Insiders say there also appears to be a shift toward a new generation of young, hungry execs who may soon rise to high-level, decision-making positions.

WHEELS & DEALS SPECIAL:
WEASEL CORRECTIONS

Veteran A&R Execs Looking for Work Losing Out to New Turks as Squeeze Is On
There’s lots of chatter about potential Q4 shakeups among A&R execs at major labels, which could change the playing field in the months to come—and possibly open up some positions early next year.

One high-level label honcho, seeking a staff A&R hitter, says he’s been flooded with calls from out-of-work execs. This is to be expected, but said honcho would rather hire an employed up-and-comer who’ll step up.

Of course, that’s nothing new. Yet at least one well-respected A&R vet insists there are talented reps aplenty out there, who shouldn’t be overlooked just because they’re unemployed.

Meanwhile—as the business changes and labels are forced to adapt in order to survive—insiders say there also appears to be a shift toward a new generation of young, hungry execs who may soon rise to high-level, decision-making positions.

Another veteran label player adds that the high-salaried A&R gig with the fat expense account will soon be a thing of the past, if it isn’t already. A new set of A&R players is emerging who will make less and be forced to think outside the box, because the old-school system of making, breaking and selling records is becoming less and less effective.

Further, many are talking about different ways to structure employment, since companies are now focusing on profitability and (gasp) accountability over marketshare. It’s a time of genuine desperation for many A&R people, but for some, it’s also an era of new opportunities. Here’s hoping that, at the next weasel gathering, there will be more positive talk and less bitching about the current state of the biz.

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