Warner Music cuts 15 in U.K.


LONDON -- Warner Music U.K. has begun laying off staff as part of the worldwide Warner Music Group restructure announced this month.

"As part of WMG's ongoing transformation to a music-based content company, we are realigning WMU.K. to most effectively organize our resources," the company said Friday. "The music industry is undergoing fundamental changes, and we are adapting our business accordingly, channeling our resources into growth areas, managing costs and investing in new business initiatives."

With a consultation period still in progress, Warner Music U.K. declined to reveal specific redundancies. However, sources said measures will include merging the individual Atlantic Records U.K. and Warner Bros. Records U.K. finance, production and legal and business affairs departments into central offices serving both labels. Rhino's U.K. and international operations also will be merged into a single entity. It is understood that cuts already have been made in other departments.

Sources said that the company is looking to appoint a new director of business development as it copes with the shift from physical to digital distribution and also expects to create other new positions as part of the restructure. Consequently, sources within the company anticipate an overall "head-count reduction" of about 15 people.

Earlier this month in the U.S., WEAcq cut 70 staffers serving the traditional bricks-and-mortar marketplace as part of Warner Music Group's restructure, which was announced alongside a fiscal second-quarter net loss of $27 million.