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Sources insist the total number of layoffs will amount to less than 5% of the North American staff of 2,300 and 1.5% of the worldwide staff of almost 8,000, for a total count of less than 100.
BMG STARTS TO GET SMALLER
First Wave of Cuts Affects All Divisions
As expected, BMG has wielded the ax on its North American operations, though inside sources insist the numbers are reportedly far less than the 600 some had predicted. The cutbacks are said to be coming from all sectors, including RCA, Arista and BMG Distribution.

Sources insist the total number of layoffs will amount to less than 5% of the North American staff of 2,300 and 1.5% of the worldwide staff of almost 8,000, for a total count of less than 100, which also includes the acceptance of early-retirement and voluntary resignation packages. But other company sources say the numbers will be far greater.

A BMG spokesman said: "As part of BMG's strategy to focus on our core business of creating and marketing the world's best music, the company is consolidating some operations in its North American region. Our plan is to sharpen our focus on music and increase our investment in artist development by eliminating some operations amongst our divisions and shedding non-music-related businesses."

Among those affected at RCA are Sr. VP A&R International Dave Novik, VP Promotion West Coast Ray Carlton and VP Marketing/Artist Development Nick Cucci. Arista EVP Jerry Blair exited yesterday.

As previously reported (see story), most of RCA Records' 20-person Urban staff were pink-slipped earlier this week.

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