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Paul Barnabee Takes on Expanded Role at Sony

Paul Barnabee will assume the title of Senior Vice President, Sales & Operations for Sony Music Nashville, expanding his responsibilities to include oversight of the label group’s Digital Business department in addition to his current role overseeing the Sales and Finance departments, as well as the operational functions of the label group. Formerly Senior Vice President, Finance & Operations, Barnabee reports directly to Sony Nashville Chairman Joe Galante.

A native of East Islip, NY, Barnabee first came to the RCA Label Group (now Sony Music Nashville) in 1995, advancing to Vice President of Finance before being named Senior Vice President, Finance & Operations, in 2003. He has actively served on the Board of Directors for the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Middle Tennessee for the past four years and is the proud father of sons, John and Spencer.

New CMA VP Starting Monday

Dan Bowen will join the Country Music Association as Vice President of Strategic Marketing and Communications on Mon., Feb. 2, overseeing advertising, promotions, new media, research, and media/PR initiatives and staff. With more than 20 years of broadcast media experience, Bowen most recently spent 11 years with WSTR-FM (Star 94) in Atlanta.

He has served in a variety of leadership roles handling marketing strategies. According to the CMA, Bowen has a proven track record of establishing partnerships that generate ratings and increasing revenues through media and advertising campaigns.

Carolwood Adds To Promo Dept.

Trudie Richardson-Daniell

Trudie Richardson-Daniell will join Carolwood Records on Feb. 9 as Manager, Regional Promotion. With 13 years of music business experience, she will be based out of Atlanta and will work the Southeast and Southwest regions. Prior to joining Carolwood Records, the Belmont graduate worked in the radio promotions department for CO5 Nashville. Lyric Street/Carolwood Records VP, Promotion Kevin Herring announced her hiring today (1/26/09).

Sony Nashville Layoffs

(Updated 6:40 pm) With country music sales dropping from 75 to 47 million units over the last two years, ”restructuring” has become a dreaded and unfortunately, all too familiar term on Music Row streets. Sony Music Nashville is the latest label to be affected by the softness in the CD marketplace and the weakness in the overall economy.

The layoffs began late in the afternoon today (1/22). They all occurred under the marketing department umbrella, and consisted of artist development and media employees mostly at the Director level. Three of the label’s four imprints were affected.

Confirmed exits include RCA Media Director, Lori Genes (615-715-5922 [email protected]); Jensen Sussman, Columbia Associate Media Director (615-915-9318 [email protected]); and Media Coordinator Michelle Lorge (615-587-4980 michelle_lorge @ yahoo.com).

BNA Director Artist Development/Marketing Dan Anderson (615-294-8432 [email protected]) and RCA Director Artist Development/Marketing Rachel Fontenot 615-516-2803 [email protected]) were also impacted.

The cuts coincided today with the announcement that worldwide electronics and software giant Sony Corp. would report an annual loss for the first time in 14 years. The company says that due to global economic conditions it would post a company-wide net loss of $1.7 billion.

New Hiring At NSAI

Erin Burr

NSAI (Nashville Songwriters Association International) has added Erin Burr as Communications Director. She most recently spent more than three years handling publicity for the Colgate Country Showdown talent competition. At the new gig, Burr will report to NSAI Executive Director Bart Herbison. She can be reached at [email protected] or (615) 256-3354, ext. 233.

Next up: NSAI hosts Spring Training, a songwriter’s symposium, running April 3-4 at Millennium Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville. There will be panels, seminars, and performances, with songwriters including Ray Stevens, Kelley Lovelace, and Kye Fleming.

Country Thunder Adds Markovchick

Kim Markovchick

Kim Markovchick

Kim Markovchick has joined Country Thunder as VP Sales and Marketing. Her more than 20 years of experience most recently included three years as Sr. Director of Marketing at Sony Nashville/Sony BMG. Previously Markovchick spent 17 years at Mercury Nashville, ending as VP/Marketing.

Country Thunder General Manager Craig Morris says Markovchick will work to “utilize the synergy between this label and the other components of Graham Entertainment.” He adds, “Kim, along with last year’s addition of former Big Machinist Bobby Young as SVP/Promotion and Artist Development, are only the beginning of the rebuilding and reorganization of Country Thunder.”

Markovchick can be reached at [email protected] and (615) 438-7537.

Clear Channel Hires Lindy, Despite Looming Layoffs

Clear Channel Communications will begin restructuring across the board next week, making changes expected to save the company $400 million, according to The NY Post. With 30,000 employees worldwide, CCC’s plan includes laying off workers in its radio, outdoor advertising and international divisions. In an attempt to consolidate duties and cut programming costs, CCC might also adopt a “national programming” model that would require less local-level staffing, the Post says. Bain Capital Partners and Thomas H. Lee Partners purchased CCC last year for $17.9 billion.

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Scott Lindy, Sirius’s former Sr. Country PD, is taking over as Clear Channel Atlanta’s Director of Operations, as well as handling PD duties for the cluster’s WUBL (94.9 the Bull)/Atlanta. He left the satcaster in September during its merger with XM. Succeeding the recently promoted Clay Hunnicutt, Lindy begins his new duties in Atlanta next week.

ACM Promotes Moon, Adds New Staffers

Tiffany Moon

Tiffany Moon

The Academy of Country Music has promoted Tiffany Moon to Senior Director, Operations and Finance, and has hired Erick Long as Director, Logistics, and Katie Jo Sheek as Junior Associate, Publicity and Marketing. All positions are based out the Academy’s headquarters in Encino, CA.

Moon joined the Academy in 2004 as a project manager, a role that included overseeing ticketing for the ACM Awards, and administering the Academy’s charitable involvement. She will manage all ACM operations and finance on an executive level and will continue to oversee ticketing surrounding the Academy’s televised initiatives. She reports directly to Academy Executive Director Bob Romeo, and will continue as Secretary to the Board, a post she has held for five years.

Long comes to the Academy from Universal Studios in Hollywood, where for six years he managed production and logistics for special events including the film premiere after-parties for Charlie Wilson’s War; Elizabeth, The Golden Age; and more. He has also worked on the MTV Movie Awards After-Party and numerous others. His corporate clients included Toyota, Wells Fargo, American Express, Sara Lee and Coca-Cola, among others. He will report to Moon.

Sheek joins the staff from her previous position as Talent Coordinator at E! Entertainment, where she worked with segment producers for The Daily 10 and E! News and served as a talent executive on the network’s Live from the Red Carpet specials in 2008, including the Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, and MTV Video Music Awards. She also has production experience at The Martha Stewart Show and The Rachael Ray Show. She will report to Brooke Primero, Senior Director, Publicity and Marketing.

GAC Changes Name of Show, Adds New Producer

Though GAC is changing the name of Country Music Across America to Headline Country, the show’s format will stay the same and Storme Warren will remain as host. Former CNN Entertainment coordinating producer Jeremy Weber has been named producer, and comes to GAC after nine years in Los Angeles.

The first episode of Headline Country airs Thurs., Jan. 15, at 8 PM/CT, showing all the action from this weekend’s Sound & Speed 2009; discussions with Billy Ray Cyrus and John Rich; and more. The show is produced by Surfing Moose Productions, with executive producers Larry Fitzgerald and Mark Hartley.

1720 Hires New VP Promotion

Tim Burruss is on board as the new VP Promotion (Nashville) for 1720 Entertainment, replacing Bill Macky who has exited the company. Most recently, Burruss was VP Promotion and Marketing for Capitol Records, based in Los Angeles. His more than 25 years of experience also includes time as Columbia Records’ Regional Promotion Director for the Southeast, and VP Promotion for Interscope Records and Hollywood Records. 1720 is home to Jamie O’Neal, Rissi Palmer, and newly signed singer-songwriter Jesse Walker.