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"With this move we will be better positioned to intensify our efforts in the areas of A&R and artist development, and to meet the challenges of a constantly evolving and highly competitive marketplace."
—-Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, Sony BMG Music Entertainment

SONY BMG NASHVILLE
LABELS TO MERGE

RLG and Sony Music Nashville, Which Had Been Operating Separately, to Come Together Under Joe Galante as Sony BMG Nashville

RCA Label Group and Sony Music Nashville, which have operated separately since the joining of Sony and BMG, will be merged, according to a memo from Chief Exec Rolf Schmidt-Holtz that was obtained by Billboard through Jared Paul Stern.

Schmidt-Holtz says the company is "combining the resources of its two Nashville operations in order to create a single powerhouse entity, which will be known as Sony BMG Nashville. With this move we will be better positioned to intensify our efforts in the areas of A&R and artist development, and to meet the challenges of a constantly evolving and highly competitive marketplace."

Joe Galante, Chairman of RLG Nashville, will head the merged labels. The status of Sony Music Nashville president John Grady and other staffers was not revealed.

 Schmidt-Holtz calls Galante "a proven leader with tremendous vision, drive and passion, and this newly expanded role will give him the opportunity to make even greater contributions to the growth and development of our Nashville operation."

RLG comprised the RCA, BNA and Arista Nashville labels with a roster that included Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, Martina McBride, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood and Sara Evans. Sony Music Nashville’s key artists are Gretchen Wilson, Montgomery Gentry, Van Zant and Miranda Lambert.

Added Schmidt-Holtz: "I ask all of you to join me in giving our full support to both Joe and everyone who works in the newly combined Sony BMG Nashville. I know we’ll be seeing great things from them in the months and years ahead."

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