At Least 10 Let Go at Capitol Music Group
At least 10 employees of Capitol Music Group (CMG) were laid off on Thursday (Jan. 7), including executives across multiple departments. Among those let go were vp of promotion Howard Petruziello, vp of video promotion Wanda Coriano, marketing director Matt Kroepel, vp of sync and brand partnerships Alisann Blood, vp of publicity Juliana Plotkin and publicity manager Shane Wepprich, according to sources. Additional staff was reportedly laid off from the New York office of CMG as the company continues to shift its resources and manpower to its Hollywood headquarters.
The news comes as CMG has made several recent changes to its corporate team. On Monday, CMG announced that former Columbia Records exec Ashley Newton would take over as president with a focus on A&R. He also holds an evp of creative/special projects title at parent company Universal Music Group. Newton's announcement follows the fourth-quarter appointment of Harvest Records GMs Piero Giramonti and Jacqueline Saturn to co-GMs of Caroline, CMG's independent distribution service, and more hirings are expected in the coming weeks. One insider characterized the cuts as part of the company's "annual budgeting cycle" and not indicative of CMG's continuing growth.
Since chairman Steve Barnett's arrival in late 2012 in the wake of UMG's acquisition of the storied label, Capitol has undergone significant restructuring Barnett began by bringing in attorney Michelle Jubelirer to oversee operations (she was promoted to COO in May 2015) while upping Greg Thompson to evp in 2013. Last October, Ambrosia Healy was hired to oversee publicity, which preceded a round of layoffs in that department in November of 2014.
Barnett's strategy has seemingly been validated as CMG held the third-highest label market share in 2015 and, at last year's Grammy Awards, took home album of the year honors for Beck and four trophies for Sam Smith, who will appear on the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday. Among the breakout artists to emerge from the Capitol roster in 2015 are 5 Seconds of Summer, Halsey and 2016 Grammy nominee Tori Kelly.