Columbia Records is in talks with producer Rick Rubin to take the role of co-chairman of the label, sources confirm.

Columbia Records is in talks with producer Rick Rubin to take the role of co-chairman of the label, sources confirm.

Rubin, nominated for Grammys this year for his work with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Dixie Chicks, currently heads up his own imprint, American Recordings, which is distributed by Warner Music Group under the Warner Bros. Records umbrella.

In the past two years, he has enjoyed major success producing albums for Columbia artists Neil Diamond and Systm Of A Down.

Rubin just moved American, which is home to Johnny Cash and Tom Petty, to Warner a year ago. There's no word yet as to whether Warner will move to block a Rubin move to Columbia or if American will come with him or stay put. Rubin reportedly has another three years left on his existing agreement with WMG.

Sony Music executives declined comment. WMG did not return calls.

As part of the move, existing Columbia chairman Steve Barnett, who guided the label to a No. 1 ranking in 2006 current market share, according to Nielsen SoundScan, is expected to get a title bump but lose at least some creative control.

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