Thursday, 11 August 2016


United Talent Agency (UTA) has made two new hires and promoted 13 junior employees to full agents. Mary Petro, formerly of Columbia Artists Management, and Ryan Soroka, the co-founder with Brad Wiseman and Equal Vision Records of the boutique Soroka Agency, both join UTA’s New York office. Soroka, who brings with him acts including Against the Current, Flor, Our Last Night, Hands Like Houses and David Garibaldi, will work in UTA’s clubs division, while Petro will be part of the adult contemporary/performing artists centres division. The promotions include Ryan Edmundson, Joe Fucigna and Parrish McKittrick in New York, Emilio Grijalva, Zach Hyde, Chad Lehner, Darius Sabet and David Winther in Los Angeles, JD McCorkle in Nashville, Sarah Chipon, Stefanie Purificati and Rob Thornton in Toronto and Alice Hogg in London.

Lee Charteris is set to step down from his role as vice president of operations at Flash Entertainment. Mr Charteris has been the head of operations for the Abu Dhabi-based events company since its inception in 2008 and is now looking to pursue other projects.

Emma Greengrass has been appointed as MD of Wildlife Entertainment – the London-based management home of bands such as Arctic Monkeys, Royal Blood, Travis and The Last Shadow Puppets (pictured left, at Glastonbury 2016) . Greengrass moves over from her role as UK Label Head at UMG’s Caroline International, and will report directly to Wildlife CEO and founder Ian McAndrew.

Hein van der Ree, former CEO of Dutch collection society BUMA-Stemra, currently emroiled im a tariff renegotiation with the live industry in the Netherlands and an almighty row with managers over its controversial 'kick back' scheme to some promoters, has become a partner in Mothership Music Publishing which represents Tom Waits and Bad Religion amongst others.  

Former BMG, Warner Music Australia and ARIA exec Ed St John has joined the board of directors for Australian digital content distributor, Valleyarm Digital. St John has previously held the roles of Managing Director at BMG and CEO of Warner Music Australia, as well as Chairman of the recording industry association ARIA.

Adam Lekach has joined PledgeMusic as Senior Vice President, Marketing. He will report to CEO Dominic Pandiscia. He was formerly with Kemado Media Group and Sony.

Entertainment One Music exec Phil Thornton has been named Senior Vice President and General Manager of RCA Inspiration – the Sony gospel label which is moving to Nashville under the Provident Music Group.

Former Epic, Island and Capitol exec Steven Melrose has taken a major job at Big Deal Music, based at the firm’s Los Angeles HQ. Melrose joins Big Deal as Senior VP of A&R, working under fellow Scot and Big Deal founder Kenny MacPherson.

Event technology platform Eventbrite has appointed three prominent execs from the dance and nightlife industry in the US: Barak Schurr, Diego Carlin, and Senthil Chidambaram. The strategic hires come on the heels of an expanding roster of high-profile customer wins (Ministry of Sound, WOMAD, Boomtown, Margin Walker Presents, PopGun Presents’ Elsewhere and Lincoln Hall/Schubas).

Respected Warner Music Group veteran Mike Jbara has been named new CEO of music tech company MQA. MQ delivers master quality audio in a file small enough to stream or download. Jbara joins MQA from Warner Music Group following a 20-year tenure at the major.

Universal Music Sweden has named Samuel Arvidsson as its new Commercial Director. Arvidsson moves over from his role as Head of Digital Sales at Warner Music Sweden, where he spent the past two years.

Songkick has expanded its business development team with the hiring of Nick Fishbaugh from Shazam. Fishbaugh will be based at the artist discovery and ticketing platform’s west coast offices in Los Angeles and will be responsible for expanding Songkick’s reach and partnerships with artists on a worldwide scale.

High-profile startup, the Los Angeles-based Bkstg - has parted ways with both its CEO and President. Former Chief Marketing Officer of AOL, Erika Nardini, had been Bkstg's President and Chief Revenue Officer. She reported into the startup's CEO, Ran Harnevo - another former bigshot at AOL, where he worked as President, Video until late 2014. Ori Birnbaum - Bkstg’s founder and Chairman - has moved into an executive role. Bkstg describes itself as a 'platform where fans can watch exclusive videos, listen to music, be the first to buy limited edition merch or VIP tickets, and connect directly with other fans'.

Ministry Of Sound’s General Counsel and General Secretary, Marcel Apfel, has become a director of the company.

The UK-based publicity company for stars such as Adele and Sam Smith, Purple Entertainment, has announced two key promotions. Anna Meacham steps up to International Head of Entertainment & Music, while Emma Philpott becomes International Head of Entertainment & Sport.

Universal Music Group (UMG) has appointed Oana Ruxandra to the newly-created position of Senior Vice President of Digital Strategy and Partnerships.

The team behind Eyegroove - which allowed users to record and share DIY music videos of up to 19 seconds in length, which could be altered via special effects and filters - have joined Facebook. The App will shut down.

Warner Music Italy has appointed Clemente Zard as Managing Director of its live booking and promotion arm, Vivo Concerti. The exec replaces outgoing MD Corrado Rizzotto.

Bill Maris founded Google Ventures and last year drove a major investment in Kobalt Music Group. Now he's departing as CEO of Google's investment arm.

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