Banner seeks to help niche imprints.

In an effort to bring more attention to its genre and niche labels, Navarre Entertainment Group has created an umbrella structure, 49 North. The new label group will place some of Navarre's existing roster of distributed labels under the 49 North banner in the company's mailers to retailers.

Navarre VP of business affairs Jim Colson says that 49 North seeks to identify smaller labels that have the potential for growth. Colson says nothing will change in the way the labels are sold to retailers, and the 49 North brand is simply a way to attract attention to sometimes overlooked imprints.

"In terms of customer databases, everything will stay the same," Colson says. "The idea is just to work with these labels as a concept. We want retailers to know there's been some thought into those products."

Labels under the 49 North banner will include Canyon Records, 411 Records, Tropical Music, Triple X Entertainment, MC Productions, 80 West/Money Hungry Entertainment, MC Productions, True Life Entertainment, Carman Productions, Parc Records, MIG Entertainment and Independent Music Network.

"We've taken labels that have product that fits a particular niche, or are regional," Colson says. "Canyon Records has been successful in the Native American genre for a long time, and 411 has done well with traditional jazz. These are labels we feel like we could do more with if we spent more time with them."

Cedar Burnett has been named sales manager for 49 North. She was previously the telephone sales lead for the independent phone sales group. She will report to Vyto Lazauskas, Navarre's director of sales east. 49 North will debut in January.