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DreamWorks stood as one of the few labels where execs and artists were given several shots at a hit—a rare concept in today’s major-label world.

WHEELS AND DEALS: REQUIEM
FOR A DREAM

Our A&R Columnist Tracks Big Changes, Then Orders Sushi
By Rodel Delfin

Lots of chatter as to who will stay on staff—notably, for our purposes, the A&R staff—at DreamWorks Records, after last week’s news that Universal Music Group will make the label part of its Interscope Geffen A&M unit, effective Jan. 1.

At presstime, according to sources, five execs have been tapped to remain on staff for the imprint’s new incarnation. Of course, that number might change before year’s end.

The current DW A&R department consists of Ron Handler, John McClain, Luke Wood, Robbie Robertson, Beth Halper, Keith Naftaly, Brian Postelle, Jeff Sosnow and Kenny "Tick" Salcido. Postelle (who was previously at Famous Music, where he inked Eminem to a pub deal) and Naftaly (an arrival from J and Arista) were both brought in this year.

Considered one of the most desirable spots for employment within the A&R executive community, the company is known for grooming executive talent as well as for developing and nurturing artists. In fact, it stood as one of the few labels where execs and artists were given several shots at a hit—a rare concept in today’s major-label world.

The company scored several hits in the pop/rock arena, from Papa Roach, Alien Ant Farm, Jimmy Eat World, AFI, Nelly Furtado and All-American Rejects, among others…

Meanwhile, wonderers are wondering what the ramifications will be on the current Interscope staff, as their rock/pop A&R crew now becomes particularly crowded. It’s rumored that Interscope will make A&R staff cuts of its own as part of the UMG downsizing. Stand by.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled weaseling.

Will a rock supergroup consisting of Stone Temple Pilots members (Robert and Dean DeLeo and drummer Eric Kretz) and frontman Chris Robinson (formerly of the Black Crowes)—mentioned here several weeks ago—come to fruition?

Lots of momentum building on the Andrew Brightman/Sandy Roberton-repped artist Triniti. With a completed record in hand, word on the street is that one East Coast label will step up with an offer this week for the dancehall/pop songstress. Meanwhile, label meetings continue to be requested.

What act, overlooked by majors months ago, became the focus of a fierce bidding derby among indie labels? Labels still in the chase on Equal Vision’s Coheed and Cambria, who performed at the Palladium in L.A. last week as part of the Thursday and Thrice tour. The group is reported to have met with Capitol, RCA, Atlantic, Lava, Interscope, Columbia and Epic, among others, in the past few weeks. In the current climate, who still has the juice and can close competitive deals? Stay tuned.

Expect West Coast weasels at the upcoming Straylight Run show at the Roxy in L.A. this week.

What recent sought-after buzz band, having submitted highly aggressive proposals (reminiscent of bidding-derby figures of yore) to interested labels now finds itself empty-handed?

BUZZIN’: Egypt Central, Hush and Limousine… Hit me up: [email protected].

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