said, “I am pleased at where the company sits at this time.”

SKX, for the six months ended June 30, 2009, saw revenue increase to $161.0 million from $153.7 million for the comparable period in 2008, according to the report. Operating income is listed as having declined from $45.3 million in 2008 to $34.8 million. And the 2009 results were said to include a “non-cash swing of $6.0 million in foreign exchange losses, as well as %5.8 million in unusual one-time costs.”

However, skipping to comments on American Idol, the report reads, “Revenue was flat at 19 Entertainment as new television programming offset declines in American Idol. The decrease in revenue attributable to American Idol was due to reduced foreign syndication revenue, lower ratings bonuses and weaker on and off air sponsorship revenue resulting from the global recession.”

“The predictability of our core business permitted us to more than double our development budget for 2009,” commented Sillerman. “With American Idol increasing its lead among the key demographics to unprecedented heights, with So You Think You Can Dance beginning an additional season in September of this year, with attendance at Graceland running ahead of last year in this quarter and with the Las Vegas-based Cirque du Soleil show on track to open at the end of this year, the base of our business continues to be solid. With others cutting back on development, we anticipate greater opportunities in both Television and Internet opportunities.”

19 Entertainment CEO Simon Fuller said, “I could not be more excited by the diversity and quality of our forthcoming projects. With the decision to invest more time and resource into a strong development programme, this initiative is now beginning to bear fruit. We are negotiating new TV shows in reality, comedy, drama and music, including an intriguing multimedia show that will push the boundaries of television, the Internet and live events. With our Sport, Fashion, Music and online presence also growing, 19 and CKX have more new initiatives than ever before.”

19 Entertainment, a wholly owned subsidiary of CKX, Inc., has relationships and partnerships with “some of the biggest names in sports, music and fashion, including David Beckham, Victoria Beckham, Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Daughtry, Claudia Schiffer, Roland Mouret and world tennis No. 3, Andy Murray.”

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