Warner Music Group's worldwide restructuring has hit its Benelux operation. Warner Music has laid off four out of 16 staffers at the Brussels headquarters; seven of 38 employees have been let go from

Warner Music Group's worldwide restructuring has hit its Benelux operation. Warner Music has laid off four out of 16 staffers at the Brussels headquarters; seven of 38 employees have been let go from its affiliate in the Netherlands.

In addition, artist deals with local acts will no longer be continued. Belgian acts Novastar and Gary Hagger and Dutch signings Krezip and Ilse De Lange are now effectively without label homes.

"Novastar was signed to Warner Music for two albums, and we decided not to continue the deal," comments Warner Music GM Erik Vink. "But we will maintain it as a top priority throughout the album's life." Novastar's 2000 self-titled debut has shifted more than 100,000 units, according to the label.

Hagger entered the single "I Will Choose You" in the Eurosong pre-selection process.

IFPI Belgium director Marcel Heymans regrets Warner's decision to axe local talent from its roster. "It's very important to have local repertoire both towards public and media," Heymans says. "I also put question marks with the fact that this may be yet another step to combine Belgium and Holland. Belgium, with three language communities, is already difficult enough as it is."

Warner Benelux is headquartered in Hilversum, the Netherlands, and is helmed by managing director Albert Slendebroek.

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