Stinking thinking: Make that 20 good ideas for 2001.
The latest issue of Inside magazine--the print version of media fetishist Kurt Anderson's Inside.com Web site, which claims to cover "the business of entertainment, media & technology"--touts on its cover a feature detailing 21 good ideas for the new year. (One of Buzz's good ideas for the new year, incidentally, is to stop reading Inside magazine.) On page 44 of said magazine is a picture of local "insta-billionaire" and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who, according to the magazine, is launching a "new talent-management roll-up firm" called FXM that would house some of the music world's biggest names.
Inside reports that Cuban and Robert Sillerman--who sold his SFX Broadcasting to Texas Rangers-Dallas Stars owner Tom Hicks in 1998 for $2.1 billion, before using the name SFX to control most of the country's concert promoters and assorted live-music venues--were to be partners in the venture, which was going to feature a "superstars-only label with a pipeline to a major radio conglomerate." (Presumably, that conglomerate would be Clear Channel, to which Sillerman sold the live-music branch of SFX for $4.4 billion early in 2000.) Inside also reports that FXM was going to show "record-biz dinosaurs how to make bank off the Net"--no small feat at a time when no such business model exists.
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The only problem is, the "pipeline" is but a pipe dream, at least where the Mavs owner is concerned. Cuban tells Buzz that he was "never actively involved at all," despite other published reports that he has kicked in some $50 million to get FXM off the ground.
"To be honest," Cuban wrote in an e-mail on Monday, "I don't know much of anything about the particulars. Sillerman proposed that I invest in the company. I said I would love to take a closer look based on what it sounded like, but he had to get some of his deals closed first. They didn't close, so I never had to take a close look."
Besides, Cuban has better ways to piss away his money; just ask his good buddy David Stern, NBA commissioner and finemaster general.
--Compiled from staff reports by Patrick Williams