In Wake of Universal-EMI Merger, Layoffs Begin

Universal Music EMI L

Universal Music Group is consolidating its music distribution companies and Nashville-based country music labels letting go of some 60 staffers.

Universal Music Group is consolidating its music distribution companies and Nashville country music labels following its merger with EMI recorded music. According to sources, nearly 60 people were let go: some 50 from distribution and almost 10 from Nashville. Though the majority of those laid-off were with EMI, Universal Music employees were also let go.

As part of the move, several EMI distribution staffers such as EMI senior vp of sales John Nicholas and Joan Kane, who oversaw the EMI East Coast field sales staff, were offered different positions within Universal Music Group Distribution -- a senior catalog position and label liaison for Capitol, respectively.

PHOTOS: The Music Industry's Wildest Riders: From Kanye West's 100 Percent Cotton Rule to The Stooges' 7 Dwarfs

In addition to those laid off today, some EMI distribution staffers were told they would only have their jobs for another 30 to 120 days, according to sources in both the EMI and UMG camps. One senior UMG executive, however, denies this, saying the consolidation of the distribution company has been completed and going forward, new staffers may be brought in for digital sales.

Meanwhile, according to sources, Dominic Pandiscia, who had headed up EMI's distribution company, will become head of sales for Capitol Records. There, he will reportedly have on his staff Saul Shapiro, who handled Blue Note's releases, and David Miller, who handles Astralwerks and some Capitol releases.

PHOTOS: American Music Awards 2012: The Nominees

"Following our acquisition of EMI Recorded Music, UMG will be expanding key creative areas as part of our ongoing integration," read a UMG statement which noted that by eliminating certain "redundancies," the company will become "even more agile and efficient ... not just for this year or the next, but for years to come. ... Our goal is to maximize the resources available for reinvestment in our labels so they can do what they do best: develop and promote artists, increase the output of new music and expand opportunities for digital innovation." 

Twitter: @edchristman