As Billboard.biz speculated Friday, Dangerbird Records co-founder Jeff Castelaz -- who, with general manager Matt Solodky, left the company abruptly last week -- is in line to take over Elektra Records, a source close to the situation confirmed, stressing that the deal is not yet closed.
The move would makes sense for a number of reasons: the company's two former heads -- Mike Caren and Fueled by Ramen founder John Janick -- have both moved on ( Caren to become Warner Music Group's worldwide head of A&R, Janick to a presidential role at Interscope). Castelaz's strength in the rock area -- with SIlversun Pickups, Fitz and the Tantrums and others -- would make him a logical success for a brand that Warner clearly wants to continue.
After several weeks of reported discord at the label, Castelaz's departure from Dangerbird was announced last week via an unusually worded statement that said Jenni Sperandeo, the company's head of promotion, has been named president of Dangerbird Records and Dangerbird Publishing, while Castelaz and Solodky would work under the banner of Cast Management with clients that include Dropkick Murphys and record producers Tony Hoffer, Justin Meldal-Johnsen and Jacquire King.
"This is a great move for everybody involved," Peter Walker, who co-founded Dangerbird with Castelaz in 2004, said in the statement. "Dangerbird has always been about finding and nurturing great artists, and with Jenni's talents leading the charge, the company's future is brighter than ever."
A rep for Dangerbird said none of the parties involved were available to comment.