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"From label heads to A&R, promotion, advertising, marketing and distribution professionals, SME’s staff includes some of the most talented executives working in the entertainment industry."
——Sony Music chief Andy Lack
STRINGER, LACK SPEAK OUT
Trakin Talks to Sony’s Dynamic Duo
When Sony Corp. N.A. Chairman/CEO Sir Howard Stringer named his one-time CBS News colleague, ex-NBC President Andrew Lack, to succeed Sony Music Entertainment’s longtime ruler Thomas D. Mottola, the move set off tremors in the entertainment business.

Posing as a Billboard reporter, HITS deadbeat Roy Trakin managed to get Stringer and Lack to go on the record about the move.

What went into your choice of Lack as the new Sony Music Entertainment chief?
Stringer
: With the enormous pressures in the music industry overall, we need a mindset that is able to marry the most sophisticated business practices, the most innovative development of content, talent and ideas, and the most advanced view of technology to revolutionize the industry at every level.

What qualities do you feel Lack brings to the post?
Stringer:
Andy is a superb business and creative executive—a rare combination. He transformed NBC from a moribund organization into the most profitable, viable and flexible organization of its kind, and enabled it to capitalize on the media revolution. He has run a global information organization, created a new network with Microsoft, and developed and nurtured talent and content at the highest levels.

Do you think it will be difficult for someone with no music business experience to come in and work with the people at SME?
Stringer
: I am confident Andy can communicate and work with Sony’s other business units horizontally and globally and will bring all the forces together.

Andy, it has been reported one of your goals will be to try to integrate music with the other parts of Sony’s global business, such as movies, hardware and games.
Lack:
Let me begin by saying that Sony Music Entertainment is a global leader in terms of content creation. The company’s various labels are home to some of the greatest artists in the world, our catalog includes some of the most extraordinary recordings ever created and our publishing arm controls or administers a broad range of important and influential compositions.

Have you had a chance to assess the team that you will be heading at SME?
Lack
: From label heads to A&R, promotion, advertising, marketing and distribution professionals, SME’s staff includes some of the most talented executives working in the entertainment industry. All of these factors, combined with direct access to the technology assets of our parent company, place SME in the perfect position to be the leader in content creation and distribution in the digital age.

What, if any, parallels do you see between running a TV network and a music group?
Lack
: Whether you are talking about film, TV or music, the twin pillars of all content-driven businesses are creativity and the need to reach the broadest possible audience.

What are your immediate goals for the company?
Lack
: On the creative end, there’s no doubt that SME excels at finding and developing the very best artists in every genre. My mandate is to support and expand the company’s efforts in this area, while at the same time exploring new business models and creating new platforms for the distribution of our releases. Now, in which issue of Billboard will this appear?

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