Monday, April 15, 2024

Michael Jackson Finances: Bloomberg, Most Everyone Else Gets It Wrong


The proliferation of articles about Michael Jackson‘s finances is getting stronger as tomorrow approaches. Most of what you’re reading is incorrect.

The strangest story came today from Bloomberg News. It was titled, “Jackson Advisers to Keep Stake in Beatles Catalog.” It should have been followed by a story called, “The Sky Is Blue.”

There’s no question that Michael Jackson’s estate will continue to be a partner in Sony/ATV Music, the company that contains the Beatles catalog. And there’s no consideration about selling the fifty percent stake. I’m not sure how that became a headline.

For one thing, Michael’s executors, John Branca and John McClain, hold seats on the board of Sony/ATV. They’re not going to give those up. They represent power and a certain standing in the music business.

Second, even though Michael’s famous $500 million or so loans with Barclays come due this year, Sony Music will be right there to refinance them. Sony, as I’ve said in the past, has no interest in shutting Jackson down, etc. They’re in business now with Michael Jackson forever. Forever. And it’s a big business. On their bottom line, Michael Jackson CDs did better last year than almost any other acct. There’s an unlimited future in unreleased tracks and repackaging.

I was the first to write about Michael Jackson’s perilous financial state way back in 2001. It amuses me to see all these newcomers getting spun, especially by “financial advisers” whom no one has ever heard of.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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