Less than two months after its launch, SEA Records has suspended day-to-day operations and fired several key staffers, Billboard.biz has learned. A spokesperson for the Nashville-based independent lab
Less than two months after its launch, SEA Records has suspended day-to-day operations and fired several key staffers, Billboard.biz has learned. A spokesperson for the Nashville-based independent label describes the move as "temporary" and calls it an attempt to "restructure and redirect the company."
After one false start last fall, SEA Records was relaunched in May under owner and CEO Tina Corry and former Warner Bros. veteran Bob Saporiti, who served as the new label's consultant and "admiral." Saporiti has now left SEA, along with head of A&R Renee White and head of promotion Skip Stevens.
The label's only artist, Neal McCoy, has also elected to leave rather than wait out any restructuring. He had already begun recording his first album for SEA, which Matt Rollings was producing.
SEA had inked a distribution deal with RED but had not yet released any product.
SEA was rocky from the beginning. It launched last fall under then-president Lisa Wysocky with first act Wild Horses, both of whom left the label before the end of last year. In March, and again in May, Wysocky filed suit against the company and several of its executives alleging that they slandered her reputation in the industry with false charges of embezzlement. In April, SEA filed a counterclaim against Wysocky. All of those suits are pending.
SEA is a division of Sterling Entertainment Group, which continues to operate with its core business of running travel-industry and customer-service call centers.
In a statement prepared for Billboard.biz, Corry says, "I embarked on this venture with a desire to establish an organization that would ideally reflect the merging of two industries, thus creating a somewhat new and rather unconventional business model from the start ... I am not too proud to admit that there is an extensive learning curve on my part. The music industry is a different animal from the industry that I have successfully navigated for the last two decades. However, I have a responsibility to steer this company in the direction I feel it needs to go in, in accordance with the role that it plays relative to the vision I have for my overall organization.
"My decision is purely strategic, and in no way reflects the quality of the professionals that comprised this team," Corry adds.