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In the ongoing intrigue surrounding UMG-EMI and Sony/ATV-EMI Music Publishing, the names of possible labels and pubcos that may have to be divested to get the deals approved by the EC are being tossed around.
I.B. BAD: LET’S MAKE A DEAL
John Janick Has Made His Decision, While
Big Jon Platt Weighs His Options, and Ted
Field Prepares to Make His Reentry
Atlantic/Elektra/Fueled by Ramen rainmaker John Janick has agreed to become the President/COO of Jimmy Iovine’s Interscope. The deal, in which Janick was repped by attorney Steve Shapiro, puts another strong executive in place in Iovine’s world, suggesting that Interscope wants to expand beyond its present focus on Pop/Dance and Rap. Kudos to Iovine for closing the highly sought-after Elektra Co-President and Fueled by Ramen founder. Warner Music wasn’t able to save this one, as it did recently with Janick’s now-former colleague Mike Caren.

Questions surround the next move of another in-demand executive, Big Jon Platt. Wonderers are wondering whether he wants to run a major pubco or continue focusing on his area of specialization and claim to fame—no publishing exec apart from his former colleague Jody Gerson is as wired into the all-important Pop/Urban writer/producer world as is Platt, and he’s believed to much prefer the creative sector to the business side. Will his former boss Marty Bandier offer him a prominent role at Sony/ATV, will he follow current boss Roger Faxon to his next destination, possibly WMG, or might he be offered a label presidency? Alternatively, is there an entrepreneurial play for him—perhaps starting his own company?

Putting to rest those unfounded rumors that he was on shaky ground, Jim Urie has just inked a new long-term deal to stay on as head of UMD. The highly regarded and well-liked veteran is to the distribution sector what Dwight Howard is to basketball—a towering figure.

VEVO’s negotiations with Facebook and Google/YouTube are said to be heating up, with Facebook now the presumptive frontrunner because Google’s present offer is said to be less than satisfactory. Will Google up the ante? Will Facebook’s stock problems and nagging issues in the mobile sector, along with VEVO’s established synergy with YouTube, factor into VEVO’s decision? This deal is about the money.

Ted Field, who launched Interscope Records in 1990 and led the game-changing label with Iovine until 2001, is about to make his return to the record business with a new label venture, with distribution deals for the new venture currently under discussion. Cognizant, as in the past, of the changing landscape of the business, Field plans to help launch the careers of the acts signed to label by using their music in the films and TV shows produced by his Radar Pictures. These projects include the Barry Levinson-directed Gotti: In the Shadow of My Father (derived from the Radar-produced 2004-05 reality TV series Growing Up Gotti) and The Chronicles of Riddick: Dead Man Stalking. All eyes will be on this industry legend as he writes a new chapter in his storied career.
 
Rock will have a major presence during the second half of the year, starting on June 26 with the new albums from Linkin Park and The Offspring. They’ll be followed in the coming months with records from such strong sellers and major concert attractions as Muse, The Killers, Dave Matthews Band, Paramore, Aerosmith, No Doubt, Mumford & Sons and Green Day.

In the ongoing intrigue surrounding the European Commission’s simultaneous scrutiny of UMG-EMI and Sony/ATV-EMI Music Publishing, the names of possible labels and pubcos that may have to be divested to get the deals approved are being tossed around by industry observers. On the UMG-EMI front, speculation centers on Blue Note, Manhattan, the Christian Music Group, the Latin Music Group, Astralwerks, Harvest and Chrysalis Records, while possible divestitures in terms of Sony/ATV-EMP include Virgin Publishing but probably not the valuable Jobete catalog, which Bandier viewed as one of his most important acquisitions during his years at EMP. WMG, BMG, Imagem and Martin MillsBeggars Group are presumed to be among the likely buyers in one or both instances. Meanwhile, the Federal Trade Commission is going through its own regulatory scrutiny of the two mergers.

With most assuming UMG-EMI will be approved, one current topic of conversation has to do with the names on Lucian Grainge’s short list of candidates to run the new EMI. This will be a big job indeed, assuming UMG goes through with its stated intention of rebuilding the company.

Names in the rumor mill: Cliff & Peter, Craig Kallman, Jay Boberg, Rob Kahane, Max Hole and Colibri Evans.

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