Warner Music Nashville Shuffles Leadership, Adds Streaming Digital Departments

warner-music-nashvilleWarner Music Nashville (WMN) has unveiled a new structure for its marketing department, in a restructuring that sees the dismissal of Sr. VP National Promotion of WMN Kevin Herring as well as Jordan Pettit, VP Promotion of Warner-Elektra-Atlantic (WEA), MusicRow confirms.

Concurrently, the announcement appoints Matt Signore—now President of WEA, Warner Music Group’s global artist and label services division—as WMN Chief Operating Officer in January 2017.

As part of the reorganization, the label group has announced the creation of a Radio & Streaming team, led by Kristen Williams in a newly appointed Sr. VP role. Additionally, Lisa Ray will oversee a newly expanded digital department as VP Brand Management.

“Our commitment to artist development means we never stop improving our approach and developing our team. We want to help our artists create change, not merely embrace it,” said John ‘Espo’ Esposito, Chairman & CEO, Warner Music Nashville. “These moves anticipate the lasting importance of radio and the ongoing ascent of streaming, while acknowledging there’s no need for a separate ‘digital’ team anymore, as technology is core to everything we do for our artists. We are positioning ourselves for new opportunities as the lines between marketing and commerce, as well as radio and streaming, continue to blur.”

Both Williams and Ray will report to Peter Strickland, Chief Marketing Officer, Warner Music Nashville.

“Kristen Williams’ deep devotion to artists and her broad knowledge of the business make her the perfect choice to spearhead this newly created department,” said Strickland. “Lisa Ray’s expertise in developing artists from the ground up is the essence of Brand Management and she will be a great leader for this expanded team. I also congratulate Chris Palmer and Chad Schultz on their promotions, and welcome Ashlee McDonald, Brooke Hardesty and Jeremy Gold as the latest additions to the best marketing team in the business.”

Ray’s digital team includes Ashlee McDonald as Sr. Director of Brand Management, Brooke Hardesty as Director of Interactive Marketing, and Jeremy Gold joins as Manager of Interactive Marketing. The team will be able to move faster, experiment more, and program innovative artist campaigns.

Under Williams’ Radio & Streaming team, Chris Palmer has been promoted to VP, Radio & Streaming, to lead national directors and managers. Chad Schultz is promoted to VP of Original Content in that department, which will build artists’ careers by working with partners across radio, interactive radio, ad-supported streaming and subscription streaming. The team will also develop and place original content from WMN’s roster of artists, such as exclusive interviews, back-stage access and live footage.

Williams said, “Radio will always be an incredibly important part of discovering new music. But just as radio continues to evolve and develop streaming initiatives that further their business, we need to continue to evolve too. It’s a very exciting time for Warner Music Nashville and I’m honored that Espo and Peter have given me the opportunity to lead this insanely talented team and artist roster into the future.”

Also announced, Ben Kline, VP, Revenue, will report to Signore.


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Eric T. Parker oversees operations and contributes editorial for MusicRow's print magazine, MusicRow.com, the RowFax tip sheet and the MusicRow CountryBreakout chart. He also facilitates annual events for the enterprise, including MusicRow Awards, CountryBreakout Awards and the Rising Women on the Row. [email protected] | @EricTParker

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