BMG Ricordi's Rome office is shedding 43 of its 62 employees, according to trade union officials. Officials from the recording industry trade union last month expressed concerns of sweeping staff cuts

BMG Ricordi's Rome office is shedding 43 of its 62 employees, according to trade union officials. Officials from the recording industry trade union last month expressed concerns of sweeping staff cuts.

BMG Ricordi, which was created when BMG acquired indie label Ricordi in 1994, is the only Italian major still headquartered in Rome; it also has 18 employees in Milan. Italy's other major record companies are all based in Milan, with smaller offices in Rome.

The balance of power in the Sony BMG structure shifted to Milan on Oct. 1, 2004, when Sony Music Italy president/CEO Franco Cabrini was appointed head of the merged company. Rome-based Adrian Berwick, who was president/CEO of BMG Ricordi, left the company at the same time.

Sony BMG Italy's management was unavailable for comment on the staff cuts. Sources say the employees in Milan will be unaffected.