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All are said to be part of Hands’ new management team, and all are believed to be close to finalizing their deals, though the exact nature and function of their roles remains a mystery at press time.
ALL HANDS ON DECK: WILL GUY’S NEW GUYS INCLUDE PAUL CAINE, TOM POLEMAN, BILLY MANN?
EMI’s Hands Close to Naming Members of New U.S. Team, Say Inside Sources
Sources now tell us People magazine publisher Paul Caine has informed Time-Warner that he intends to turn down Guy Hands’ offer of a high-level worldwide post within EMI Music. The situation is still in flux, but this development now casts doubt on the hiring of both Tom Poleman, who was apparently slated for the COO slot in North America, and Billy Mann. Caine was reportedly the linchpin of the plan to bring in both execs.

Faster than you can say “in rainbows,” Guy Hands has sprung into action. The Terra Firma chief and new EMI ruler is apparently already in the process of acting on the mission statement he issued Friday (10/5)—disguised as an interoffice memo in response to Radiohead’s audacious self-release.

According to insiders, Hands is close to putting together his new team to oversee EMI North America, and the names are as intriguing as they are unexpected: People magazine Publisher Paul Caine, Clear Channel Communications New York SVP Programming Tom Poleman and pop producer/songwriter Billy Mann.

All are said to be part of Hands’ new management team, and all are believed to be close to finalizing their deals, though the exact nature and function of their roles remains a mystery at press time.

What can be surmised from this behind-the-scenes executive activity is that Roger Ames, the veteran who was installed by Eric Nicoli to oversee EMI’s North American recorded music operation, will not be part of Hands’ current scenario. But whether Ames has opted out or been forced to leave is not yet known.

Nonetheless, Ames is presently with Hands in the U.S. as the new boss meets with key industry players in New York, L.A. and Nashville.

Wonderers are wondering why Caine would leave Time Inc., where he’s viewed as a fair-haired boy with an unlimited ceiling, for an industry that has already been given the last rites by the media, numerous financial analysts and more than a few of those who are currently working in it. But the executive has reportedly informed the higher-ups at Time that he's seriously considering making the move to music.

For Mann, the notion of joining a major music group in a ranking creative capacity, a la Rick Rubin, would seem to make more sense, as it presumably would for Poleman, who is near the end of his deal with Clear Channel, which formally became the prize of a private equity cartel led by Thomas H. Lee Partners last week.

While it remains pure speculation at this point, insiders are saying that where there’s smoke, there’s something burning.

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