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New Yorkers buzzing over Edgar’s plan to save tens of millions of dollars in costs by moving Warner Bros. Records from Burbank to NYC and consolidating company services.
I.B. BAD ON MAJORS IN FLUX
Keeping Track of Musical Chairs at IGA, Universal, Warner Bros. and Atlantic
WIRED FOR SOUND: The Anthony Pellicano case has absolutely captivated Hollywood and is shaping up to become one of the biggest Tinseltown exposés in history. It all stems from numerous phone conversations that celebrity sleuth Pellicano taped with a who's who of Hollywood movers and shakers. Interestingly, the fact that the taping of phone calls is illegal hasn't stopped one very high-level music executive from continuing to tape calls and to use them as part of his intimidation act… The digerati noting that IDJ has refused to make Ne-Yo’s single available online before tomorrow's release of his LP, which is expected to be a big seller. Some believe that having lead singles for sale on iTunes prior to street date cannibalizes album sales. Will we be seeing more majors holding back tracks from iTunes prior to album release?... New Yorkers buzzing over Edgar’s plan to save tens of millions of dollars in costs by moving Warner Bros. Records from Burbank to New York and consolidating company services. If it goes down, the move would be yet another example of the Warner Music power players cutting costs at the expense of artists and employees… In other Edgar news, Atlantic continues to be in flux as rumors heat up that it’s now just a matter of days before Craig Kallman is ousted as label Chairman. The well-liked Kallman's problem is that he's been too cold for too long, making him this quarter’s leading scapegoat candidate. But some observers insist that Kallman and Cohen are simply too close for Lyor to “airport” his friend. Others feel that Lyor is so under the gun because of Atlantic's anemic performance that no one is safe—including embattled promotion chief Andrea Ganis, over whose head vultures are said to have been circling for some time. One attorney scoffs, “They should flush the whole operation down the toilet. Atlantic is unequivocally the worst label in the entire business.”… Will Lyor be able to sell Edgar on his apparent choice to replace Kallman, current Atlantic President Julie Greenwald, whom few believe is capable of running the label?… Cohen’s critics say they're not surprised that he appears to be upstream without a paddle, pointing out that Russell Simmons, and not Lyor, was the business and creative brains behind Def Jam. As criticism of Cohen’s leadership style continues to mount, wonderers wonder whether Edgar is finally beginning to see that the emperor has no clothes, and that the WMG topper made a big mistake by hiring Cohen in the first place... The revamping of Universal Records is believed to be the result of Monte Lipman and Sylvia Rhone's inability to harmoniously work together in jointly overseeing marketing and promotion, creating a situation of ongoing uncertainty about where the buck stops. Critics assert that this was yet another failed shotgun marriage, and that the forcing together of two executives as co-heads of a label has never worked in the past (e.g., Eckstine-Bone, Quartararo-Nancy Berry, Lott-Serletic, Cohen-Caparro and, more recently, Jordan Schur-Polly Anthony) and never will. The lack of synergy between the co-toppers forced Doug Morris and Mel Lewinter to Solomonically slice Mel's baby into two separate but equal operations, each with its own A&R, marketing and promotion department, with a shared sales department… Speaking of reshuffling the decks, Jordan Schur's new deal within IGA is business as usual, as Jimmy Iovine plays to Schur's strengths by setting him up with his own rock label, but still unresolved amid the reorg is the status of Polly Anthony, whom insiders claim Ron Fair doesn't want as the executive handling the day-to-day responsibilities of his newly expanded operation. Most believe Anthony is eminently qualified for the job, and that the real reason Fair is digging in his heels about accepting the move is that he fears she would overshadow him. The decision of Steve Schnur to stay at EA rather than taking Steve Berman’s offer to join IGA in a high-level marketing position is definitely affecting how the current scenario is playing out, according to some within the company. What is undeniable is that Anthony, whose expertise is in promotion and marketing, was previously put in an untenable position at Geffen by not being given a promo staff to oversee—a situation akin to Sasha Cohen attempting to win the gold on one skate. While it appears that Anthony will be given the job, whether Fair likes it or not, how will she feel about being shoved down his throat, as opposed to fielding other offers?… Names in the Rumor Mill: Kevin Law, Paul-Rene Albertini, Tom Whalley, Val DeLong, Sanctuary and Will Botwin.
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