Yup, theeeey're back. Nikki Finke - always reliable - now says both "X Factor" and "American Idol" are actually gunning for Tommy Motolla - once the most powerful guy in the record industry and someone not without enemies.

  Motolla-to-"Idol" has been rumored almost from the minute Simon stepped down, so I imagine the person doing the leaking here has the initials "MT" or "SC."

  But here's a question about Motolla: How would he withstand the withering scrutiny he is almost certain to get, by both the music and entertainment press - when/if his appointment is announced?

  Whether at fault or not - and I have no idea how the shennigans of the record business work - he got a famous broadside by Michael Jackson who called him "mean, racist, very very devilish" back at that famous/infamous press conference with Al Sharpton in '02.

  Hard words, perhaps unfair ones made in the heat of a bitter exit battle with Sony which MJ bitterly complained hadn't properly promoted "Invinisible" because of a bizzare conflict of interest that would revert MJ's catalogue to Sony if his career somehow tanked.

  For all I know, MJ and  Motolla were best buds before MJ's death, but I kinda doubt it. (Is anyone good buddies with anybody in that hardbitten world?) Even so, this old battle could prove distracting when/if the time comes for Motolla to be appointed successor to the Most Important TV Judge on the Planet.

  That..or everyone'll shrug, yawn, and say: "Ancient history."

 

advertisement | advertise on newsday