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KLEINKNECHT, SCHER, CAFARO PLUG IN ARTIST NETWORK

Multi-Faceted Venture to Include Label, Management, TV, Theater Components
Amid news of numerous jobs lost, labels closing and joint ventures unwinding, there's a healthy (and welcome) buzz building over a new label/management venture involving onetime A&M Records CEO Al Cafaro and ex-Metropolitan Entertainment founder John Scher. Said venture, called Artist Network, is headed by CEO/digital cowboy Russell Kleinknecht, onetime chairman of IPC iXnet, a networking company serving investment banks and traders.

Kleinknecht, who scored on the sale of IPC iXnet (and still serves as President of Global Services for the company, now a division of Armada Partners), has history with Deutsche Bank AG (once an iXnet client), which is providing at least a part of Artist Network's hefty financing. Rumormongers are mongering that some major artists are involved on the business side of Artist Network, including Quincy Jones and Dave Stewart, who are already on the company's board.

Artist Network will likely be based in New York, where Cafaro will run the label and Scher will handle management, television and Broadway divisions. And, thanks to Kleinknecht's Internet expertise, look for Artist Network to sport a big digital component as well.

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