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L.A. REID LOOKS TO THE FUTURE
With Shapiro and Blair Out, Who's Next On L.A.'s Hit List?
Newly appointed Arista President/CEO Antonio "L.A." Reid is in the process of stepping up his efforts to fill key personnel slots at the company, highly placed sources said today.

With Atlantic GM Ron Shapiro turning down the No. 2 position at Arista last week (hitsdailydouble.com, 5/9), Reid must now fill not only the company's second slot, but also openings in key positions throughout the company, including the head of Promotion post.

In addition to Shapiro, Columbia's Jerry Blair considered taking a role in Reid's new Arista, but word is that he is staying in his present post as Big Red's Promo God.

Richard Palmese, the company's promo topper and a clive davis',390,400);">clive davis',390,400);">Clive Davis supporter, has already said he will be leaving the company with Davis on June 30, the day both their Arista contracts expire. Reid has previously mentioned that Steve Bartels is now the top contender for the post, but little has developed in the past month.

In addition, Reid may have to replace Tom Corson, Senior VP Worldwide Marketing and Sales, who has also expressed an interest in leaving the company. However, Corson's contract with Arista extends well past 2001, and it is unclear whether he will be let out of his deal. Meanwhile, questioners are questioning whether Senior VP of Sales Jordan Katz will stay on and be given additional responsibilities.

Executive VP/GM Charles Goldstuck, who is also under contract, has said he, too, wants to leave the Davis-less company.

Sources said Reid has inked Matt Flott to come in as CFO and Steve Gawley is expected to head business affairs. Lionel Ridenour is expected to take a major role in the new company, as is LaFace president Mark Shimmel.

In related news, Davis' going away party, "25 Years of No. 1 Hits: Arista Records' Anniversary Celebration," on NBC, came in a disappointing fourth place in the over-night ratings behind ABC, CBS and Fox. The show averaged 9.9 million viewers from 8-10 p.m., according to the Nielsen ratings. It scored a 4.2 rating/11 share in the key 18-49 year-old demographic, with a 100% viewership among Arista personnel watching TV at that time.

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