John Zarling Joins Sony Music Nashville

John Zarling. Photo: Jeremiah Scott

John Zarling. Photo: Jeremiah Scott

Sony Music Nashville Chairman & CEO Randy Goodman has announced the appointment of John Zarling to the position of Executive Vice President, Marketing & New Business, Sony Music Nashville. Reporting directly to Goodman, Zarling will oversee Sony Music Nashville’s marketing efforts as well as brand partnerships, digital marketing, international marketing, media and creative services. Zarling begins his new role tomorrow (Jan. 5).

Goodman said, “As one of the most respected out-of-the-box marketers in our business, I’m thrilled to have John join our Sony Music Nashville team. I’m looking forward to working with him on a daily basis, having respected his work with Big Machine Label Group from afar. I have no doubt he will make significant and immediate contributions to our artist and product development efforts.”

“I have spent my entire career working with and studying some of the Nashville music business’ true visionaries,” says Zarling. “After a long partnership as part of Scott Borchetta’s launch team at Big Machine over a decade ago, literally writing our own rules and building a dream from the ground up, it is an honor to be able to join the team that Randy Goodman has put in place at one of Nashville’s most iconic labels. Having always made artists and music my priority, being able to foster the incredible roster of legends, superstars, breakout stars and developing artists that make up Sony Nashville’s roster thrills me.”

Zarling most recently served as Senior Vice President, Partnership Marketing & Promotion Strategy, for Big Machine Label Group and its Big Machine, Valory Music, BMLG Records, Dot Records and NASH Icon imprints. A Big Machine Label Group executive since its launch in 2005, he has played a pivotal role in the careers of Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks, Florida Georgia Line, Thomas Rhett, Reba McEntire, The Band Perry, Zac Brown Band, Martina McBride and Brantley Gilbert, among many. While at Big Machine, Zarling created partnerships with Comcast, Disney, Sarah Cannon Cancer Research Institute at HCA, Allstate Insurance and American Express; additionally, he initiated promotion campaigns for successful TV and film endeavors including ABC’s NASHVILLE, FOX’s American Idol, NBC’s The Voice, Warner Bros. Films’ Valentine’s Day and the Oscar-nominated Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me.

California native Zarling joined Mercury Records’ promotion department in 2001, upon graduation from Belmont University’s Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business. At Mercury, and then MCA & DreamWorks upon their merger, Zarling served as Manager, Charts & Syndication, where he worked on the career launches of Billy Currington, Josh Turner and Sugarland, and further career development and definition of superstars Shania Twain, George Strait, Toby Keith, Vince Gill and Willie Nelson, among others.


Serving on the Board of Directors for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Nashville and the International Entertainment Buyers Association, Zarling produces of the annual Bob Kingsley Living Legend Award ceremony to benefit the Grand Ole Opry Trust Fund and the Music Row Storytellers evening to celebrate an industry icon’s career to benefit Music + Health Alliance.

Zarling can be reached at [email protected].


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Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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