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"The streamlining is part of an integration of the two labels under the RCA Music Group banner, but these changes won't affect the independent, creative integrity of the two labels."
——BMG statement
NIPPER GETS NIPPED
RCA, J Label Consolidation Gets Underway, 50 Get Trimmed, Mostly in Back-Office Positions
The much-anticipated restructuring of the RCA Music Group, combining the RCA and J labels under Clive Davis, began in earnest this morning.

Cutbacks were made across the board in all departments, with backroom functions the main target. Despite the combined operations, the labels will continue to be run as separate entities.

Sources estimate a total of about 50 employees from both RCA and J were affected by the consolidation.

"Staff reductions at RCA Music Group are part of our effort to eliminate duplicate positions and responsibilities among certain areas at RCA and J," read a BMG statement. "The streamlining is part of an integration of the two labels under the RCA Music Group banner, but these changes won't affect the independent, creative integrity of the two labels. The reductions demonstrate a common-sense approach to operating RCA Music Group that preserves the A&R, promotion and creative expertise of RCA and J, but allows the group to operate with lower overhead costs."

These moves were made to make the combined entity "leaner, meaner and more of a team." The streamlined unit now becomes one of three label components under the BMG music umbrella alongside Antonio L.A. Reid's Arista Records and Jive/Zomba, recently acquired by parent Bertelsmann from Clive Calder for $2.74 billion in a put option.

Among the top executives affected by the move were RCA Sr. VP A&R David Bendeth, promotion head Ron Geslin, VP Promo execs Ron Poore, Eric Murphy and Tony Monte, as well as J sales head Dave Yeskel and J VP Promotion Steve Kline, who we reported left last week.

The company is also expected to announce some major hirings within the next few days. More details to come as we get them.

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