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RADIO CITY PLANS TV UNIT IN L.A.

As part of an ongoing effort to play a major role in the entertainment industry, the owners and operators of New York’s famed Radio City Music Hall plan to set up an operation in Los Angeles aimed principally at producing television programs.

Plans call for a Los Angeles office of the Music Hall to be opened this spring to tap a broad spectrum of the entertainment industry there--in particular the resources needed to complete production of more than 20 TV projects now said to be in development.

“We plan to use and exploit our name to become a major player in the production business,” said Richard H. Evans, chairman and chief executive officer of Radio City Music Hall Productions.

“The West Coast presence will allow us to develop relationships with the networks and cable (TV), as well as with potential co-production companies,” Evans said. The company has plans for TV movies, quiz shows and late-night variety shows, among other projects.

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Radio City Music Hall Productions was formed in 1980 by the Music Hall’s parent company, the Rockefeller Group, as “a diversified entertainment company” mandated to make the Music Hall a viable enterprise. Principal owner of the Rockefeller Group is the Rockefeller family.

The 6,000-seat, 1930s Art Deco Music Hall, once a premiere movie palace featuring a glamorous live stage show and the world-famous Rockettes, was threatened with demolition in the late 1970s. Movies had ceased to be shown, and attendance for the live, family entertainment shows and the Rockettes had plummeted.

The Music Hall has continued to produce at least one live stage show annually. However, over the past six years, Radio City Music Hall Productions has expanded its activities to include rock and popular music concerts, television production and industrial shows.

Such productions, at the Music Hall and elsewhere around the country, are credited with giving the Music Hall a $2.5 million profit in 1985--its first in 30 years.

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More recently, Radio City Music Hall Productions has embarked on artist management, initially signing the pop duo Ashford and Simpson. Evans said that he considers Los Angeles fertile territory for expanding the client list.


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