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"Steve's intense focus on A&R and artist development has resulted in a wide range of success stories, including recent breakthroughs such as Los Lonely Boys, Modest Mouse and Franz Ferdinand, and he has a great track record of creating and implementing innovative marketing and distribution deals that expand the reach of our artists."
—Don Ienner, Sony Music N.A. President/CEO
BARNETT CAPS EPIC RUN WITH LABEL PRESIDENCY
Exec. VP/GM Anointed Label’s First President in More Than a Year by Ienner
The election hasn’t even taken place yet, but Steve Barnett has been chosen President… of Epic Records Group, that is.

As expected, by us especially, Barnett was officially named to the post as Sony Music Label Group U.S. President/CEO Don Ienner’s personal choice, rewarding the veteran exec after he stepped in to lead the label with the departure of now-Geffen Records Co-President Polly Anthony in Sept. 2003.

Commenting on the appointment, Ienner said: "Steve's intense focus on A&R and artist development has resulted in a wide range of success stories, including recent breakthroughs such as Los Lonely Boys, Modest Mouse and Franz Ferdinand, and he has a great track record of creating and implementing innovative marketing and distribution deals that expand the reach of our artists. I know he'll continue to be a major asset as we further build Epic's presence in a wide variety of genres."

Added Sony Music Label Group U.S. COO and Sony BMG Music Entertainment EVP Michele Anthony: "Steve's understanding of the creative process, dedication to helping his artists to realize their goals, and skill in positioning his releases in the marketplace have helped to establish Epic as a powerhouse in this industry. He has the drive, vision and leadership skills necessary for success, and this expanded role will recognize and make even greater use of his many talents and abilities."

Over the past year, the Epic Records Group has broken three new acts, launching Or Music’s Los Lonely Boys (now over 1.3 million in U.S. sales), Scottish PoMo rockers Franz Ferdinand (585k) and veteran alternative band Modest Mouse (930k). Last week, the label saw Good Charlotte and Korn debut in the Top 5 and this week will see high chart bows for both Celine Dion and Duran Duran, while Chevelle recently made a Top 10 entry. The label’s Garden State soundtrack also turned out to be a sleeper success, selling more than 275k to date.

The label’s turnaround came against a challenging sales environment and the ongoing Sony BMG merger, with the company’s marketshare hovering around the 5% mark most of the year. Led by Barnett, that team includes Exec. Vice President Joel Klaiman, Sr. VP Marketing Lee Stimmel, Sr. VP A&R Ben Goldman and recently hired Sr. VP Publicity Lois Najarian.

Both label insiders and managers with acts at Epic are reportedly thrilled with the promotion of the well-respected Barnett, who was named Epic Records Exec. VP/GM in 2000, after having served as Senior Vice President, Worldwide Marketing, there since Sept. ’97. He joined Epic Records Group in June ’96 as Sr. VP International. He came to Epic Records Group from Hard to Handle Management, where he served as President since 1988, with clients including AC/DC, Cyndi Lauper, M People and Foreigner, among others. Prior to establishing Hard to Handle, Steve was a partner in the UK artist management firm Part Rock from 1980 until the establishment of Hard to Handle, Part Rock's U.S. company, in 1988.

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