Steve Rifkind, Chairman and CEO of SRC Records, is leaving SRC Records/Universal effective Sept. 1, 2012. In an email with Billboard.biz, Rifkind, who helped guide the careers of Wu-Tang Clan, Mobb Deep, Big Pun, Three 6 Mafia, David Banner, Akon among others, confirmed the news saying he "Will say something in a few weeks but yes I'm leaving had a great run at Universal..."
On the heels of yesterday's announcement that Universal Republic's Monte and Avery Lipman had both re-signed new long-term contracts with UMG comes word that SRC Records CEO Steve Rifkind will also remain at Universal for the near future.
As expected, Britney Spears' "Circus" makes a big bow at the top of The Billboard 200, becoming her fifth No. 1. The Jive set moved 505,000 copies in the United States, making Spears the only act in Nielsen SoundScan history to have four albums debut with 500,000 or more.
It's all about Britney Spears and her "Circus" as the diva earns her fifth No. 1 album. It arrives with 505,000, the seventh-biggest sales week of 2008 and Spears' best frame since "In the Zone" premiered with 609,000 at No. 1 in 2003 . . . Akon is the other lone debut in the top 20, as his "Freedom" flies in at No. 7 with 111,000 . . . In Progress Reports, we've got updates on new No. 1 singles from Montgomery Gentry, Kings of Leon and Faith Hill.