Thursday, 16 March 2017

THE REVOLVING DOOR

Jason Carter, architect of the influential BBC Introducing platform for new artists, has announced his departure from the BBC after 20 years – and MBW reports that Carter will hold a senior position at Amazon, with Carter becoming Director of a new initiative at the company.

Michael Coppel has been named chairman of Live Nation of Australia and New Zealand.

Coppel, who sold his Michael Coppel Presents business to Live Nation in April 2012, was formerly Live Nation Australasia’s president and CEO, overseeing the company’s acquisition of Splendour promoter Secret Sounds and the lease on Melbourne’s Palais Theatre.

United Talent Agency (UTA) has hired Mike “Mike G” Guirguis, Bex Majors, and Billy Wood as agents. The announcement complements UTA’s appointment of Greg Janese to lead the agency’s corporate and special events division, along with the recent announcements of Rob Walker as a music agent and Toni Wallace as head of Music Brand Partnerships.


The UK’s Association of Independent Music (AIM) has appointed Gee ‘Genia’ Davy as in-house Legal and Business Affairs Manager. Davy joins AIM from her previous position as Legal and Business Affair Manager at Cooking Vinyl.

German promoter Wizard Promotions is now being led by the son of its founder, Oliver Hoppe, as sole MD. Dad Ossy Hoppe will continue to advise the company.

Ninja Tune has brought two new people into its sync department, Isobel Palos and Rob Buckley. Palos, formerly Head Of Film & TV at Beggars, will take up the same role at Ninja and its publishing division Just Isn't Music, with the addition of advertising to her remit. Meanwhile Buckley joins from Pitch & Sync to head up the Bespoke department, working with the label and publisher's artists and composers on specific commissions.

Amazon has also hired music industry veteran Alex Luke to join its Amazon Music team. Luke is hired in a newly created leadership position, Global Head of Programming & Content Strategy, reporting directly to Steve Boom, VP of Amazon Music. Prior to Amazon, Luke was a founding member of the Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm, The Valley Fund, managing developing investments in digital media and entertainment.

SoundCloud has parted ways with its COO Marc Strigel and Finance Director Markus Harder. The news comes five weeks after the Berlin-based company filed a fiscal report for 2015 showing annual revenues up 21.6% to €21.1m ($22m), but net losses accelerating 30.9% to €51.22m ($52m).

Subsequent to the news that global licensing head Francis Keeling was out at Spotify after just nine months, one of Spotify’s longest-serving executives, lawyer Petra Hansson, has quit the company. One of the most senior legal figures at Spotify worldwide, Hansson has worked at the business’s Stockholm HQ for a decade. She was headhunted from leading Swedish law firm Mannheimer Swartling in 2007. Hansson and Keeling are the latest high-profile executives to exit Spotify in a year that  has seen a string of senior departures. They have included Chief Revenue Officer Jeff Levick, content chief Ken Parks, EMEA sales boss Jonathan Forster and label relations head Steve Savoca. Spotify UK's head of consumer marketing, ex-Columbia and V2 exec Karen Staughton, is also leaving the company this month for a new position overseas.

Silvia Montello has joined Kobalt Music Recordings as SVP, Supply Chain and Client Services. Meanwhile, Pete Dodge leaves the company after 5 years.

Twickenham Stadium has appointed Mark Lynch as its new venue director, He joins from Abu Dhabi's Yas Marna Grand Prix Circuit where he was operations director.  The stadium has a capacuty of 55,000.

Aisla Oliver and Jen Mitchell have been appointed general managers at the SMG operated Metroi Radio Arena in Leeds. Oliver has been deputy GM at the Atreena for 4 years and Mitchell joins from the Kings Place complex in London.  

Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) has appointed Walter Jones as VP Creative. Reporting to David Gray, UMPG EVP/Head of West Coast A&R, Jones will relocate to Los Angeles. The respected exec moves across from his previous role as Sony/ATV’s Vice President of Urban A&R.

Vevo has appointed Will Jackson to the newly created role of SVP of Strategy and Operations. He joins after nearly three years at Pandora

SoundCloud has appointed Merritt Farren as its new General Counsel.. Farren’s appointment succeeds former General Counsel Neil Miller, who left the company earlier this year after six years in the role, for a position at JAG Shaw Baker. 

Warner Music Finland has promoted Mark Fry to the position of Managing Director. The move comes as his predecessor - Niko Nordström - moves to head up Warner Music Australasia. In his new role, Fry will report to Jonas Siljemark, President, Warner Music Nordics. Fry will assume the role after serving as General Manager and Marketing Director of Warner Music Finland.

Jackson Wong has been appointed as Managing Director of Warner Music China.
He joins Warner Music Group (WMG) from film production and distribution company Oriental DreamWorks. In his new role, Wong will be based in Beijing and report to Sam Chen, WMG’s CEO of Greater China.

Australia-born independent music company Mushroom Group has promoted Chris Maund to the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer. Maund was previously Managing Director of Mushroom label Ivy League Records, as well as Director of Legal & Business Affairs for the Mushroom Group.

First Access Entertainment has named former Ultra Records A&R Oscar Scivier Vice President of A&R. In his new role, Scivier will be based between New York and Los Angeles, working across the company’s existing roster to develop music releases and sign new talent.


Independent publisher Imagem has appointed artist manager Sara Lord as Global Head of Creative Services. In her new role, she will oversee sync and market copyrights.



Tunecore Chief Creative Officer Joe Cuello has exited the distributor to become General Manager of mobile app company EscapeX. EscapeX provides creators with tools to monetise social media through advertising, subscriptions, and a patented virtual currency.

Former BMI exec Richard Conlon has joined SoundExchange as Chief External Affairs Officer. In his new role, Conlon will oversee the digital PRO’s corporate communications, industry relations and public policy efforts.

Big Machine Label Group has hired Kris Lamb, who joins from sister label Dot Records, as VP of Promotion.  Lamb replaces Big Machine’s SVP of Promotion Jack Purcell, who is understood to have left Scott Borchetta’s label after more than a decade.  And Big Machine has promoted Matthew Hargis to SVP, Promotion for BMLG Records.


Wednesday, 15 March 2017

RIP

Joni Sledge, the singer best-known for the disco anthem We Are Family, has died aged 60. Joni, who formed Sister Sledge with her three siblings in 1971, was found unresponsive by a friend at her home in Phoenix, Arizona, her publicist said. Sledge, who is survived by her adult son, last performed with the band in October.

The Grammy-winning jazz singer Al Jarreau has died in a Los Angeles hospital, days after announcing his retirement from touring due to exhaustion. A statement posted to Facebook said Jarreau “passed away this morning. He was in the hospital, kept comfortable by his wife, son, and a few of his family and friends. The Wisconsin native won seven Grammys over a 50-year career and was one of few artists to have won Grammys in three categories – jazz, pop and R&B. He was also a vocalist on the all-star 1985 charity track We Are the World and sang the theme to the TV hit Moonlighting, for which he wrote the lyrics

Tommy LiPuma, athe producer and label chief whose work with jazz and pop artists resulted in more than 30 Grammy nominations and sales of more than 75 million albums, has died in New York City after a brief illness. He was 80. LiPuma had a key A&R job at A&M in its formative years, was a co-founder of Blue Thumb, was an A&R exec/producer at Warner Bros. in the late ‘70s, a Senior VP at Elektra and the Verve Music Group chief from the mid-1990s to 2011 and played crucial role in the careers of George Benson, Diana Krall, Al Jarreau (see above), Barbra Streisand and Natalie Cole. LiPuma also recently produced Paul McCartney’s 'Kisses on the Bottom', for which he won the fourth of his five Grammys, and an album for trumpeter Dominick Farinacci.

Deke Leonard, the author, raconteur, and guitarist of legendary Welsh band Man, has died at the age of 72. The Llanelli-born musician, who had recently returned to live in the town with long-time partner Mary, made his name with the South Wales rock band.


Steve Lang, former bassist for Canadian rock legends April Wine, has passed away at the age of 67. April Wine guitarist/vocalist Brian Greenway saud “It is with great sadness that I let you know that Steve Lang passed away. I was in many bands with Steve. Steve was the bassist of April Wine 1975 to 1984. All the big hits. Steve also did very well as a Financial Investor with his own company. He was a friend of 50 years. Steve was 67. My sincere condolences to his family.”

Singer-songwriter and music industry executive Tommy Page has been found dead. He was 46.
Page is best known for his 1990 US number one single 'I'll be Your Everything'. In 1997 he moved over to the other side of the industry, working for Warner Bros Records in A&R for almost fifteen years. In 2011, he left the label to become a publisher at music industry magazine Billboard. Subsequently, he has held senior roles at Pandora, Cumulus Media and the Village Voice. He also continued to perform live.

Toby Lovegrove, the much-loved member of the Glastonbury  Festival’s crew, has passed away suddenly in Thailand. Toby’s family have worked at the Festival for many years, with Toby coming to Glastonbury from early childhood and going on to work as a lighting technician for the Glade and Silver Hayes areas. Toby was a hugely valued member of the Festival’s crew and Glastonbury was, according to Toby’s family, “his favourite place on earth”.


Peter Overend Watts, the flamboyant bass player with Mott The Hoople has died aged 69. It was Watts who persuaded the band to reform after David Bowie offered them 'All The Young Dudes' which then went to number 3 in the UK singles carts, and with Bowie producing their next album going top ten, the band the band enjoyed commercial success, albiet success with a 'glam rock' flavour. In later life Watts was a keen fisherman and keen walker, and completed the Lands End to John o'Groats walk in 63 days, as well as the length of Offas's Dyke, and Alfred Wainwright's Coast to Coact pathways.  Dale 'Buffin' Griffin, Mott Tbe Hooper's drummer, who went on t be a successful record prodicer died last year aged 67. Griffin and Watts recorded music as the British Lions.


Bryn Lewis, The founder and owner of the 500 capacity The Brook in Southampton, has dies after a short illness.