The Universal Music Group is consolidating its music distribution companies and its Nashville country music labels following its merger with EMI recorded music. According to sources, nearly 60 people were let go:nearly 50 from distribution and almost 10 from Nashville. Though the majority of those laid-off were with EMI, some Universal Music employees were let go as well.
As part of the move, several EMI distribution staffers such as EMI senior VP of sales John Nicholas and Joan Kane, who oversaw the EMI East Coast field sales staff, were offered different assignments with the Universal Music Group Distribution -- a senior catalog position and label liaison for Capitol, respectively.
In addition to those laid off today, some EMI distributions staffers were told they would only have their jobs for another 30 to 120 days, according to sources in both the EMI camp and UMG camp. One senior UMG executive, however, denied this saying the consolidation of the distribution company has been completed and going forward new staffers might be brought in for digital sales.
Meanwhile, sources said Dominic Pandiscia, who had headed up EMI's distribution company, will become head of sales for Capitol Records. There he will reportedly have on his staff Saul Shapiro, who handled Blue Note releases, and David Miller, who handles Astralwerks and some Capitol releases.
"Following our acquisition of EMI Recorded Music, UMG will be expanding key creative areas as part of our ongoing integration. While this restructuring will unfortunately result in some redundancies, it is essential to UMG becoming an even more agile and efficient company, not just for this year or the next, but for years to come," a UMG statement said. "Our goal is to maximize the resources available for reinvestment in our labels so they can do what they do best: develop and promote artists, increase the output of new music and expand opportunities for digital innovation."