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We hear that
Kevin Law has restructured his job with Universal so that he can now sign acts and run them through any label within UMG.
WHEELS & DEALS: UNIVERSAL DIVVIES UP ITS ARTIST ROSTER
The Stars Are Realigned Under Rhone and Lipman, While Law Plays the Field at UMG
By Rodel Delfin

IT’S UNIVERSALLY CHANGING: To not expect any major changes at a moment’s notice in the biz these days is like wondering why it hurts to pee after a few nights spent (sans jimmy hat) with that strip-club dancer you picked up at some small-town music conference. All right, maybe we shouldn’t go down memory lane, but tongues are currently flapping about those long-rumored changes at Universal Records that just went down. To synopsize, current Universal Prexy Monte Lipman will oversee a roster focused on but not limited to rock acts under the Universal Republic moniker, as Lipman continues his association with 3 Doors Down, Godsmack and Jack Johnson, while picking up the latest from Prince. Sylvia Rhone will oversee Universal Motown, specializing in pop and urban acts. The two labels will have separate A&R, promotion and marketing departments, while sharing a front-office sales staff. Expect some artist roster trimmings to occur across the board, along with the inevitable firings and new hires. Nelly, who is earmarked for Rhone’s roster, is currently in renegotiation of his deal, since he owes two records to Universal, with one almost completed. Rumor has it that the hip-hop artist was hoping to jump to Jimmy’s house amid the label reshuffling, but it’s highly doubtful that Universal proper will forgo its biggest-selling act. Meanwhile, Nelly’s A&R man, Kevin Law, is said to have numerous label suitors inquiring if he can get out of his deal. We hear that Law has restructured his job with Universal so that he can now sign acts and run them through any label within UMG. At press time, this is all being finalized, but it may be a done deal by the time you read this. Now, go get that penicillin shot… There are a few horse races going on as we speak. The David Chidekel-repped Ronnie Day has inspired several labels to open their checkbooks. Looks like the teen singer/songwriter has generated so much heat through his MySpace page that it got label reps to start flying him out to both coasts… Meanwhile, label reps flew up to Boston to check out Mute Math. Word on the street is that the WMG had an option to pick up the band, but the members were reportedly unhappy with their indie’s arrangement with the Bunny… The Steve Sessa-repped Hat Trick Heroes showcased for a bevy of labels at S.I.R. in Tinseltown last week… The John Reese-managed Evaline signs with Guy Oseary and Craig Aaronson through Maverick/Warner Bros.… We hear the numbers for the Matisyahu pub deal are getting Hasidically high… And former Epic A&R guy Brad Aarons joins Scott Francis’ crew at BMG Music Publishing as Director of A&R… BUZZIN’: Sherwood, Beverly Martel Music and Lake Trout…Hit me up: [email protected]

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