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Staffers were told that the label had been sold effective Jan. 1, and that it would be folded into the Interscope group. However, the label would continue with business as usual on all 2003 releases, with a meeting scheduled with Interscope tomorrow (10/31) to discuss 2004 releases.
DREAMWORKS CHIEFS ADDRESS THE TROOPS
Conference Call Outlines Sale of Label to UMG
With news of the company's pending sale to UMG having broken on the Wall Street Journal's website, DreamWorks Records' Mo Ostin, Lenny Waronker and Johnny Barbis addressed staff on a conference call this afternoon (10/30).

Staffers were told that the label had been sold effective Jan. 1, and that it would be folded into the Interscope group. However, the label would continue with business as usual on all 2003 releases, with a meeting scheduled with Interscope tomorrow (10/31) to discuss 2004 releases.

It was also revealed that A&R would begin contacting artist managers about the transition. No details were offered about which staff would stay on during DreamWorks' next phase, or which artists.

Those on the call learned that discussions of a sale to Vivendi Universal began after DreamWorks' previous distribution deal lapsed. Talk of VU picking up DW distribution turned to talk of an outright sale.

There was discussion of the deal in the context of overall consolidation in the industry, including merger talks between EMI and WMG and meetings between Sony and BMG. Waronker, meanwhile, expressed his belief that the business would improve.

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