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BLAIR OUT AS ARISTA RESHUFFLES
Executive VP Parts Ways With L.A. Reid's Company After 14 Months
A little more than a year after joining Arista Records as Executive Vice President, music industry veteran Jerry Blair, considered by many as one of the best promotion executives of the last decade, has parted ways with the company.

The move is seen as yet another chapter in the continuing saga of BMG, which began its planned restructuring yesterday by making cuts at RCA's Black Music unit (see hitsdailydouble.com 9/19). Some of its acts and employees will be absorbed by sister label Arista, in what is viewed as the first step of a restructuring that will eventually see the dismissal of about 600 employees in North America, through early retirement and lay-offs.

Blair, who was brought into the label as Executive VP by President/CEO Antonio "L.A." Reid on July 1, 2000, the same day Reid himself took office, was responsible for all non-urban music promotion and marketing functions at the company, as well as overseeing online activities.

The parting was mutual, with Blair adding: "In the past 14 months, we've accomplished some amazing things together and I wish everyone at Arista only the best."

Blair joined Arista after more than a decade at Columbia Records Group, where he most recently served as Executive VP.

A veteran who has worked at every level, he began his career in music at CBS Records as College Marketing and Promotion rep for the New England region from 1983-'86. He then moved to Chrysalis Records, first as Northeast Promotion and Marketing Manager, then as West Coast Promotion Director.

Blair returned to Boston in 1988 as Columbia's Local Promotion Manager for New England. Two years later, he joined the national staff in New York as National Director, Top 40 Singles Promotion. In 1991, he was promoted to VP Top 40 Singles Promotion, a position he held until 1995, when he was upped to Senior VP.

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