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Ames’ mandate to the troops is now to grow marketshare and, despite numerous reports, there will be no consolidation of labels within the WB-Reprise family.
PHIL Q GETS TO HOLD THE BUNNY
Thyret’s Exit Leaves The Q-Man In Charge In Burbank
With Warner Bros. Records Inc. Chairman/CEO Russ Thyret leaving his chair after more than 30 years at the company, President Phil Quartararo will be put in charge of the the Warner and Reprise labels, at least until the expected 2002 arrival of incoming chief Tom Whalley.

Quartararo first joined Warner Bros. three years ago after an extensive run at Virgin Records, the company he joined at its U.S. inception in 1986, serving as President/CEO for four years. Before that, he was VP Promotion at Island Records after holding promotion posts at RCA and A&M.

The well-liked industry exec was first hired by Thyret to help restructure the company but was not allowed to make the necessary moves to cut label veterans. Thyret had long refused to reduce head count, going back to the Semel-Daly regime, maintaining a loyalty to longtime Bunny employees. WMG Chief Roger Ames wanted him to stay, but Thyret saw a way to exit by getting veteran WB loyalists one more payday after the acquisition of Time-Warner by AOL. Ames' mandate to the troops is now to grow marketshare and, despite numerous reports, there will be no consolidation of labels within the WB-Reprise family.

While Whalley was hired by Ames last year, he has yet to set foot in WB's Burbank headquarters and probably won't arrive until January 2002, when his present contract expires. It's unlikely that Interscope chief Jimmy Iovine will allow Whalley to walk before that time. In the meantime, Quartararo will be responsible for the care and feeding of the Bunny.

With Quartararo running the show, even on an interim basis, wonderers wonder what will now happen to Reprise Records President Howie Klein, a Thyret loyalist who has told anyone willing to listen that he thought Quartararo had the wrong skills for running the company. Look for Klein to get a contract settlement rather quickly. He reportedly has two years left on his current deal.

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