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As far as Whalley testing the free-agent waters, it’s not easy when you still have two years left on your deal, and where would he go? Are Lyor and Tom even stylistically compatible? And if not Whalley at WB, then who?
WHASSUP WITH WHALLEY'S WORLD?
WB President in Negotiations to Extend His Deal With WMG
Has Warner Music Group begun negotiations with Tom Whalley for a new deal?

If you recall, Whalley inked a gigantic, five-year deal in late 2000 before taking office in Burbank in Aug. 2001.

Taking advantage of a window in their acquisition of WMG, Thomas Lee and Edgar Bronfman Jr. have reportedly offered to buy out the last two years of Whalley’s pact (which could be lumped in with the purchase price) and then ink him to a new deal that lowers his base compensation, but is laden with big back-end incentives, in keeping with the current company policy.

As far as Whalley testing the free-agent waters, it’s not easy when you still have two years left on your deal, and where would he go? Are Lyor and Tom even stylistically compatible? And if not Whalley at WB, then who?

Whalley was originally brought in by then-head Roger Ames to be a “rainmaker,” much like he was at Interscope, where he spearheaded such artist breakouts as Dr. Dre, No Doubt, Limp Bizkit and Eminem. During his stint at WB, Whalley ended up being more successful as a bottom-line administrator over three difficult years marked by merger and acquisition hell.

The exec's two biggest successes, multimillion sellers Linkin Park and Josh Groban, were already there when he arrived, though the platinum-plus Trapt, now at more than 1.3 million OTC in the U.S., was signed under his watch. Most observers feel Whalley has more value to WB than anyplace else at this juncture.

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