WWE hired several new writers for the creative team earlier this month, according to PWInsider. Michael James Nelson, who has worked on NBC's Off Their Rocker with Betty White, and on the MTV Movie & TV Awards, was recently hired. Andrea Kail, who worked on TruTV's Comedy Knockout, was also hired to work on the writing team.
Regarding the WWE live events division, WWE Hall of Famer Michael Hayes continue to oversee the live events. Steve Corino has been working on the creative side of the live event team in recent months, since coming up from working behind-the-scenes in WWE NXT and the developmental system.
WWE also recently hired two live events managers in Stefanie Stephens and Jules Rice, according to PWI. Stephens previously worked as a market manager for Cirque du Soliel and worked for Cricket Wireless. She will be working on WWE live events in the Southeast. Rice previously worked as a marketing manager for the Houston Sports Authority. She will oversee WWE live events in the Midwest.
Vince McMahon spoke about hiring new additions to the live event and creative teams during his opening statement on the WWE 2019 Q1 earnings call last week. WWE later blamed lower merchandise sales at live events on the decline in live event attendance, but they hope these new hires will help bring that business back up. Live event revenues had declined 15% in the first quarter of this year from the same period in 2018 to $26.2 million. The average attendance for the live events for the first quarter was 4,800, an 11% drop from 5,400 in the prior year quarter, while the average ticket price was $52.38, which was essentially unchanged from the same period last year.
"We've hired new people in writing team that are really going to help us out in terms of television ratings and digital, social, all that sort of stuff, we've got a new team in terms of live events that have just started now," McMahon said, via The Motley Fool. "So we'll see the live events going to continue on an upward trend.
"In coming latter part of September, we're going to have, it's almost like, it's not quite a metamorphosis, but we're going to have a whole new beginning, we're going -- the promotional value alone notwithstanding rights fees and what have you, promotional value alone in terms of Fox, in terms of commitments from NBCU is something we've never seen before, not even close, it's extraordinary. And at the call the kick-off, I suppose and it's going to kick us into again an element we've never seen before in terms of promotion with everything, WWE talent, story lines, you name it, so it's a rising tide situation that we're really looking forward to and having that carry on throughout the year."