Backbeat: Steve Bartels, L.A. Reid, Tom Poleman, Alissa Pollack More at Taste of Hope Auction

From left: Def Jam SVP Shawn "Pecas" Costner, Joie Manda, president Def Jam and Mike Chester, Def Jam VP Promotions at the Taste of Hope dinner and auction benefitting the L.A.-based cancer non-profit City of Hope.

Old friends, old rivals, and new music: the buzz at the 7th annual Taste of Hope entertainment industry dinner held last Thursday at New York City’s Three Sixty was decidedly upbeat as major music executives united in the name of charity – and bid on everything from bottles of Chateau Margaux wine to a guitar autographed by Justin Bieber to benefit Los-Angeles-based cancer research non-profit, City of Hope.

“City of Hope does incredible work,” said Alissa Pollack, the event organizer and EVP of Integrated Music Marketing for Mediabase/Clear Channel.


Richard Palmese, CEO Palmese Ent., Azoff Music Group; Lana Palmese; Kid Kelly, VP music programming, SiriusXM

In a speech before the live auction bidding, Pollack revealed her father’s recent stage-four lung cancer diagnosis. As the room quieted, she shared her personal story, saying that it really brought home the importance of events like “Taste of Hope.”

“Cancer has touched someone we all know and love,” Pollack said.


Tom Poleman, president, national programming platforms, Clear Channel and wife Ginny

Steve Bartels, President and COO of Island Def Jam music group, took the mic and encouraged big spending for charity during the live auction. The $500 dollar a plate dinner was a sell-out.

And there was plenty of talk in the room about music.

“I’m really excited about Twenty One Pilots,” said Tom Poleman, President of National Programming Platforms for Clear Channel. “I saw them at South by Southwest, and they’re on the Brink.”

New Epic Records chairman and CEO, Antonio “LA.” Reid, jumped in to say, “I’m excited about Future, and the future.” The rapper Future recently signed a solo deal with the Epic label group.


Auction items including the autographed Justin Bieber guitar and One Direction photo

Poleman then added that U.K. artist Katie Tiz is also one to watch; “She’s produced by RedOne and she’s Rhianna-meets-Mariah-Carey -- and she’s got hits.”

Mike McVay, Cumulus Media SVP is eyeing the future of music delivery.


Billboard publisher Tommy Page & Alissa Pollack, EVP of integrated music marketing, Mediabase, Clear Channel Music + Entertainment

“I look forward to my songs on phones,” adding that “Adele is the greatest artist of our lifetime. And I date back to the Beatles.”

A number of up-and-comer artists attended the event, including pop singer Ashley Nemeh and country artist Lisa Matassa, simply to get facetime with industry execs. There were no live performances at all.


Lisa Loeb with industry vet & HitShop Records President Skip Bishop

Reviver Management CEO David Ross introduced new country singer Samantha Landrum around the room “To bring notoriety to the cause,” he said. “Samantha had a cut on the “Let Us In” Linda McCartney tribute album, a fundraiser for the women and cancer fund. We’re passionate about supporting cancer research.”

Last year, the dinner raised $400,000 for cancer research, and Pollack said “this is on track to be the best year yet.”


Mike McVay, SVP of Cumulus Media and Billboard publisher Tommy Page

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