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Although Lynton will assume oversight of Sony Music and Sony/ATV, he's not expected to play a high-profile operational role in the music businesses.
MICHAEL LYNTON TO SUCCEED STRINGER AT SONY—UPDATE
With Sony Pictures Co-Chairman Headed to Top Spot, What Does That Mean for Music Division?
Michael Lynton, currently Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment alongside Amy Pascal since January 2004, is poised to succeed Howard Stringer as CEO at Sony Corp. of America.

Nikki Finke’s Deadline.com says the announcement could come as early as next week, which would give her a great chance to say, “Toldja.” According to Finke, the Japan brass would like to base Lynton fulltime in New York, but he prefers to stay in L.A. because of his family.

Also expected to be given increased responsibility are Sony Corp. General Counsel Nicole Seligman (like Lynton a Stringer ally) and SCA EVP/CFO Rob Wiesenthal, the Financial Times reported Thursday morning.

Seligman will likely add the title of President of SCA, overseeing corporate functions such as its legal and communications teams. She'll shuttle between Tokyo and New York.

Wiesenthal is expected to take a senior operational role at Sony/ATV, having engineered the EMI Music Publishing deal, where he'll work in conjunction with Marty Bandier, according to the FT's Anrew Edgecliffe-Johnson. Bandier signed a contract extension earlier this week.

Lynton’s promotion has been expected because the SCA exec is close to Comcast's Brian Roberts and Steve Burke, who acquired NBC Universal. He's also a favorite of incoming Sony Corp. President/CEO Kazuo Hirai, who takes over next month. Stringer will retain the chairman title. 

Lynton already oversees Sony’s movie and TV studio, distribution deals and global production operations. He previously was CEO of AOL Europe and before that headed Pearson’s Penguin publishing company as well as served a brief stint running Disney’s Hollywood Pictures.

What the appointment means for Sony Music and its labels remains to be seen. While the division has been dominating marketshare since the beginning of the year, holding the #1 slot for 12 weeks with Adele, Bruce Springsteen and One Direction, sales were down 11.7% to $1.6 billion, with profits off 21.7% to $196 million for the last fiscal year.

Although Lynton will assume oversight of Sony Music and Sony/ATV, he's not expected to play a high-profile operational role in the music businesses. “It’s more about who presents the budget to Tokyo,” one person familiar with the plan told Edgecliffe-Johnson.

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