Universal Music & Video Distribution (UMVD) will soon be launching a new home-video division, according to sources. Also, in separate news, the company has been quietly downsizing over the past mo

Universal Music & Video Distribution (UMVD) will soon be launching a new home-video division, according to sources. Also, in separate news, the company has been quietly downsizing over the past month, shedding about 20 positions and a dozen staffers.

The new division, UMVD Visual Entertainment, will serve to expand the company's distribution activities to include video titles outside of the Universal pipeline. It will also carry video games. UMVD Visual Entertainment has already signed a deal with Trinity Home Entertainment, which offers music bio videos and films such as "Tupac 4 Ever."

Meanwhile, as part of the cutbacks, UMVD has eliminated a number of artist-development or field-marketing reps.

Also, with regional chains and indie stores now handled by the marketing directors in each UMVD office, the three regional directors who were overseeing that category have been offered other positions. Boston-based Rich Grobecker has taken the title of director of sales, reporting to senior VP Mike Davis. Dallas-based Larry Howell will become a sales representative, handling Hastings and AAFES. The third regional, David Cline, has chosen to exit.

Earlier this month, Mike Greene exited as senior VP of catalog, classics, jazz and associated labels. And last October, UMVD shed 10 staffers, including executive VP Jim Weatherson.

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