Robert F.X. Sillerman, an investor and media executive who built and sold radio empires, controlled the Elvis Presley estate and consolidated the American concert industry, died on Sunday November 24 2019. He was 71.
His brother, Michael, confirmed his death but gave no other details. Mr. Sillerman had recently been living in Hinsdale, N.H.
During the 1990s Sillerman was the founder, the executive chairman and a major shareholder in SFX Broadcasting and SFX Entertainment. Formed in 1992, SFX Broadcasting owned and/or operated over 80 radio stations. Sillerman sold the radio business in 1997 but retained the live entertainment portion of the business (SFX Entertainment). At its peak in 1999, more than 60 million people attended more than 23,000 events promoted and/or produced by SFX. In 2000, SFX merged with Clear Channel Communications, Inc. Sillerman is actively involved with the Museum of Television and Radio, as a member of its board of directors. Sillerman also serves as a member of the Business Committee of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Through his family foundation, The Tomorrow Foundation, he supports educational and environmental programs. Sillerman serves on the board of trustees of Long Island University and is chancellor of the school’s Southampton College and its Friend’s World Program, which has campuses in seven countries. His dedication to the global environment has led him to organize what has become a leading event in the music industry, Southampton College’s “All For The Sea” Concert. Sillerman received his B.A. degree in political science magna cum laude from Brandeis University. He currently resides in New York with his wife, the writer Laura Baudo Sillerman, who is also president of the Tomorrow Foundation.
His latest venture, CKX, a company whose goal is to make content king in the onslaught of emerging digital distribution technologies. CKX’s first acquisition was an 85 percent stake in Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc., in which CKX owns and oversees the rights to Elvis’s name, likeness and image, as well as the operation of the famed Graceland. Recently, Sillerman became the new American Idol as CKX acquired 19 Entertainment Limited, the U.K.-based company best known for creating the American Idol phenomenon. American Idol is currently the number 1 rated show in the United States, just as its sister show Pop Idol, is in many other countries around the world.