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Big changes for BMG North America
BMG North America makes a series of changes to its US labels and operations
In a move to expand its creative centers and profitability, BMG North America will realign its U.S. labels and operations by expanding powerhouse RCA Music Group to include Arista Records, and relocating LaFace Records and So So Def Records within the newly formed Zomba Label Group, it was announced yesterday by Clive Davis, Chairman, BMG North America, and Charles Goldstuck, President and COO, BMG North America.

Under this plan, Arista Records will be reconfigured from a stand-alone company to a separate label under the RCA Music Group umbrella, retaining its own artists as well as A&R and marketing staffs. As part of the broad realignment, some Arista artists will be moved to the RCA Music Group, including Sarah McLachlan, Dido, Avril Lavigne, Carlos Santana, Whitney Houston, Kenny G and Babyface. Although LaFace and So So Def will remain stand-alone entities, they and their rosters of artists including OutKast, Usher, Pink, J-Kwon, Jermaine Dupri, Anthony Hamilton, Bone Crusher, Youngbloodz, Kelis, Clipse, among others, will now be included within the Zomba Label Group. Additionally, the Zomba Label Group will take on key LaFace and So So Def A&R and marketing personnel.

"This new structure underscores our deep commitment to preserving and strengthening our diverse record labels and investing in creativity and artists," said Davis. "BMG has a peerless roster of superstar and developing artists who deserve the very best creative homes and the resources necessary to develop careers that endure and music that inspires."

With the creation of the Zomba Label Group, which will now include LaFace and So So Def along with Jive, Verity, Volcano, and Violator, Barry Weiss assumes the new title of President and CEO, Zomba Label Group. Weiss reports directly to Davis.

"I am really grateful that Barry will take on this critical role in our new structure," said Davis. "He is one of the premier music executives and has
established a stellar track record during his more than 20 years in the business."

"The labels of the newly formed Zomba Label Group collectively boast one of the most powerful artist rosters in the music business," said Weiss. "I look forward to working with such an extraordinarily talented group of artists and to continuing to be part of BMG's dynamic North America team."

Yesterday's move will create new efficiencies by consolidating a number of functions across BMG's U.S. labels, according to Goldstuck. In connection with the reorganization, a number of Arista employees will join the staffs of both the RCA Music Group and the Zomba Label Group.

"With today's realignment, BMG North America is setting clear priorities to sustain and enhance our creative and financial success for the future in the face of ongoing marketplace challenges," said Goldstuck. "We continue to strengthen our A&R focus and investment in artists while creating an organization that is more efficient, responsive and profitable."

Under this new structure, BMG's North America operations will now include
recorded music companies RCA Music Group (RCA, J and Arista), Zomba Label
Group, and BMG Canada, as well as BMG Strategic Marketing Group and BMG
Distribution. RLG - Nashville, BMG Music Publishing and BMG Classics are not
affected by the realignment.

BMG is the global music division of Bertelsmann AG, one of the world's leading media companies. BMG owns more than 200 record labels in 41 countries including Ariola, Arista Records, J Records, Jive Records, RCA Records and RCA Label Group - Nashville. In addition, BMG's music publishing operations are the third largest in the world.
written by on 3/25/2004 12:00:00 AM

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