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COMPANY TOWN

Music: Sony Music is on the verge of closing an estimated $100-million deal with Michael Jackson, in which the Japanese firm would acquire the music publishing rights to the pop star’s ATV Music catalogue. Under the arrangement, Sony and Jackson would become co-owners of the catalogue, which includes most of the Beatles’ classic songs as well as titles by rock stars Elvis Presley and Little Richard. ATV Music, considered one of the music industry’s prime publishing properties, is currently administered by EMI Music Publishing, a division of the British conglomerate Thorn-EMI. ATV, which Jackson bought in 1984 for $70 million, generates about $30 million in revenue annually.

* Agencies: Creative Artists Agency is forming two new departments: an Entertainment Ventures Group and a New Media Group. The Entertainment Ventures Group is being headed by James F. Griffiths, who left the agency briefly in October after the departure of Chairman Michael S. Ovitz. Griffiths worked as a consultant to the Tele-TV video venture CAA helped form before deciding to return to the agency. Griffiths, a former Fox and Home Box Office executive, will work on creating businesses and programs for broadcast TV, cable and satellite markets, such as the currently developing Sundance Channel for independent films. The New Media Group will be led by Hassan Miah, who has worked on the company’s new-media strategy and various consulting projects. Miah’s appointment follows the departure to Walt Disney Co. last month of Dan Adler, who directed CAA’s new-media efforts. Miah will be assisted by Michael Keithley, director of information services at CAA.


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