Universal Music Publishing Group Nashville executive VP/GM Pat Higdon will lead the newly combined Nashville division, which results from the acquisition of BMG Music Publishing by UMPG. Higdon will continue to be based in Nashville and report to UMPG chairman and CEO David Renzer.

Meanwhile, BMG Music Publishing country division VP of A&R and GM Ron Stuve joins UMPGN as VP of A&R/special projects. He reports to Higdon.

Higdon broke into the music industry in the early '70s as a recording engineer at one of Nashville's then more prominent studios, Woodland Sound. This was quickly followed by creative positions at Cedarwood Publishing company and MCA Music. In the late `80s, Mr. Higdon joined Warner/Chappell Music, where he eventually founded Patrick Joseph Music as a joint venture with the company.

Higdon later established a similar relationship in 1992 with Los Angeles-based Windswept Pacific Entertainment. He was tapped to run UMGP's Nashville operation in 1999.

Stuve joined BMG in 1997 after serving as VP of AMR/New Haven Music, which was acquired by BMG that year.