Universal Music Publishing Group's integration of BMG Music Publishing, purchased last September, with Universal Music Publishing continues. The company has revealed some key staff appointments as well as a few departures.

"UMPG already has strong staffs in the creative, business affairs, and film and television departments, and now we are further strengthening these departments with the addition of these fine executives from the former BMG/Zomba companies," says David Renzer, chairman/CEO of UMPG. "With powerhouse teams in New York and Los Angeles, our mission in the coming months will be to build not just the biggest publishing company in the world, but the best. These executives will play a pivotal role as we take the newly combined company to even greater heights."

Former BMG executives joining UMPG's New York offices include: David Mantel,
executive VP, East Coast; Jennifer Blakeman, senior VP, creative; Jason Boyarski, VP, legal and business affairs; Deborah Keegan, senior director, legal and business affairs; Jessica Rivera and Peter Visvardis, directors, creative; and Anne Wall, director, film & TV music licensing.

Former BMG executives joining UMPG's Los Angeles offices include: Monti Olson, VP, A&R; Michelle Belcher, senior director, film & TV; Brad Aarons, director, creative; and Andrea Torchia, senior director, creative.

David Mantel will report directly to Renzer, while business affairs executives will report to Robert Allen, UMPG's senior VP of business affairs. New York creative staff will report to Mantel, while Los Angeles creative staff and Ethiopia Habtemariam, VP of urban creative affairs, will report to Tom Sturges, executive VP, head of creative. Film & TV staff will report to Scott James, senior VP of music for motion pictures, television and new technologies, worldwide.

In addition, Scott Francis, president of BMG Songs, North America, will be departing the company. "I'd like to also take this opportunity to recognize all of the contributions that Scott Francis has made to BMG Songs over the years," Renzer says.

UMG laid off about 20 publishing employees last week as part of the integration, including BMG Music Publishing executive VP and COO Laurent Hubert and publicity executive Jennifer Press, according to a source. Very few additional layoffs are expected, according to a source close to the company.

"While situations like this are always difficult, we are doing our best to minimize the duplication of efforts and create a publishing company that is not only the biggest, but the best," says a spokesman for UMG. "And that means directing our resources on a worldwide basis to more effectively and efficiently meet the new challenges and opportunities emerging in the marketplace."

The appointments and layoffs follow the approval by the European Commission's competition unit in May of UMG's acquisition of BMG Music Publishing, which has which was the last government approval necessary to finalize the September 2006 acquisition.

EC approval was made on the condition that the company sell off about €100
million ($135 million) worth of publishing assets, sources said at the time. Currently, Merrill Lynch is handling the sale of copyrights acquired in the United Kingdom by Universal's Rondor Music U.K., BMG's Zomba Music Publishing U.K., 19 Music and 19 Songs, among other assets.

Additional reporting by Hillary Crosley