Backbeat: Is Tom Whalley the Next Head of Capitol?
Backbeat: Is Tom Whalley the Next Head of Capitol?

tom whalley
Capitol: Whalley or won't he?

It appears the job of running Capitol, once the company is subsumed by Universal, is former Warner Bros. Records chief Tom Whalley's to lose. At least that's what our best sources are telling us.

It's true there are rumors out there that have former Capitol head Jason Flom in contention. And Flom does have a strong history with the label: he ended his many years at Atlantic by taking the helm at Virgin in 2005, and then taking over the Capitol Music Group when the labels merged; his successes (or future successes) at the label included Katy Perry, Coldplay, 30 Seconds to Mars and others. He left in 2009 to take Lava under the Universal umbrella. But we hear he is not in serious consideration for the gig.

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Whalley himself has a solid history with Capitol: He went there in the 1980s after leaving his first A&R gig (at Warner), signed Crowded House and left late in the decade to join Interscope. And until recently, he was lined up to run an imprint at Universal that would have consisted of a small, A&R-based staff that would then upstream its releases through Universal Republic. Early in the fall, Whalley began meeting with Universal executives about his impending label - but silence followed. We hear that Whalley is on the UMG payroll, standing by until Universal takes over EMI in January or February, at which point he'll take over Capitol.

Time will tell -- we should know early next year ...