John Malone says Barry Diller quit Live Nation board because he was 'fed up'
Mogul Barry Diller wasn't pushed from the board of Live Nation; he jumped.
That's the word from Liberty Media Chairman John Malone, a onetime Diller adversary and fellow board member of Live Nation Entertainment Inc., the $4-billion music powerhouse formed in January with the merger of Ticketmaster and Live Nation.
Diller, who is also chairman of IAC/InterActiveCorp, earlier this week confirmed leaks to the media that he would be stepping down as Live Nation's chairman by the end of the year. A number of people familiar with the executives said Diller left after losing a power struggle against Live Nation's executive chairman and talent super-agent, Irving Azoff.
Diller and Azoff both issued statements Wednesday downplaying any boardroom strife and saying Diller had planned all along to exit the board by year's end.
Malone seemed to paint a different picture in comments he made during a Liberty Media shareholder meeting Friday.
"Barry got fed up dealing with the three sides," said Malone, according to Reuters, referring to board members with former allegiances to Ticketmaster, Live Nation and Front Line, Azoff's talent management business.
In particular, Diller chafed with several of the board members from Live Nation, who resented Diller's efforts to control the company's direction, according to sources close to the board.
-- Alex Pham and Meg James
Photo: Barry Diller. Credit: Susan Goldman/Bloomberg.