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"I've had the incredible fortune to rebuild and rebrand music's most legendary label and offer a platform for a new generation of artists."
——Kedar Massenburg, on leaving Motown

KEDAR MOVES ON FROM MOTOWN

Veteran Black Music Exec Ankles Label for New Venture, No Successor Named
Kedar Massenburg has stepped down as head of legendary Motown Records, a job he has held since late 2000, when UMG boss Doug Morris first tapped him to replace George Jackson. He took the gig after helming his successful Kedar Entertainment, which made Erykah Badu a superstar, among others. (See related hitsdailydouble.com story, 7/2/01)

Massenburg will go on to set up his own label, with a division specializing in sponsorship and licensing, an area he’s proven adept at with MCI’s high-visibility campaign for Motown artist Michael McDonald. It is not clear whether his new venture will be housed at UMG.

Universal/Motown Records Group Chairman Mel Lewinter remains the ranking exec at the label.

Ex-Elektra Entertainment Group head Sylvia Rhone, who has been rumored to be Massenburg’s successor, is in negotiations to join UMG in an unspecified capacity, which, according to sources, won’t take place until early fall.

Massenburg sent a missive to his staff to make the announcement: "The past several years have been a true blessing. I've had the incredible fortune to rebuild and rebrand music's most legendary label and offer a platform for a new generation of artists. During that time, I've worked with many of the world's most exciting artists and many of the most dynamic record people in the business, among them Doug Morris, Zach Horowitz, Mel Lewinter and Monte Lipman. But now it's time for me to take on my next set of challenges through a new venture I will announce shortly. I am grateful to everyone, especially my second-to-none staff. Together we have infused Motown with a new spirit and creative energy that will enable it to reach even greater heights in the time to come."

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