Gaylord wants to get rid of Word music
In Gaylord Entertainment's third-quarter financial statement (like almost every other company, earnings were down significantly), the company announced "it is in discussions with various parties that may lead to the divestiture of Word Entertainment, its Christian music label." Actually, Word Entertainment has several labels under it, including Squint, Rocketown, Myrrh, Integrity, and even VeggieTales' BigIdea Productions. It's a huge part of the Christian music world, with artists from Amy Grant and Sandy Patti to Sixpence None the Richer (not to mention Kenny Rogers, Kim Alexis, and John Tesh). It's Songs4Worship CD set is one of the most popular Christian recordings ever, thanks to a huge TV ad campaign. But apparently Word just isn't making enough money for Gaylord. "This potential sale will result in a further streamlining of the company's operations and allow the management team to focus their attention on the more profitable hospitality and entertainment businesses," the company's press release said.
What's really interesting about all of this is that Gaylord has three separate lawsuits against Thomas Nelson regarding Word Entertainment. Two of the suits are over a multimillion-dollar dispute stemming from Nelson's 1996 sale of Word Records and the Word trademarks to Gaylord. The most recent claims that Nelson "engaged in false advertising, unfair competition and breach of contract" in a recent ad campaign touting the renaming of Nelson's Word Publishing to the W Publishing Group. Weblog thought it was hilarious: Max Lucado saying, "Word no longer inspires me." Chuck Swindoll saying, "Word won't be getting any more grace from me." Funny, funny stuff for Christian ads. Except Gaylord ...1
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