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Michael Jackson Justice: Follow the Sony/ATV . . . And the Money Will Come

God: Reconnect to Him

The Conspiracy against God is about "The Word", and the profaning of His Holy Name within us. Adam fell in the garden, breaking the direct connection to God. Jesus, the "last Adam" was a quickening Spirit, the Word made Flesh, and the only one with whom we can re-establish our relationship with God. Michael's story is still unfolding. He is the one who is, is not. But Jesus is the only name given under heaven by which we must be saved. Many are trying to rewrite HIStory. We were given a help to instruct us. Learn more "here".

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Follow the Sony/ATV . . . And the Money Will Come

August 13, 2010 – Follow the Sony/ATV . . . And the Money Will Come

It has been repeated since the day of anguish in June of 2009 when Michael Jackson was killed, “Just Follow the Money….” And you will find those responsible for his death.

The money has been attached to the Sony/ATV all along. So I wanted to see what I could piece together by following the timeline of the ATV catalog from it’s humble beginnings in Britain, to being the third largest music publishing catalog in the world.

A timeline, and those involved in the ATV Music Catalog:

1955 - ATV (Associated Television) – Founded in the U.K. by Lew Grade (of the Grade Family) who also founded Independent Television Corporation (ITC…Tony Curtis, Roger Moore talent)

ATV was originally a broadcaster of television shows in the U.K.

Louis Benjamin owned Pye Records, EMI and Decca Records in which Grade also shared a percentage of ownership.

1957 – ATV acquires Pye Records as a wholly owned subsidiary. Grade and Benjamin owned most of the shares. The company then sought to own then sell licensing of songs of rock-n-roll artists and the theme songs of the programs they put out. This included some songs written by American artists.

1968 – ATV acquired the rights to the Lennon/McCartney songs (The Northern Song Catalog) from Epstein and James, the original owners even though McCartney and Lennon fought to acquire their own songs in a bidding war, ATV won out.

1970’s - Len Beadle, the company's chief executive, signed up many songwriters and bought numerous song catalogues. He acquired the songs written by Lieber and Stoller, which included the Elvis Presley hits "Hound Dog" and "Jailhouse Rock. The catalog continued to grow successfully.

Early 1985 – Robert Holmes A’Court acquired Lord Grade's UK-based Associated Communications Corporation (ACC) when Grade lost licensing with two of his broadcast companies. Grade was forced to sell his Associated Communications Corporation.

In Steps Michael

August 1985 - sold off ACC's assets including Central Independent Television and ATV Music publishing interests. In the 1980’s, Martin Bandier was managing the catalog briefly before A’Court sold it off. A bidding war between Michael Jackson and Martin Bandier, who banded with his partner in SKG Publishing (Charles Koppelman), their entity SKG and Bandier’s relative LeFrak. They were able to outbid Michael, but Michael had ready cash and a promise to take part in a telethon in A’Court’s hometown of Perth.

Late 1993 – Management of the ATV catalog is turned over to EMI under Martin Bandier. John Branca negotiated the deal. Michael gets a $70 million a year advance on the estimated earnings, for five years. This will help Michael financially after having to dump concert dates to deal with the extortion attempt, other lawsuits and the short stint needed for treatment of prescription drug dependency.

Michael's 1993 ordeal, Michael's catalog joins EMI

1995 – Branca brokers a deal between Michael and Sony to have Sony partner with Michael in the ATV publishing business. Sony pays Michael an estimated $90 million for 50% stake. EMI is still managing the catalog until 1998 when it’s contract is up. Looking at the EMI deal compared to the Sony deal, one has to wonder just how Sony got away with paying only $90 million of Bandier was paying Michael $70 million a year advance over five year’s earnings.

2001 – During the beginnings of the “Invincible” battle, rumor is fed to the press that Michael may sell his “Beatles” catalog. Michael fights back, declaring it will never be for sale. The catalog acquires Tony Mae Music Catalog of 600 songs

Michael Jackson Promotes Invincible "Solo"

2002 – Sony/ATV purchases 55,000 song catalog Acuff-Rose for $157 million.

2003 to 2005 – Michael battles a second allegation, is arrested and tried for child molestation. Before his trial, Michael refinances to attempt to purchase Sony’s half of the ATV catalog, but withdraws during the heat of the trial.

Michael During Trial of his Life

2007 – Martin Bandier leaves EMI and takes over as CEO of the Sony/ATV business. Sony/ATV purchases “Famous Music” catalog with 125,000 songs, making Sony/ATV the third largest music publisher in the world.)

Michael Fighting for his life's work Between 2007 and 2009

2009 – Michael Jackson, 50% partner in the Sony/ATV catalog dies while preparing for a 50-concert show. Colony Capital attempts to purchase (puts in an inquiry) the Sony/ATV catalog just ten days after Michael’s death but are turned away. It’s not made clear whether Colony approached Sony or approached the Jackson Estate for the offer. Source

I will add more to this timeline but I am waiting for someone’s permission. There is mention in one piece of information sent to me about Branca and Michael in 1990 when Michael let him go for three years and that Branca actually did not negotiate the $100 million contract with Sony because Michael did not rehire him until 1993.

Martin Bandier did not spend many years away from the ATV catalog and I believe the actual value of it, for the most part, has been played down in the press. It was reported that Branca’s 5% of the Sony ATV netted him almost $20 million a year before Michael bought him out after he was fired from the board. If that figure is even close to being accurate, then you know with Michael’s 50%, plus the value of his own catalog (which not only was played down in the press but has also grown exponentially since his death), was well worth the investment these people laid out to get Michael Jackson either incarcerated or killed.

Tomorrow – Reverent June Gatling and her Note to the Fans


  1. Bonnie - If Michael was getting 70 million a year from EMI, there must be some advantage for Michael selling the 50% share to Sony.

    It seems like it would have been better to let EMI managing it since the money he was getting was substantially more unless he was getting even more yearly by selling half of it.

    If Michael was getting a constant income in millions, where is all this rumor come from that he was in dire financial trouble? Anyway, do you think things would have been different if Michael didn’t sell half ATV to Sony and renew the contact to let EMI manage it?

  2. Bonnie, here is footage of MJ's appearance at the Perth telethon in August 1985. I don't know if you've seen this before, and I thought this would be a good addition to your post.

  3. Great research!! Looking forward to reading more!!!! It's mindboggling how much "fuss" had been made and continues to be made over those publishing collections. SO much fuss that it does appear that there were forces perhaps willing to kill for it!!! As has been already said, following the money is the ONLY path that can lead to the truth.

    Bonnie, what do you think Michael's children's stake in these catalogs will be? Certainly they'll never want for anything but do you think that Branca, despite saying the catalog is not for sale, is in the process of negotiating away their stake while they are still too young to understand? And certainly roadblocks have been placed in front of Katherine to stop her from making any meaningful changes if such a thing was happening. Or so it appears. Looking forward to your response.

    Bonnie, on another issue, I'd like to start a blog that will be a collection of articles/video that chronicle's Michael's charitable work over the years. I've got a little bit of it started, and with your permission, I'd like to post it here. (I'm a rookie with the blog thing so I might be a little slow at first...:-) It will also contain relevant music and video he created on that subject.

    There seems to be very few places, other than Jackson Action and, that give much attention to his charitable work. Both sites contain a wide range of subjects with Jackson Action being the best for listing and referencing Michael's charitable work.

    I won't be discussing the topics you're covering and it won't contain advertising, just cataloguing charitable work, so suggestions for articles/video would be great!


  4. I've thought a lot about why an astute businessman like Michael would sell half of his ATV catalogue to someone like Sony. (Aside from the fact he needed money.) Then I think well, the thing is, every time Sony buys and adds to that catalogue, Michael owns half of that addition. If that is correct then it was indeed (on the surface) a brilliant and wise move for Michael. In other words, his half would eventually be worth more than the original whole. Is that right?

    I am aware that Sony has bought and added to the ATV catalogue, but did Michael? For example, when Michael bought Eminem's music, did that become a part of the ATV or a different catalogue...was Michael the sole owner?

  5. Great coverage of the ATV ownerships. Some things regarding the Sony/Michael ATV deal are revealed and portions of it is hidden.

    You are definitely right. Judging by the amount of people, and the power and money they command, circling that catalogue, should let everyone know that it is worth a lot(can we say billions). I'll stress it again; Michael Jackson is one person and Sony is an entity, both owning 50% of one of the most lucrative and successful catalogues of our time. Half of the catalogue = Power.

  6. @David, great video of MJ in 1985 in Perth; the woman commenting? Well, she didn't know Michael; he was 27 years old at the time; what type of sophistication was he supposed to have despite his many years in the public eye. He was on top of everything back then, at 27!

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. It is my opinion that first, the Jackson kids will never see one dollar from the ATV Catalog. Ever. That much is clear, and is getting clearer by the moment. Eventually, once the whole "Michael Renaissance" is over, and he doesn't sell anymore, then watch for Sony to make the Estate an offer on the remaining 50% (Michael's share) and buy "him" out. That's only one view however.

    The flip-side view here is that the Estate will wait things out until Sony is in enough "financial trouble" and buy out their 50% of the ATV. Michael is now a BUSINESS entity, after all. The Estate has been repaying a lot of MJ's debts since his death (no surprise), and everything MJ is almost back in "the black"--financially speaking.

    What's my bet? I'm still betting on Branca (the Estate) to buy out Sony and stiff the heck out of them. Then, all things MJ will go under an independent label, and the Estate will be free of any and all ties to Sony. That's when I suspect that an all out war will begin and the major gameplayers? Branca vs. Bandier. Stay tuned...

  9. Regarding my earlier response, let me make something clear...I am not making Branca out to be a "good guy." Let me make this entirely clear...Branca is in this whole thing for Branca. Not Michael. Remember that currently, everything with a Michael label on it Branca earns a fast 10% on. That's a lot of cake, so to speak. By the time the Estate (in my best instincts anyway) reacquires the entire ATV catalog, Branca's earnings on anything MJ will double if not triple. So, Branca is in it for himself.

  10. Oh, and before I get asked as to what I meant when I'd stated earlier-- "I'm still betting on Branca (the Estate) to buy out Sony and stiff the heck out of them."??? Two words come to my business-oriented mind: CORPORATE TAKEOVER.

  11. Hello Everyone!

    I finally got my computer back!

    I have lots of catching up to do!

    I really missed you guys!

  12. Hi Bonnie – I read a blog that urges fans to stop paying attention on Sony and concentrate on the “Real Killer, Dr. Murray”. The blog also says those who are advocating Sony is responsible, are trying to divert attention from the doctor.

    Not only has the blogger completely missing the big picture of Sony’s possible involvement of in the death of Michael, this blogger calling other fans to follow his/her steps. This really show me that some fans out there, completely disregard the many years struggle and tribulation Michael went through with Sony and his words verbalizing the problems how Sony and their allies conspiring to take his ATV catalog.

    If some of you out there forgot what Michael used to say about Sony, please do some little investigation to refresh your memory or, I am sure you remember this since it happened recently, listen to what some of Michael’s family are saying who is responsible. If you forget it, here it is what they have been saying:

    Dr. Murray is a scapegoat.

    Dr. Murray is a hit man.

    There are others who are responsible for murdering him and they know who they are and we know who they are.

    We need to squeeze his hands, the doctor, a little harder so he can speak.

    Fans, those of you who believe we need to take our focus away from the big picture, Sony and their allies, Dr. Murray is only charged with involuntary manslaughter, which means the possibility of him walking away without paying for killing Michael is high. What are you going to do about that when that happens?

    Fans, we need to focus and expose those who systematically and tirelessly worked for many years to destroy and killed the greatest entertainer and humanitarian that ever walked this planet. Please let's come together for God sake and don't let Michael's enemy WIN.

  13. Josie – we missed you too. Thank God your computer is working now and you can join us in the discussion.

  14. @mimi, I'm sorry to say it but there are so many ignorant "fans" out there who look no further than the latest TMZ headline for their information. By ignorant I don't mean stupid, I mean "ignorant of the facts" regarding Michael's crucifixion at the hands of the jealous monied elite over the past 20 years. The prelim is August 23, there is enough evidence to bind Murray over for trial what with the charges being as low as they are, but it will take time and maybe he will feel the pressure enough to sing like a canary.

  15. @ Sandy K

    If you want more info on MJ's charity works, here is a compilation of all of his philanthropy in chronological order:

  16. Thank you Dave for the suggestion. I've added it. I also found a site called "The Silenced Truth," which, other than "Action Jackson," is the best I've seen so far. Very detailed and extensive:

    Thanks again!

  17. @ladyaquarius1962, thank you for your thoughts on the catalogue and Michael's kids. I agree, I don't think they will see any of it or even have a say when they become adults. How easy for Branca.

    @Mimi, I've read the blog you are eluding to that questions the wisdom of pursuing Sony when Murray seems to be the easier target right now. The little fish are easier to catch than the big fish, in a matter of speaking. Your point is well taken. I think you would agree that the simple truth is that you have to follow the money, and as we know, the money does NOT end with Murray.

    I'm reminded of crimes committed by the "mob," whatever that means these days, involving murder and drug dealing and the like. The stereotype presented in movies, and often in real life, is that the big fish almost never get caught on the big crimes (murder, drug dealing, gun running, etc.), only on tax evasion. A slap on the wrist relatively speaking.

    I am discouraged since I find it very hard to see the big fish in this story really being held to account for its dealings. Who's going to hold their feet to the fire? Boycotts might help to some degree, but then you're punishing a lot of people for the actions of a few, unless you're only looking at those in charge being forced out. Will we ever know what person(s) are responsible? (We all know there's no way to send a corporation to jail.) Can there truly be justice? And what will that look like in this case? Also, in order to pursue this issue aggressively you would need an Elliot Spitzer type of individual that has the passion, drive and exceptional intelligence to prosecute such a case. I don't see that person in this story anywhere. Anyway, sorry to be a discouragement. I just don't see how the big fish in this story will ever be truly held to account. I welcome correction if I'm wrong.

  18. "punishing a lot of people for the actions of the few"? All gears, nuts and bolts are part of the corporate machine. In other words, without the common workers, there is no corporation. Sorry, they are part of it. They either choose to work for corruption or they are ignorant. Either way, they too are to some degree responsible. Let conscience be their guide rather than their pocketbook.

    We as consumers actually hold all the power over these corporations through boycotting. The problem is coordinating a unified effort in a selfish, "gotta have", materialisticly-minded society.

  19. @truthbtold2all, I work for a large corporation, NOT Sony or AEG, thank goodness, that affects millions of people on a daily basis in mostly good ways, and sometimes in not so good ways. Those issues are always in my mind when I relfect on my choice of employment so your point is well taken.


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