Sony/ATV taps Gerson as co-prez


Sony/ATV Music Publishing has appointed former EMI Music Publishing executive Jody Gerson as co-president, sharing the title with current U.S. president Danny Strick, has learned. Gerson is expected to begin her duties today in Los Angeles.

Gerson will be responsible for all West Coast signings and activities, including overseeing the film and television department. Strick will be responsible for all East Coast signings and activities, including the Nashville and Latin American markets. Strick will also continue overseeing the publisher's Hickory Records, which successfully launched the recording career of Elliot Yamin last year.

Gerson, who worked with Sony/ATV chairman/CEO Marty Bandier for 17 years while both were at EMI, is credited with signing as teenagers Jermaine Dupri and Alicia Keys to EMI. She also signed Dallas Austin and went on to co-produce -- independently from EMI -- the films "Drumline" and "ATL."

Bandier says he was surprised when EMI let Gerson go last October. He quickly snagged her up to expand the breadth of Sony/ATV with her strong film/TV relationships. Both Strick and Gerson also have strong track records signing and developing songwriters and artists.

"Our larger operations required that we broaden our executive team," Bandier says. "Jody and Danny's extensive knowledge and experience will both compliment each other and bring us valuable perspective as we move forward to implement new initiatives."

Gerson will be based in Los Angeles, while Strick will remain based in New York. Both report to Bandier.

Susan Butler is a senior correspondent for Billboard. (NY)