"The process of identifying which independent labels and which artists we want to work with will be a collaborative effort involving our labels and a small but extraordinarily talented group of WMG executives who will run the incubator effort."
——Lyor Cohen, WMG N.A. Chairman/CEO

WMG READY TO
INCUBATE NEW ACTS

Lyor Cohen Names Execs to Head Up Rock and Urban Divisions for Developing Artists
Warner Music Group is ready to incubate some new talent.

Music Group N.A. Chairman/CEO Lyor Cohen announced the company has launched a new creative initiative known as the "incubator system."

Said Cohen: "This initiative will enable the Music Group to take an innovative approach to forming relationships with independent labels and artists, assisting them in the development of both their artistic and executive talent by offering a variety of services, resources and mentoring that many young labels and artists do not have access to."

Universal Music and Video Distribution recently announced a similar initiative with Fontana.

The WMG system will be led on the rock side by Fred Feldman, founder of Triple Crown Records, whose roster includes Brand New, Hot Rod Circuit and Northstar. The former president of Fat Beats Records and GM of Profile Records has also worked with Atmosphere, J-Live, Run-DMC, Rob Base, 2nd II None and DJ Quik.

Fred will work closely with ADA's Andy Allen, who has grown the company into the premier independent distribution company in the U.S. His Triple Crown label, which he'll continue to run, will now move from Razor & Tie to ADA. The new initiative has yet to be named.

Todd Moscowitz, who has been at Violator Management for the past three years, will head up the urban incubator, which will revive the name of David Geffen's old label Asylum. At Violator, he has worked with artists including Missy Elliott, 50 Cent and Lil' Mo. Prior to joining Violator, Todd was head of Rush Communications and later GM of Def Jam Records.

Asylum's initial deal is with the Hypnotize Minds label, owned by Three 6 Mafia. The roster includes Lil' Wyte and Frayzer Boy. Asylum has also signed Hot Wright in conjunction with Atlantic Records.

Working alongside Todd at Asylum will be Ron Spaulding, who joined WEA in 2003 and most recently has served as Senior VP of Sales. He joined WMG from Priority Records in 2000 as Sr. VP for Sales at Elektra Entertainment Group, working with such artists as Missy Elliott, Staind, Metallica, Tweet and Phish, among others.

Fred, Todd and Ron will report to WEA President John Esposito.

Added Cohen: "They are poised to do fantastic things with our new incubator system, and this will inevitably lead to a strengthening of our own roster. I trust that you will provide them with your ideas, support and full cooperation.

"Our mission is to develop the independent music executives and artists of tomorrow, with the ultimate goal of identifying promising new artists who have the potential to be superstars at our own labels and to create long-term relationships with the country's most pioneering entrepreneurs.

"The process of identifying which independent labels and which artists we want to work with will be a collaborative effort involving our labels and a small but extraordinarily talented group of WMG executives who will run the incubator effort."

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