Quantcast
Klaiman was thought to have re-upped with Republic during the summer; consequently, the word of his departure early this week sent shockwaves through 1755 Broadway. So what happened?

I.B. BAD WATCHES THE DOMINOES BEING LINED UP

Barnett’s Move From Columbia to EMI, Janick’s Move From WMG to IGA and Klaiman’s Move From Republic to Columbia Could Set the Stage for a Chain Reaction of Major Proportions
OH, NO, DOMINO: In the latest bombshell to explode as the rivalry between Sony Music and Universal continues, Columbia has hired Republic promotion head Joel Klaiman as the label’s EVP/GM, reporting directly to Rob Stringer. Klaiman’s move has heightened industry chatter about a much-rumored reunion of Republic chief Monte Lipman and former boss Doug Morris at Sony, although Lipman has more than a year left on his contract.

This intrigue—which seems likely to further stoke the competitive fires raging between Sony and UMG and their aggressive leaders—comes near the end of a remarkable year for Republic, which has rolled to #2 in the marketshare competition, behind only Columbia. Klaiman was thought to have re-upped with Republic during the summer; consequently, the word of his departure early this week sent shockwaves through 1755 Broadway. So what happened?

Klaiman’s last day was this Tuesday (11/13), and rather than immediately replacing him, Lipman, a onetime promotion exec, plans on temporarily having the promotion staff report directly to him while he searches for the Mr. or Ms. Right.

Getting Klaiman—who has a history with Sony, having worked as Epic’s promotion head under Steve Barnett during the Don Ienner era—further strengthens the executive team of Chairman/CEO Stringer, who now has Klaiman on the East Coast to complement West Coast-based label President Ashley Newton and his A&R expertise. So where does promo gunslinger Lee Leipsner fit into Columbia’s plans?

It’s hard to say what the future holds for Warner Music, but the company is certainly in motion, with Stephen Cooper initiating a wall-to-wall reorganization and completing a refinancing that reduces the cost of borrowing by 40%, saving around $50m a year. The refi—a big win for Cooper—puts Warner in a better position to make acquisitions, potentially including Parlophone, while the restructuring, which expands the role of Cameron Strang by giving him Rhino’s catalog division, strongly suggests that the Warner/Chappell chief looms large in Cooper’s long-term plans for the company, having proved himself to be a responsible executive in turning the pubco around.

Warner insiders insist that Lyor Cohen left the company of his own volition, but only after Len Blavatnik refused to name him head of all music worldwide. Instead, the new owner wanted Cohen to play a lesser role, and that simply wasn’t enough for him. In other words, Cohen wanted the job that was given to Cooper, and when he didn’t get it, it was hasta la vista, baby.

A former Cohen crony, Kevin Liles, who has built himself a strong management company, with clients including Trey Songz, Big Sean, D’Angelo, Estelle and Young Jeezy, is said to be considering rejoining his old boss at Cohen’s new venture, which those in the know describe as DIY and a further extension of the 360 concept he started at WMG.  

Cohen protégé Julie Greenwald could conceivably choose to stay at Warner. If so, how much responsibility would she want—North America, the world or just Atlantic? But would she be willing to work under a non-music guy after spending her entire career working for Cohen? Some believe that if Cohen provided her with a viable new model, a piece of the new company and a good package, there’s a distinct possibility that Greenwald would take her chances with Cohen rather than casting her lot with Blavatnik and Cooper.

It remains to be seen what will happen with the other key players who worked under Cohen, including Todd Moscowitz, Rob Cavallo and Craig Kallman, or whether Mike Caren’s role will be expanded.

Meanwhile, former Warner star on the rise John Janick is now in full control at IGA, with all key execs reporting to him, which is said to be raising the stress levels of some of those whose contracts stipulate that they report to Jimmy Iovine. A rumored infusion of new blood at the executive level would presumably make Janick’s task somewhat less daunting than it is at present.

Several high-ranking Interscope insiders and a number of top managers with acts on IGA had believed that promotion topper Brenda Romano would be a casualty of the new regime, having questioned her decision-making in terms of what records she would or would not work. But in a surprising development, Romano now seems to be a good bet to stay on as the leader of the promotion team. In other Interscope action, it’s believed that Janick will soon initiate a significant pruning of the roster.

Names in the rumor mill: Russell Simmons, Greg Thompson, Steve Bartels, Mark Shimmel, Steve Berman, Karen Kwak, Scooter Braun and Troy Carter.
NEAR TRUTHS:
THE HOUSE WINS
I.B. Bad handicaps the Vegas Grammys. (1/18a)
ON THE COVER:
THE LUMINEERS
The downside of BRIGHTSIDE for Wes and Jer (1/18a)
HITS LIST MAKES
THE PLAYOFFS
A bunch of All-Pros takes the field. (1/18a)
COACHELLA LINEUP: HARRY, YE, BILLIE AND THE WHOLE THING
The poster has been printed. (1/13a)
UTA: A YEAR OF MOMENTUM
Agency reshuffles the deck. (1/18a)
I DON'T WANNA WORK
I just wanna bang on my drum all day.
I HAVE A HANGOVER
I like to call it "2021."
I DON'T WANNA HAVE A MEETING
My Zoom backgrounds are all outdated.
I MISS CHRISTMAS
When's the next holiday that involves eggnog?
 Email

 First Name

 Last Name

 Company

 Country
CAPTCHA code
Captcha: (type the characters above)