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"I have looked closely at the many opportunities which have been offered to me over the last several months, but none has had the right combination of elements to attract me like the one from Universal. I could not ask for a better partner than Doug [Morris]."
——Thomas D. Mottola
TOMMY’S BACK WITH
UMG’S CASABLANCA
Ex-Sony Music Chief Mottola
Returns With New Label
You can’t keep a good music man down.

Thomas D. Mottola returns to the label wars with an exclusive venture at Universal Music Group to head a revived Casablanca Records.

The announcement was made by UMG Chairman/CEO Doug Morris, Universal Motown Records Group Chairman/CEO Mel Lewinter and ex-Sony Music Entertainment Chairman/CEO Mottola.

Universal has committed to funding the Casablanca operation for five years.

Accoding to Morris, UMG is "delighted to be in business with Tommy and his dynamic team at Casablanca… For over a decade, he was the heart and soul of Sony’s creative success. Tommy brings to the company the same innovation and creativity that have been the hallmarks of everything he’s done in his storied career. And he knows where to get the best cannolis on Mulberry Street."

Said Mottola: "I have looked closely at the many opportunities which have been offered to me over the last several months, but none has had the right combination of elements to attract me like the one from Universal. I could not ask for a better partner than Doug. Our close friendship began over 20 years ago, and I am thrilled to be working with him now. I am also looking forward to working with Mel, whom I respect greatly, to grow Casablanca into a worldwide success. And I promise not to re-release the Peter Criss solo album."

Added Lewinter: "Tommy is a remarkably creative talent in his own right, who possesses the intuitive ability to build, strengthen and transform artists into powerful global brands. Under his leadership, we are confident that Casablanca will provide the kind of organic environment needed for artists to develop, while at the same time benefiting from Universal Motown’s unique support system."

During his 13 years at Sony, Mottola transformed the label group into one of the most successful worldwide music companies in history, working with such artists as Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Gloria Estefan, Aerosmith, Destiny’s Child, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Nas, Dixie Chicks, Shakira and Marc Anthony. He joined CBS Records in 1988 as President. In 1993, he was named Chairman/CEO of SME. Prior to that, as head of his own Champion Entertainment, he managed the careers of Hall & Oates, Carly Simon and John Mellencamp, among other acts.

Mottola was replaced at SME in January of this year by TV exec Andrew Lack. Since then, he’s branched out into TV production with the VH1 series Born to Diva, while guiding the career of his wife Thalia, who releases her Virgin English-language bow this week.

Casablanca was once run by the late Neil Bogart and included such artists as Kiss, Donna Summer and the Village People.

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