Breaking News: Sony Exits Hit Nashville

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• August 26, 2011

Sony Music Nashville laid off 12 staffers this week as part of a restructuring, MusicRow has confirmed.

Among those exiting are Jimmy Rector, Mike Wilson, Stephanie Cox and Debbie Linn.

Columbia’s radio promotion team was hardest hit.

Exiting are:

• Columbia Nashville VP National Promotion Jimmy Rector ([email protected], 615-293-6669)

• Columbia Director of National Promotion Mike Wilson, had been at the label group for about 20 non-concurrent years,([email protected], 615-557-8884)

• Regionals Diane Monk (Arista), Jennifer Thorpe (Columbia), Cliff Blake, Steve Pleshe (RCA), and David “Bubba” Berry (BNA).

• Columbia Promotion Coordinator Ben Sterling, (615-556-5602, [email protected]).

• Sr. Director of Strategic Marketing Debbie Linn, who had been at the label 21 years, (615-293-6962, [email protected])

• Monument Publishing’s Stephanie Cox and Ben Strain ([email protected], 615-319-8007)

• A&R Coordinator Tim Riffle, ([email protected], 951-315-3751)

• Director Field Sales, Marketing & Catalog Development Mike Rivers ([email protected], 615-500-8346).

Rector has a message for the industry, “Hire Ben Sterling, then we’ll worry about me.” Sterling was a seven-year employee of the label.

Doug Morris is settling in as the company’s CEO, and has started restructuring. The reorganization hit Nashville following many lay-offs at Sony’s New York operations. A new regime was announced recently for the pop/rock division of Sony’s RCA, resulting in the exit of about 20 staffers, including several VPs. The New York Post reports that the wider plan is to fold Jive into RCA. Morris also broke off Epic from Columbia and brought in L.A. Reid as chairman of Epic, where about 50 team members have exited.

Morris took office on July 1, 2011, making the move from his former post leading Universal Music Group as chairman. The 72-year-old brings with him five decades of experience. He has a track record of successful mergers, namely the PolyGram and Universal merger under his watch, and was expected to smooth over any rough edges remaining at Sony following the 2004 merger with BMG.

This story will be updated as it develops.

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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