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Donnie Ienner's Columbia Records sales honcho Tom Donnarumma is the name on many lips as Yarbrough's successor.
SONY MUSIC CONSOLIDATION BEGINS AT DISTRIBUTION, SALES
Longtime SMD Topper Danny Yarbrough Reportedly Stepping Down, With Backroom Sales, Distrib Functions at Columbia, Epic To Be Combined
There's no Lack of drama at Sony Music these days.

The anticipated consolidation under new SME Chairman Andrew Lack got underway last week with Sony Music Distribution Chairman Danny Yarbrough's announcement to his troops that he will be leaving the company.

Yarbrough has been with Sony (and CBS before that) for some 38 years, having taken the reins of SMD from industry legend Paul Smith in May '94.

Since the news hit, the tonguewaggers have been wagging overtime with various scenarios as to whom will be Yarbrough's successor.

Donnie Ienner's Columbia Records sales honcho Tom Donnarumma is the name on many lips as Yarbrough's successor. He's Ienner's guy and a talented industry veteran with roots in the SMD system.

If that is indeed the case, who takes over at Columbia? One rumored scenario has Epic sales topper Bill Frohlich handling the duties for both labels in a shared services situation, possibly running it from distribution instead of at the label level.

Another name getting some action in the backrooms is former RCA topper Bob Jamieson, who heated up the rumor mill when he was seen in the Sony building last week.

Last, but not least, is BMG distrib head Pete Jones, whose name is uncharacteristically being bandied about for the post.

Finally, although the beloved longtime SMD sales gurus John Murphy and Craig Applequist are both said to have one foot out the door, there is still no firm indication as to whether they are still part of the Sony picture or not.

With NARM taking place next week in Orlando, FL, it should make for a very interesting confab.

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