By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated July 20, 2001 12:00 PM
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Keeping an eye on the bottom line, Madonna, 42, is refusing to offer celebrities complimentary seats to her Drowned World Tour, it was reported last week. Now comes financial news of a more serious nature. The Material Music Mogul’s L.A.-based record label, Maverick — which is also home to Canadian rocker Alanis Morissette, whose most recent albums have not been hits — has lost its president, who resigned, and has fired five other staff members, Variety reported on Friday. Reports say that Madonna herself approved the shakeup in an attempt to stem red ink flowing at Maverick, where losses have amounted to as much as an estimated $60 million. “She’s involved in all major decisions at the company,” Ronnie Dashev, one of Madonna’s partners at the music label, told the New York Post. Dashev declined to say whether or not Madonna spoke personally with departing president Bill Bennett, who was with Maverick for two years. Madonna runs Maverick as a joint venture with Warner Bros. Records, a unit of AOL Time Warner Inc., which also owns PEOPLE. Bennett, who was said to earn an annual salary of $750,000, will reportedly not be replaced, and his duties will be divvied up among others. As for Madonna, she begins the North American leg of her tour on Saturday in Philadelphia. She concludes on Sept. 14 after four dates in L.A. In the meantime, Madonna’s spokeswoman on Friday completely pushed aside reports in British tabloids that the star plans to end her performing career, calling the stories “completely untrue.”