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Beginning this week, expect to see a lot of Cohen (a.k.a. Lansky) on the West Coast as he temporarily relocates to Burbank in order to undertake the task of remaking Warner/Reprise.

I.B. BAD EXAMINES
WB'S SEASON OF CHANGE

Lyor Cohen Brings in Cavallo, Moskowitz, Tortella; Whalley, Quinn Exit
To those in the know, it wasn’t a matter of whether Lyor Cohen would replace Tom Whalley as Warner Bros. Records chief, but when he would pull the trigger. The long-running enmity between the aggressive Cohen and the laid-back Whalley dates back more than a decade to their days at UMG.

In 2001, then-WMG topper Roger Ames, another former UMG player, hired Whalley, and Cohen reluctantly redid Whalley’s deal at least once during his nine-year tenure. The two continued their uneasy coexistence—which insiders liken to a bad marriage—only because Cohen had no one to replace Whalley with, while Whalley came up dry in his efforts to find another comparably big gig.

Cohen set the wheels in motion for the changeover last October, when he brought in the well-liked, mega-successful producer and former WBR A&R man Rob Cavallo as creative guru for WMG as a whole. In making that move, Cohen was clearly earmarking Cavallo, many of whose hits had been with WMG acts (including Green Day and the Goo Goo Dolls, both of which he’d signed during a previous stint at WBR, and more recently Kid Rock, Paramore and the upcoming My Chemical Romance), as Whalley’s eventual replacement.

Around the same time, Cohen put longtime loyalist Todd Moscowitz inside WBR as his Trojan horse under the guise of bringing an urban presence to Burbank. Together, these moves gave Cohen the moving parts he’d been seeking in his long-standing desire to oust Whalley.

During his first five years, Cohen managed to bring Atlantic back from the dead, along with Craig Kallman and Julie Greenwald, and WMG’s East Coast operation is once again a solid competitor, capable of going head to head with the likes of Columbia, Interscope, RCA/Jive, Universal Republic/Motown and IDJ in the marketshare wars.

Cohen will now attempt to duplicate this feat in reshaping the West Coast, as he undertakes WBR’s transformation into a modern, aggressive company under Cavallo, the highly regarded Moscowitz and marketing expert Livia Tortella, who moves from her Atlantic GM post.

As WBR Co-Presidents, Moscowitz and Tortello will oversee the company’s day-to-day operations, and likely manifest their respective strengths in urban music and rock, freeing Cavallo to exercise his strengths in record-making and A&R. Considering their familiarity with the current WBR staff, it’s likely that Cohen, Cavallo and Moscowitz have already drawn up a plan that specifies the changes they’re going to make in terms of staff, specifically including senior executives from the former regime, at a label in desperate need of new-school thinking.

Also sending off a signal was the swift removal of a top Whalley loyalist, COO and Reprise head Diarmuid Quinn, suggesting that other Whalley lieutenants may be in jeopardy. Beginning this week, expect to see a lot of Cohen (a.k.a. Lansky) on the West Coast as he temporarily relocates to Burbank in order to undertake the task of remaking Warner/Reprise.
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TURKEY
Basting.
STUFFING
Stuffing.
YAMS
Candying.
PUMPKIN PIE
Stuffing (in face).
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