Quantcast
Priority founder Bryan Turner's future role within EMI is uncertain if his label does get absorbed into Capitol. Also, it's not clear how many of the company's 133-person staff would be kept on.
EMI SET TO MAKE CAPITOL
A PRIORITY?
Bryan Turner, Label's Future Unclear Amidst Press Leaks About Ongoing Talks
EMI is in discussions to fold Priority Records into Capitol just three years after shelling out $200 million for the rap label.

Coming on the heels of recent, well-publicized cost-cutting moves by Warner Music Group and BMG, EMI is similarly seeking to economize by merging the rap label with Capitol's Urban and Black Music division.

Priority founder Bryan Turner's future role within EMI is uncertain if his label does get absorbed into Capitol. Also, it's not clear how many of the company's 133-person staff would be kept on.

The move comes at a curious time, since EMI had just approved Turner's recent moves to expand the label's executive staff and roster—which includes Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, Lil' Romeo and Master P—into rock and pop. Priority had just inked custom label deals with Sharon Osbourne and Marilyn Manson and hired several high-profile execs over the last six months, among them artist manager (now E.C. GM) David Ehrlich, who brought in MCA A&R whiz Wendy Goldstein (who signed The Roots); Arista crossover promo ace Tom Maffei and marketing/sales VP Phil Blume, along with ex-Ark 21 GM John Rotella.

EMI's Charles Koppelman originally spearheaded the deal to buy half of Priority, while the other half was acquired three years ago by Ken Berry after the label hit a hot streak as distributor of Master P's No Limit roster, which included hip-hop stars Silkk the Shocker and C-Murder.

EMI Recorded Music chief Berry responded to the press reports, admitting he's had ongoing discussions with both Turner and Capitol President/CEO Andy Slater. In an internal memo to both labels, he said the talks included "what moves we could make to strengthen the capabilities of both companies, with particular emphasis on Capitol's urban agenda and Priority's expansion beyond rap and R&B... Each company has resources which could benefit the other." Berry said no decision has yet been reached, but expects a resolution later this month. "Whatever the outcome, we intend to continue with both Priority Records and Capitol's Urban music agenda."

In a recent HITS interview, Turner acknowledged the frustration of working in the corporate world. "Every single day, it's some kind of negotiation. If you're able to maneuver the minefield, you can get the tools that you need to compete. I'm sort of caught in this mid-sized hell. I'm not small enough to be content with selling 200-250k units on a project, but I'm not big enough to take Columbia or Interscope head-on."

The media leaks have now forced Berry to jump the gun on his timetable and hasten the whole process. Sources say an investigation has narrowed the suspected moles to two highly placed EMI insiders, as wonderers wonder whose agenda they were serving. Look for this one to play out pretty quickly.

NEAR TRUTHS:
THE CAKE AND
THE CANDLES
Marketshare machers. (10/26a)
KDOTTED LINE
A pending deal fro Kendrick. (10/26a)
YTD MARKETSHARE: AND THE WINNER IS...
It's a lock. (10/26a)
CHART STORY: TAY
MAKES IT EIGHT
Adding to her chart 'lore. (10/23a)
ONCE IN A LIFETIME
Vote. Do it now. (10/26a)
RAINMAKERS 2020
Bring your umbrella.
GRAMMY OUTLIERS
Mulling possible surprises.
HALLOWEEN IN QUARANTINE
Why not wear a mask indoors?
ELECTION 2020
What drugs will help us get there?
 Email

 First Name

 Last Name

 Company

 Country
CAPTCHA code
Captcha: (type the characters above)