Blackstone plays musical chairs


LONDON -- A seismic shift is taking place in the top ranks of Warner/Chappell Music.

Richard Blackstone will move from his post as chairman and CEO of Warner/Chappell Music to assume a new role as senior adviser to Edgar Bronfman Jr., chairman and CEO of parent company Warner Music Group.

In his new position, Blackstone will focus on music publishing matters related to strategic acquisitions, international licensing initiatives and global expansion. He assumes his new duties Jan. 3.

Before joining WMG in 2005, Blackstone was president of Zomba Music Publishing.

"Richard has been an important part of our team," Bronfman said Wednesday. "In the time that he has been here, he has laid the groundwork for renewed growth at Warner/Chappell, implementing the unit's restructuring program, making strategic investments to drive long-term growth, signing artists and forming innovative new publishing ventures."

At the same time, David Johnson, WMG executive vp and general counsel, will fill the void as Warner/Chappell CEO on an interim basis until a permanent successor to Blackstone is hired.

WMG senior vp and deputy general counsel Paul Robinson will serve as acting general counsel for WMG during the transition period.

Lars Brandle is global news editor at Billboard.