When Scott Borchetta signed then-15-year-old Taylor Swift to his fledgling Big Machine Records label in 2005, the former DreamWorks Nashville executive ignored the prevailing view that teen acts don't work in the adult-oriented country format.

Now, Borchetta is flouting conventional wisdom again, partnering with Universal Republic president/CEO Monte Lipman to form Republic Nashville (billboard.biz, June 5). It's Borchetta's third new business venture in less than four years, a bold move at a time when the recording industry is in the midst of a historic contraction.

Why are you expanding when other labels are trimming back?

Universal, Monte Lipman in particular, and myself have been trying to find a way to do more business together. He's been my partner on the top 40/crossover side [for Swift's records]. I wasn't looking to take on another label. [But I thought] if I could get somebody that I could trust and that I knew could do the job and who was the right person, then maybe we could combine this momentum and this interest and have another opportunity. So I spoke to Jimmy [Harnen] about it and he's like, "My God, that is the only move I'd consider making right now." He was very happy at Capitol. It all came together.

Click here to read more from Scott Borchetta on his new ventures, the international potential for country music and Swift's breakout success.

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