Warner Music Group Realigns Structure; Warner/Chappell's Cameron Strang Gets Big Bump
Warner Music Group has implemented an organizational restructuring that was under discussion when Lyor Cohen still headed up the company's recorded music operation.
In the new alignment, the WMG will be divided into three divisions: frontline recorded music, which will consist of Atlantic Records, Warner Bros. Records and Warner Nashville; music publishing and catalog development, which will place Warner/Chappell and Rhino under the same business unit umbrella; and label and artist services.
In a memo to employees, obtained by Billboard.biz, WMG CEO Steve Cooper said that the frontline labels, the drivers of the recorded music business, will remain as they are with the label heads reporting in to him.
"Today's announcement represents the next step in our evolution by creating a separate division where many of the services that WEA, ADA, 360° Operations & D2C provide to our labels can now be accessed by the entire organization," Cooper said in a memo to staffers.
The executive who appears to gain the most additional responsibilities in the new alignment is Warner/Chappell chairman/CEO Cameron Strang, who will oversee Rhino Entertainment, with Rhino president/CEO Kevin Gore reporting to him.
"Among the numerous benefits in aligning Rhino and Warner/Chappell will be enriched collaboration in the U.S. among our recorded music and music publishing teams with respect to catalog exploitation, synch efforts and rights acquisition," Cooper told WMG staffers.
Matt Signore, who has been named the GM/CFO, will lead the third division, label and artist services. He will oversee the companies that comprise the division, which include WEA and ADA, 360° Operations, and the D2C teams.
Reporting to Signore are WEA president Mike Jbara and WMG senior VP of artist services Dave Marcus, who heads of 360° Operations, with include WMG companies like Camus Productions, F&P Group, Get In, Newsicon, Vivo, and New Production -- companies that are either involved in touring production, promoting, booking, artists services or event production and marketing.
In addition, WMG executive VP of digital strategy and business development Stephen Bryan will now report to Cooper. Moreover, Cooper emphasized in his memo that "the number of employees within each WMG company will not be impacted by the new organizational structure."
Looking at it from the point of view from an investor, as is WMG owner Len Blavatnik's Access Industries, the company has been structured so that the high risk/high reward businesses like frontline record labels are in one group, while the more predictable steady income stream producers like music publishing and catalog are in another group, and the label services and tertiary businesses are in a third group.
"This realignment is about creating an environment of greater collaboration, helping all of us work better together and improving the way we do business," Cooper told employees.