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What we do know about the new deal is that Ames comes full circle by once again reporting to Levy—something he last did as President of PolyGram Music Group, back when Levy was Worldwide Chairman of PolyGram proper.

LEVY, MUNNS TAKE AMES

EMI to Consult with Former PolyGram President, WMG Chief on Worldwide A&R
Roger Ames has entered into a consulting agreement with EMI, reporting to Recorded Music Chairman/CEO Alain Levy and Vice Chairman/North America Chairman/CEO David Munns, according to sources. Ames will reportedly be tasked with bolstering EMI’s worldwide A&R presence. Financial details are unknown at this time.

What we do know about the new deal is that Ames comes full circle by once again reporting to Levy—something he last did as President of PolyGram Music Group, back when Levy was Worldwide Chairman of PolyGram proper. That, of course, was before Edgar Bronfman Jr. and Seagram snuck up and bought PolyGram for $10.4 billion in June 1998.

After the PolyGram merger closed in January 1999, Ames, by then a 20-year veteran of the company, found himself without a gig. But not for long: By April, he was named President of Warner Music International, negotiating his London label out of its former PolyGram (now Universal Music Group) ties and selling it to WMG in the process. By mid-August, the Time Warner board had named him Chairman/CEO of the music group, succeeding Bob Daly and Terry Semel, who resigned their posts as co-chiefs of both Warner Bros. and WMG a month earlier.

Ames once again found himself out of a job thanks to Bronfman after an investment group led by Seagram scion (who had since sold the family biz to the French), Thomas H. Lee Partners and others bought WMG from TW for $2.6 billion last March. But in the silver lining department, Ames had recently executed a new deal with TW, and a clause specifying that he remain head of the music group ensured that an especially fat check from TW would be forthcoming.

It was rumored that Bronfman and co. would offer Ames the job of running WMG’s international operations, but it’s unclear if the offer was ever made or if Ames would have accepted. Ames did, however, serve as a consultant to the new WMG until last August, after which he entered into a non-exclusive consulting relationship with TW as part of the disposition of his employment contract.

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