FACES AND PLACES: NEDERLANDER PLANS FOR
GROWTH WITH HELP FROM HODGES; COLLINS HEADS HOME TO HELM
SOVEREIGN
Author: Dave Brooks
Date: March 28,2007

Former House of Blues Executive Vice President Alex Hodges is
getting back into the game, rejoining longtime colleague Adam
Friedman of Nederlander Concerts where the pair have big plans to
make the independent promoter a regional touring force in the
Western United States.CEO Friedman has hired his longtime friend on
as the new Chief Operating Officer at Nederlander, where the pair
will work with staff to grow Nederlander into a one-stop shop for
artists looking for an independent representative to tour them
through California, Nevada, Arizona and Colorado. Nederlander
currently operates the iconic Greek Theatre in Los Angeles and the
Santa Barbara (Calif.) Bowl, but Friedman said he plans to leverage
his extensive artist and venue network to develop Nederlander as an
independent alternative to national promoters like Live Nation and
AEG Live.“There is only one person that is qualified to do
this and that person is Alex,” Friedman said.
“He’s been an agent, a manager, an executive and a
promoter. He’s the only person I know to do them all
successfully.”Friedman said the privately-held Nederlander is
poised to step in and fill needs of under-served artists looking
for an independent promotional voice. With a focus toward quality
booking and production, and regional credibility from its operation
of venues in the crucial Los Angeles market, Friedman said
Nederlander is ready to make its move and plans to begin announcing
national tours in a number of months.“We’re at a point
where we can really reach out beyond L.A. and help artists to
accomplish their goals,” he said. “It’s not
really a matter of just exercising our leverage, but offering an
integrated set of services in other markets. The artist is still
going to get competitive offers, but now they will also get the
benefit of one-stop shopping and quality promotions. It’s our
attention to detail that has shaped our legacy.”Hodge’s
hiring is a reunion of sorts with Friedman, whom he worked with for
over 10 years at House of Blues. Hodges officially left House of
Blues on Feb. 2, less than two months after Live Nation completed
their acquisition of the company. He officially returns on April 15
and will be reunited with former House of Blues talent buyer Paola
Palazzo and senior vice presidents Ken Scher and Moss Jacobs, with
whom he previously worked at Nederlander.“I’m very
excited about making this move,” Hodges said. “The
direction Adam (Friedman) has set for Nederlander and the quality
team he already has set in motion is a terrific opportunity for
both myself and this industry. I am very proud to be a part of
this.”Friedman said his plan to grow Nederlander as an
independent regional touring force throughout the region
doesn’t mean he won’t work with Live Nation and AEG
owned and operated venues.“I do want to say though that there
is an incredible amount of seating inventory that is waiting for
the talent. We are best positioned to create these partnerships,
because unlike companies in other markets, we are not conflicted.
We are not locked into the wrong vehicle, just because we own it.
We don’t have to feed a building just because it’s
there. We want to get the right artists into the right buildings
for the right fans.”Another executive coming back to his
roots is Zane Collins, who is returning to the Sovereign Center in
Reading, Pa. after two years at the Dow Event Center in Saginaw,
Mich. Both buildings are SMG-managed facilities and Collins will
take the new position once his replacement for Saginaw is found. In
Reading, he is replacing Bob Cavalieri, who, according to newspaper
reports, is moving to SMG Corporate.Collins previously worked as
the Sovereign Center’s director of Operations from 2003 to
2004. “It’s a great little market with a very good
active building and I’m really happy to return,” he
said. The move also puts Collins closer to his mother, brother,
sister and grandfather, who all live within a few hours drive of
Reading, albeit in different directions.Collins said he plans to
get more involved in the local community in his new position,
working with the city’s own Convention and Visitor’s
Bureau, as well as its Chamber of Commerce and other groups. The
building is also getting a new American Basketball Association
franchise, although he couldn’t release too many details on
the project. The Sovereign Center also houses the Reading Royals of
the East Coast Hockey League and the Reading Express Indoor
Football League team. — Dave BrooksInterviewed for this
story: Adam Friedman and Alex Hodges, (323) 468-1700; Zane Collins,
(989) 759-1325