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PROMO GENEALOGY:
MIKE CHESTER

This branch of Lenny Beer's Promotion Family Tree follows the rise of Warner Records promo prince Mike Chester.

It was actually Kevin Weatherly who first told me that Chester was going to be “the one.” I was picking his brain about the best young promo people, and it was Mike who’d caught Kevin’s attention. I was aware of the burgeoning superstar very early in his days at IDJ under Steve Bartels. Chester would walk into the HITS cesspool, and our staff would just light up.  Mike was first hired by Richard Palmese, and then recommended to Bartels, who upped his duties and honed his natural talents. It was clear to everyone who met the warm, outgoing and charismatic youngster: The world was his oyster. Later, he took the plunge and left the label system to join the House of Scooter Braun and worked closely with some of the industry’s biggest stars. This calling card opened every door and afforded Mike relationships at the very top. His sincerity and charm won over everybody—programmers, DSP execs and TV bookers alike. When Tom Corson, newly hired to co-run Warner Bros. (as it was then known), chose to recast his department with youth and power at the top, he was introduced to Chester. After a hypothetical nod of approval from future-partner-in-exile Aaron Bay-Schuck, Tom decided Mike was his guy. Good call.

With Nicki Farag and Elvis Duran in the Def Jam days.

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Predicting the next big catalog deal.
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WORLDWIDE GROOVE
How is globalization bringing far-flung territories into the musical mainstream?
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