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TASK FORCE DEMANDS CHANGES "WITHOUT ANY DELAY"
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Pub Crawling
A YEAR-END PUB CRAWL, PART 1
12/17/19

The watchwords of 2019 in the publishing space: rebuilding, disruption and cash.

Two of the three major publishers had new leadership teams getting underway in 2019, with Jon Platt taking the reins at Sony/ATV, and Guy Moot/Carianne Marshall taking over at a newly slash-free Warner Chappell. In both cases, the new pubco heads have overseen changes in culture at their companies, and in both instances they are strong examples of how a renewed focus on diversity dovetails with a smart reading of the marketplace.

Freshly installed at WMG’s lavish new digs in downtown L.A.—and flush with new branding assets—Moot, Marshall, Ryan Press and team landed chart giant and Grammy beloved Lizzo, R&B phenom Summer Walker, streaming breakouts Tones and I and Ava Max and happening pop-rock producer/writer Tim Pagnotta, among other substantial signings. Meanwhile, Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar, twenty one pilots, Justin Tranter, Julia Michaels and more continued to shape the sonic landscape. For their part, crazily gifted tunesmiths like Tayla Parx, Tay Keith, multiple Latin Grammys winner El Guincho, Dre Moon and Scott Harris (and quite a few more) were quietly penning songs that made mad noise.

 

Team WC celebrates the signing of pop-rock producer/tunesmith extraordinaire Tim Pagnotta to a global admin deal by posing for this mega-photo. Pagnotta has worked with blink-182WeezerWalk the MoonElle King and more; he co-wrote Weezer's latest single, "End of the Game," now Top 10 at Alternative radio. Just after this pic was snapped, manager Jason Bernard's beard pitched a topline idea. Seen savoring the high-holiday vibe in Boyle Heights are (bottom, l-r) WCM President of U.S. A&R Ryan Press, SVP A&R Greg Sowders, Pagnotta, Sr. Director of A&R Marc WilsonBorn and Raised Entertainment's Bernard, Co-Chair/CEO Guy Moot, Sr. Director of Urban A&R Brandra Ringo; (top, l-r) Sr. Director A&R Wallace Joseph, Co-Chair/COO Carianne Marshall and A&R Manager, Pop Samantha Sklar

The pubbery’s A&R bench deepened considerably, first with the addition of EVP U.S. Shani Gonzales and upping of Paul Smith, the promotion of Amber Smith to head of U.K. A&R and finally with the year-end arrival of veteran Rich Christina as SVP based in NYC. Respected Nashville boss Ben Vaughn, meanwhile, was upped to President/CEO of the Music City office; Nashville signings Dan + Shay, Chris Stapleton, Little BigTown, Kacey Musgraves and super-writers Liz Rose, Jesse Frasure and Nicolle Galyon, among others, have made big noise—several of them beyond the realm of country. The Moot/Marshall tandem is also keen to spotlight freshly promoted EVP, Global Sync Rich Robinson as well as newly added EVP Strategy and Biz/Dev Hank Forsyth and SVP Global Creative Services Ashley Winton. WC took the Country Publisher of the Year at BMI, ASCAP and SESAC (only the second Triple Crown by a single pubco) as well as ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Publisher.

Read Part 2 here

Read Part 3 here

Read Part 4 here