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OUR POST-GRAMMY CHEW TAKES LESS THAN FOUR HOURS TO READ
We'll let you get back to your day ASAP. (2/7a)
HITS LIST WINNERS
Here's who's lighting up the scoreboard before and after the Grammys. (2/3a)
GRAMMY-WEEK ALBUM: PICS TO CLICK
Including shots of several luminaries entrapped by a HITS nerd. (2/8a)
GRAMMY RATINGS SOAR
The emphasis on star power seems to have worked. (2/7a)
A TASTE OF RAINMAKERS:
JIM ROPPO
Building blocks of a singular career (2/8a)
HIP-HOP AT 50
The astonishing first half-century of a world-rocking genre.
THE NEXT BIG PLAYER
in the catalog game is...
INDIE BREAKOUTS
More independent music rises at the DSPs.
THE GOP CONGRESS
At last, America can focus 24/7 on Hunter Biden's laptop.
Music City
MUSIC CITY PITCHMEN: ROYCE RISSER
7/19/16

SVP Promotion, UMG Nashville

L.A. native Risser came to Nashville to attend Vanderbilt and landed an internship with MCA Nashville in his final semester as an undergrad. He was hired shortly thereafter to answer phones in the promotion department while attending grad school. “I fell in love with the business and have been at UMG ever since—25 years now,” he says. In 2013, Mike Dungan transitioned to UMG, just six months before the merger with EMI, whereupon Dungan placed Risser in the role of SVP Promotion, overseeing the promo efforts of the company’s four imprints.

How is launching a project different today than it was five or even three years ago?
It has become in some cases a game of speed, and in others a game of attrition. Some singles fly so fast that they outpace the research—and maybe even fail to lock in with listeners as a song they want to hear or own. On the other side of the coin are songs that take almost a year to get to the top of the charts. It’s hard, grueling and sometimes unfruitful. But when you know a song is a hit, you keep going to get to the point where it’s undeniable. Then it becomes a balancing act to get as many stations as possible to line up for the final run at whatever chart position you can attain.

Why do you feel country artist relationships with radio are so much stronger than at any other format?
I’ve always maintained that the bar is set by the biggest artists in our format. They are the ones that don’t have to do it, but understand the relationship that keeps them front and center with programmers and decision-makers. I’ve also found that programmers who have transitioned to Country almost never want to leave. I have heard from them that the relationships with artists and record labels are the main reason. They’ve indicated that it’s just friendlier—and who doesn’t want that?