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"Each company has resources which can benefit the other. No decision has yet been reached, but we expect a resolution later this month."
——Ken Berry, EMI Recorded Music chief
CAPITOL GETS TOP PRIORITY
EMI Plans To Fold Rap Label Into
Capitol Division
The Los Angeles Times reports that EMI is planning to fold Priority Records into Capitol, just three years after paying $200 million for the rap label.

The cost-cutting move could pull Priority founder Bryan Turner from the label, whose catalogue includes rappers N.W.A., Snoop Dogg and Master P. Turner, who sold the company to the British label in two transactions, has almost two years left on his contract.

Responding to the press leak, EMI Recorded Music head Ken Berry said, in an internal memo sent to Capitol and Priority staffers: "We've been discussing with both Bryan and [Capitol President/CEO] Andy [Slater] what moves we can make to strengthen the capabilities of both companies, with particular emphasis on Capitol's Urban agenda and Priority's expansion. Each company has resources which can benefit the other. No decision has yet been reached, but we expect a resolution later this month."

The statement suggests EMI was forced to jump the gun on its timetable, which could hasten the whole process. This one should now play out pretty quickly.

Turner intimated his difficulties in adjusting to the corporate world in a recent interview with Marc Pollack (hitsdailydouble.com, 7/11).

"One of the drawbacks of being in a corporate world is having to answer to others," Turner said. "They call the [controversial] shots now. Every single day it's some kind of negotiation. It's very time-consuming. The upside is 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 200k-250k units on a project, but I'm not big enough to take Columbia or Interscope head-on."

 

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