July’s Notable Hirings, Firings, Promotions & Mergers

August 1st, 2014

Warner Bros. Pictures promoted Niki Sherrod from VP to SVP of Music.

Def Jam promoted Rodney Shealey to EVP of Urban Promotion from his previous position of SVP of Promotion at Island Def Jam Music GRoup.

Some changes at Clear Channel: Maynard Cohen was named SVP of Programming; Brian Lakamp was promoted to President of Technology and Digital Ventures; Liz Sarachek Blacker was hired as EVP of of Hispanic Strategy and Sales; and Mike Scott has been promoted to Regional Market Manager of Mobile/Pensacola, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Biloxi and Laurel/Hattiesburg.

Music Sales has brought on Bree Winwood as its new Head of Synchronization and Annie Roseberry as an A&R consultant.

Proper Music Distribution made a number of promotions: Carol Zuma has been promoted to Head of Finance, Erica Day to Head of Inventory and Logistics, Esther Tewkesbury to Head of Product and Marketing, and Gray Warner to Label Manager.

Music Managers Forum Chair Brian Message has stepped down after four years, with Diane Wagg and Stephen Budd replacing him as Co-Chairs.

The Agency Group is opening a Miami office, focusing on the Latin and Hispanic market. Jeremy Norkin, the new Director of Latin Operations, will oversee the office.

Kobalt Label Services named Tom Smith VP of Sales and Marketing.

INgrooves named Jesse Flores its Senior Director of Product Management.

Warner Music Group promoted Tim Fraser-Harding to President of Global Catalog, Recorded Music and Mark Pinkus to President of US Catalogue and Rhino Entertainment, replacing Kevin Gore who is leaving the company.

Michael Cerda is leaving his position as SVP of Product and Technology at VEVO.

Beatport‘s CEO,Matthew Adell, is stepping down.

Traci Adams is now Senior VP of Promotion at Epic Records.

Andrew Gould has been promoted from VP to SVP of Creative at BMG Chrysalis.

Global Radio named Ian Hanson as COO.

The Hollywood Reporter  has added Jon Frosch and Bryan Bishop to its senior editorial team.

Downtown Records added three members to its synch licensing team - Jennifer Pearce, will be based out of Downtown’s NYC office, and Céleigh Chapman and Tarik Bradford will work from Downtown Records’ newly opened LA office.

AWAL North America named Sarah Landy General Manager.

Baboom, Kim Dotcom’s music service, hired Tony Smith as CFO.

Def Jam Recordings has promoted Mundo Garcia to West Coast Regional Manager.

Streamsound Records hired Jennifer Shaffer as its Northeast Manager of Promotion.

Columbia Records named Darice Lee its Associate Director of Rock and Alternative Promotion

Atlantic Records hired Evan Lipschutz as Vice President of A&R.

Ben Lambert, CFO of U.K. performance rights organization PPL, is stepping down for “personal reasons”.  Christian Barton is being promoted to Finance Director.

Disciple Media has hired Leanne Sharman as COO.

Google‘s Product Manager of YouTube Music, Chris LaRosa, is leaving his position to join an unnamed startup.

May’s Notable Hirings, Firings, Promotions & Mergers

May 31st, 2014

Ticketfly named Steve Oliver its COO.

Leo V. Williams IV has been named General Manager of Creative of rights management company ole. Williams will be General Manager of Creative in Los Angeles.

Stephen White is stepping down from his role as President of Gracenote.

Universal Music Publishing Group has promoted Ethiopia Habtemariam to President of Urban Music and Co-Head of Creative in the U.S., reports Billboard.

Warner Music Group has added Mathias DöpfnerNoreena Hertz, and Oliver Slipper to its board.

7Digital‘s U.S. President, Vickie Nauman, is stepping down four and a half years after launching the company’s U.S. operations.

Dean Gillard has been named VP of International Marketing and A&R at PM:AM Recordings, Universal Music’s global dance network.

Jarl Mohn has been appointed the new President of NPR, replacing Gary Knell, who left to become President and CEO of National Geographic.

VH1‘s EVP of Talent and Music Programming, Rick Krim, has left the company.

Deezer‘s U.K. Managing Director, Mark Foster, is stepping down.

Richard Conlon is leaving his position as SVP or Corporate Strategy, Communications and New Media at BMI.  Also at BMI, Tina Hart was named Executive of Writer/Publisher Relations in Europe.

David Nathan is moving from Republic Records to Big Machine Label Group.

Downtown Music Publishing is launching Downtown Music Benelux in Amsterdam in partnership with Hot Streak Music with Hot Streak’s Co-Founder Lucas van Slegtenhorst serving as Managing Director of the new company.

Bill Lubvitz has stepped down from his position as Vice President of Promotion at Nashville indie label group Black River Entertainment.

Dennis Blair has moved from his position as SVP of Rock Formats at Universal Republic to SVP of Promotion at RCA Records.

Motown Records named Myisha Brooks its new VP of Creative Relations and Marketing.

Warner Bros. Records added Taryn Haight and Lauren Lipsay to its dance music marketing team.

Exfm has shut down.

Artist management company In De Goot Entertainment  started In De Goot Recordings, distributed by Sony/RED.

Isa Namerow has been named SVP of Business Development and Publisher Relations at XAPPmedia.

Lively named Scott Kawa its new Director of Venue Relations and Tour Marketing.

Some changes at Cold River RecordsJim Dandy has moved up to VP of Promotion; Mary Lynne O’Neal was promoted to National Director of Promotion; and Shannon Thomas has been named Director of Strategic Partnerships.

Adam LaRue has been named Epitaph and Anti- Records‘ new Director of Marketing.

Susan Mazo is the new SVP of Global Communications at Universal Music Group, leaving her position as SVP of Communications and Marketing at Warner Music.

Damian Christian has been promoted to Director of Promotions at Atlantic Records UK and SVP of Promotional Strategy at Warner Music UK.

Sony Music UK‘s VP of Industry Relations, Emma Pike, is stepping down.

April’s Notable Hirings, Firings, Promotions & Mergers

April 30th, 2014

Universal Music Group is dismantling Island Def Jam Music Group, turning it into three separate entities - Def JamIsland, and Motown.  As a result, at least twelve people have reportedly been fired. In terms of moves –  Motown Records is moving to Los Angeles to join Capitol Music Group with Ethiopia Habtemariam as its new President, promoted from SVP, in addition to continuing her role as EVP and Head of Urban Music at Universal Music Publishing Group;  Steve Bartels, moves up from President and COO to CEO of Def Jam, with  Kyambo “Hip Hop” Joshua and Dion “NoI.D.” Wilson as the new EVPs and co-heads of A&R; and  David Massey will continue to run Island Records as President.

Barry Weiss, is stepping down from his role of Chairman and CEO of East Coast Labels at Universal.

UMG has promoted A&R executive Karen Kwak to EVP of A&R, U.S. Recorded Music.

Kim Roberts Hedgpeth has replaced Dennis Dreith as administrator of the Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund.

Warner Music Group has announced two new classical labels –  Warner Classics and Erato, their new classical labels.  Alain Lanceron will lead the new labels as President.

Tony Gervino has been named Billboard Magazine‘s Editor-In-Chief.

Spotify hired former Google advertising head Alexander Kubaneishvili to head operations in Russia, suggesting there may be upcoming expansion in that region.

Beats Music hired Bozoma Saint John as Senior Vice President and Head of Global Marketing.

Dan Silver is the new Vice President of Creative at Riptide Music Group.

Jason Iley has been named Chairman and CEO of Sony Music U.K. & Ireland.

Travis Carter is now A&R Manager at Warner/Chappell.

Karsten Dyhrberg Nielsen is the new CEO of STIM.

Rob Hallett left his position as President of International Touring at AEG Live.

Atlantic Records Group named Kevin Weaver President of Film and Television, in addition to his position as EVP of Atlantic Records Group.

Cooking Vinyl brought on Verity Griffiths as Head of Sync.

Amanda Walk Dobbins stepped down from her position as Sr. Director of Alternative / Rock Promotion at Columbia, moving to Republic Records as VP of Alternative & Rock Promotion.

Sound Diplomacy named Danny Keir its new Director of Artist and Label Services.

Words & Music hired Mary Kate Melnick as Director of Creative Licensing.


January’s Hirings, Firings, Promotions & Mergers

January 31st, 2014

Billboard has been grouped with The Hollywood Reporter, now comprising the Entertainment Group, so there have been lots of movement in Guggenheim Media: Long-time editorial director Bill Werde is leaving the company, with Hollywood Reporter head Janice Min taking over. John Amato has been named co-president of the Entertainment Group; the editorial team will consist of Shanti Marlar as creative director, Jennifer Laski as photo and video director, and Matthew Belloni as executive editor.

Dave Haynes has stepped down from his position as  SoundCloud‘s VP of Business Development.

Cooking Vinyl has expanded its marketing team, adding Sammy Andrews as Head of Digital Marketing and Chris Farrow as Product and Marketing Manager.  Previously, he was Marketing Manager at Sunday Best Recordings.

Morten Remmer is WiMP‘s new Managing Director moving from his position as head of digital at Universal Music and commercial director of ArtPeople.

Beats is officially shutting down MOG, the music service they acquired in 2012.  David Hyman, MOG’s founder, has moved on to become CEO of Chosen.fm.

David Renzer is now Chairman of publishing company Spirit Music Group.  Rezner was formerly Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Publishing Group.

Jessica Lehrman is the new Director of Business and Legal Affairs at ADA. She was previously  an associate at law firm Morrison & Foerster.

Clark Miller is now EVP of North American operations at Warner/Chappell, moving from his last post as EVP of international business affairs and global opportunities at Sony/ATV Music Publishing.

Joe Gillen has been named CFO of BMG North America.

Dana Miller will now head marketing and brand development for Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter.

Brian Felsen has resigned as CD Baby‘s President, a position that he held since 2008.

October’s Notable Hirings, Firings, Promotions & Mergers

October 31st, 2013

A glimpse into the movements of the music industry…

As a result of Nielsen acquiring Arbitron, Arbitron CEO Sean Creamer and CFO Debra Delman have been let go from the company.  Also, Susan Whiting will be leaving from her position of Vice Chair at the end of 2013 following 35 years with the company.

Cox Media Group has hired Keith Hastings as its new Rock Format Leader.

BMI added Albert ChengDave Lougee, and Michael O’Neill to its Board of Directors.

At Clear Channel Media and EntertainmentNancy Abramson has been named as the Director of Digital Affiliates for National Media Groups, and Steven Macri also joined Clear Channel Media as CFO.

Ira Sallen is now COO of the new label BMG/Primary Wave Label Services.

The Broadcasters Foundation of America appointed Peter Doyle as Vice President.

Vanessa Thompson is the new Managing Director of Songza Canada.

Lauren McGuire was promoted to Senior Vice President, Client Services and Brand Development at Man Made Music.
Kobalt Music Group named Tomas Ericsson its new President, Society Relations.
Bryan Switzer has resigned as VP/Affiliate Sales of Cumulus Media.
Larry Hughes left his position as Head of Promotion at Sidewalk Records.

Sylvia Strobel was named Interim CEO for the Alliance For Women In Media and will be responsible for day-to-day operations as well as the Board’s strategic planning until an official CEO is named.

After five years as the joint venture A&M/Octone, Octone Records has now been fully acquired by Universal Music Group’s label Interscope Geffen A&M.  Most if not all of the staff were laid off with very little notice, including VP/Promotion Cat Collins.

Tim Spengler has been named President of Content Marketing and Revenue Strategy at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment. 
Nederlander Concerts hired  LA publicist Vanessa Kromer as its new President of Communications.

September’s Notable Hirings, Firings, Promotions & Mergers

September 30th, 2013

Another busy month, especially with acquisitions and investments!

Bertelsmann’s BMG Rights Management purchased a $150 million stake in Primary Wave Music, which includes publishing catalogs includes tunes from Earth Wind & Fire, Hall & Oates, John Lennon, and Marvin Gaye.
Michael O’Neill has been appointed the new CEO of BMI, succeeding Del Bryant.

John Lenac is now Head of Business Development at PledgeMusic.

Vincent Clery-Melin has joined Kobalt Label Services (KLS) as global MD of AWAL, the digital distribution and marketing services company that was acquired by Kobalt at the end of 2011.

Clear Channel named Greg Strassell its new SVP of Programming.

Seattle-based music startup Lively appointed Brian Hirsh as its first chief music officer, Abe Claiborne as vice president of Artist and Label Relations, and Geoff Walker as chief marketing officer.

AdsWizz hired former Skype executive Don Albert as its North American President.

Mitchel Wolk is the new CFO at SONGS Music Publishing. Wolk previously was president and CEO of Alternative Distribution Alliance (ADA).

Paul Robinson is the new CEO of the Radio Academy.

Kobalt Music Group named Sue Drew GM of creative acquisitions in the US and Diarmuid Quinn as President of Kobalt Label Services for North America.

Shazam has hired Kevin McGurn as its Chief Revenue Officer.  McGurn was a top advertising executive at Hulu.
Beatport has appointed Terry Weerasinghe as Vice President of Music Services.

Matt Rennie is the new Managing Director at Box Television, replacing  Gidon Katz, who recently moved to Sky as its director of the Now TV platform.

Shuffler.fm named Stephen O’Reilly its CMO.

A big move at Warner Music Group UK, where Christian Tattersfield is stepping down as CEO of Warner Music UK and co-chairman of Warner Bros. Records UK effective February 2014.  Max Lousada will be co-CEO of Warner Music UK until February when he will becomes CEO.    Miles Leonard will oversee the Warner Bros. label after Tattersfield’s exit.

Michel Allain is now Managing Director of FastTrack, a company that manages the largest database of music copyrights.

Warner Chappell Production Music appointed Tom English as VP/Business Development.

August’s Notable Hirings, Firings, Promotions & Mergers

August 31st, 2013

There have been a LOT of moves this month!  All the details below…

TuneCore laid off Julian Groger, VP Marketing.

Sony Music hired Celine Joshua to be the new SVP of Digital Sales and Scott Van Horn SVP, Sales, Commercial Music Group.

Ivan Shulman was promoted to President of Radiate Media.

Warner/Chappell Production Music named Randy Wachtler President/CEO, replacing Randy Thornton.

Les Hollander joined Spotify as Senior Director/Audio Sales U.S.

CBS Radio promoted Chris Oliviero to EVP of Programming from SVP of Programming.
Chris Frank moved to In De Goot Entertainment as their new Senior Director of Promotion.
Former Roadrunner Records President Jonas Nachsin has been hired as GM/Worldwide of Universal Music’s Spinefarm Records.
Canadian Music Week brought on John Kastner to be its Festival Programmer.
Alisa Olander was promoted to VP, Artist Analysis and Market Research for Universal Music Group Distribution.
Julian Huntly moved to  PledgeMusic to take on the role of Global Head of Catalogue.
Tatiana Simonian moves to Nielson as VP of Client Solutions, leaving her post as Twitter’s head of music.
Jesse Flores moves to  Lyric Financial as Vice President, Business Development.

ZUUS Media bought on Chris Gannett as its Chief Marketing Officer, Karma Gardner as VP of Strategic Sales, Andrew Schiffman as VP of Music Programming and Artist Relations, and Eric Turpin, VP of Affiliate Relations.

Ramsey Dean joined Groupon as Arts & Entertainment Buyer.

Universal Music Group Distribution promoted Linda Kury to VP, Sales.

Kobalt Music Group promoted  Sas Metcalfe to the newly-created slot of President, Global Creative, from Executive Vice President Creative.

Other news at Kobalt- Kobalt Label Services (part of the Music Group) has tapped David Emery as UK Marketing Director.  Emery, now a Beggars Group alum, will oversee UK marketing campaigns for KLS releases and operate out of London.

Ex-Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard just moved to Twitter, as Head of Commerce.

Spotify hired Jorge Esspinal as Head of Global Business Development.

Buzz Casey left his position as Director/Operations at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment.

Warner/Chappell Music has hired Ann Sweeney as EVP/Digital Strategy & Policy, Stephen Dallas as VP/Digital Legal Affairs & Business Development, and Iain Morris as Head of Digital/Europe.


February’s Notable Hirings, Firings, Promotions & Mergers

February 28th, 2013

Not much action to report this month, at least that crossed my desk…

Bertelsmann is taking full control of BMG, although the price tag has yet to be confirmed.

Universal Music Group has now sold its uber-successful compilation series,  Now!, to Sony Music Entertainment for $52.5 million.

September’s Notable Hirings, Firings, Promotions & Mergers

September 30th, 2012

Lyor Cohen is leaving Warner Music Group after eight years at the company.  The WMG executive’s most recent title was Recorded Music Chairman and CEO.  Cohen released the following statement: ”To all the artists and employees who live and die for the music every day, and who personally sacrifice for the good of the creative process: ‘keep on keepin’ on’ in the tradition of a company that respects and honors the artistic community.”

Big Jon Platt, formerly at EMI Music Publishing,  is now the President of North American Creative at  Warner/Chappell.

Richard Strasser has been named an interim judge for the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB).

Massive entertainment company AEG is now for sale, its assets including Coachella, a partial stake in the Lakers, AEG Live, and over 100 venues.  Offers are starting to come in but no specific price tags have been published.

Dangerbird Records co-founder Jeff Castelaz may be moving to WMG-owned Elektra.

Matt Pincus, founder and CEO of  Songs Music Publishing, has just been added to the ASCAP Board of Directors.

Fox Music president Robert Kraft has stepped down after 18 years with the company.

La-la-lawsuits: A Look at February’s Finest Litigious Moments

February 28th, 2012

Paul Tarascio, former stage manager of “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” has sued Jimmy Fallon for gender discrimination, claiming that after he was fired in 2010 he replaced by a “totally incompetent woman.”

Sister Sledge is suing Warner Music Group in an attempt to re-categorize digital sales as licenses, a change that could mean millions in extra royalties.

Kenny Rogers is also suing his label, Capitol/EMI, over the issue of digital royalty calculations as well as false accounting.  His suit additionally alleges that Rogers received no compensation following EMI’s successful settlements with Limewire, Grokster, and Napster.  For a full description of Rogers’ claims against Capitol, check out this Digital Music News article.

An anti-merger lawsuit was filed against SAG and its officers, alleging that that proposal to merge the two unions omits “necessarily due diligence” and is “deceptive.”  The merger would merge the unions, but not the pension and health plans, which are legally separate entities. Plaintiffs include Martin Sheen, Edward Asner, Ed Harris, Valerie Harper, Nancy Sinatra, former guild president Alan Rosenberg and current board members Anne-Marie Johnson and David Jolliffe.

A federal judge rejected a lawsuit brought by Michael Jordan against Jewel-Osco for a congratulatory ad the company ran when Jordan was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame three years ago.  The court rejected Jordan’s argument that the ad infringed upon his trademark and instead determined that the advertisement was “noncommercial speech,” protected by the First Amendment, and that there was no indication of a “commercial transaction” in the ad.

Paramount Pictures has sued the estate of Mario Puzo, author of the book The Godfather on which the iconic films are based.  The estate released sequels to the book in 2004 and 2006 and is set to release another one later this year.  Paramount is seeking damages and preliminary and permanent injunctions to stop the sequel’s release, arguing that the sequels violate its trademark and copyright interests in the Godfather franchise and story.