Several yeast transcription activators have been shown to interact with and recruit histone acetyltransferase complexes to promoters in chromatin. The promiscuity of activator/HAT interactions suggests that additional factors temporally regulate these interactions in response to signaling pathways. In this study, we demonstrate that the negative regulator, Gal80, blocks interactions between the SAGA and NuA4 HAT complexes and the Gal4 activator. By contrast, Gal80 did not inhibit SAGA and NuA4 interaction with another activator Gcn4. The function of Gal80 prevented Gal4 targeting of SAGA and displaced SAGA targeted by Gal4 to a promoter within a nucleosome array. In the same set of experiments, targeting of SAGA by Gcn4 was unaffected by Gal80. These studies demonstrate that the specificity of HAT/activator interactions can be dictated by cofactors that modulate activation domain function in response to cellular signals.