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DECISION TIME FOR SHAPIRO
Does The Atlantic GM Have An "L.A." Story? Or Will He Stay With The Bunny?
Industry insiders are wondering whether Atlantic Records GM Ron Shapiro will actually jump ship for a top-level post at Antonio "L.A." Reid's new Arista Records or if he will re-up at the Warner Music Group company.

Shapiro, whose current deal at Atlantic expires in the first quarter of 2001, has indeed been approached by Reid, sources said, and he is considering making a move.

However, with the presidency open at Atlantic for years—Co-Chairman Val Azzoli was the company's last president—insiders are speculating that Shapiro may be enticed to stay at the label. The president position at Atlantic has always been a political nightmare, what with Shapiro, Craig Kallman and Lava Records' Jason Flom all vying for the job.

But given that Kallman has recently renewed his deal and Flom would have to take a cut in pay for the job, Azzoli may be enabled to elevate Shapiro in order to keep him.

For Reid to name Shapiro president of Arista, he would need to change his new title from President and CEO to Chairman and CEO.

Pundits, however, note that with the upcoming WMG-EMI merger, contract negotiations have certainly taken a back seat to the bigger picture.

All those involved were unavailable for comment.

Stay online to see how this one plays out.

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