Quantcast
"The deal with Edgar is, he does a good job or someone else comes in to do a good job."

I.B. BAD: LET THE GAMES BEGIN

Do Warner Music’s Botched IPO and Lack of Turnaround Call for a Ritual Sacrifice?
As the smoke clears following Warner Music Group's extremely disappointing (some say disastrous) IPO launch, the question naturally arises, what next? Thomas Lee Partners' Scott Sperling, the architect of the deal, obviously didn't want to rock the boat before the IPO, but now that the smoke has cleared, is damage control on his mind?

That brings us to WMG Chairman Edgar Bronfman Jr., who persuaded Sperling to enter into this risky venture, and who has a track record of making big promises that fall well short of his estimates, undermining his industry and Wall Street credibility. Rememberers remembering that, soon after the acquisition in November 2003, Sperling told The New York Times, "The deal with Edgar is, he does a good job or someone else comes in to do a good job." Now, in the wake of a disastrous IPO and anemic numbers from the company's fiscal Q2, what does Sperling think of the job Edgar has done so far?

Moving down the food chain, who might Bronfman preemptively target as the fall guy for the lack of turnaround? WMG U.S. head Lyor Cohen hasn't exactly drawn rave reviews since coming over from IDJ and inserting his own posse of Julie Greenwald and Kevin Liles into the company's chilly East Coast operation, which has been a big bone of contention for Jason Flom, the hypothetical East Coast head. Some believe we may see a Cohen move to try and undermine Bronfman with Sperling and Tommy Lee, as many who have worked with Cohen characterize him as untrustworthy.

Moving to another internal problem area, insiders pointing to long-running friction between Cohen and Warner Bros. Records chief Tom Whalley; indeed, Cohen has stated openly that he would've dumped Whalley if the latter hadn't consistently posted WMG's strongest numbers. As it is, the overly aggressive Cohen and the cerebral Whalley are like oil and water, which doesn't bode well for their ability to work together moving forward; e.g., Linkin Park.

REPUBLIC UPS GOLDSTEIN, ROPPO TO CO-PRESIDENTS
Team Lipman doubles up. (11/26a)
CHART FINAL:
THE BIGGEST BOW
OF THE YEAR
Big numbers for "30." (11/29a)
COUNTRY GRAMMYS' ROOTS ARE SHOWING
Deck the Grammys with boughs of Holly. (11/24a)
THE BRITISH
ARE COMING
Rolling out our U.K. Special print issue (11/24a)
PUTTING THE POP
IN POPCORN
Putting the audio into audio-visual. (11/29a)
TURKEY
Basting.
STUFFING
Stuffing.
YAMS
Candying.
PUMPKIN PIE
Stuffing (in face).
 Email

 First Name

 Last Name

 Company

 Country
CAPTCHA code
Captcha: (type the characters above)