Sources confirm that EMI's indie arm Caroline Distribution will be cutting its regional sales force by June 1. All regional independent sales will now be handled by regional reps from the major label distributor EMM, sources say, with Caroline maintaining a national sales force out of New York.

Caroline president Bill Hein did not return calls, but sources say all in all, approximately 20 people will be affected. Those close to Caroline say some of the regional sales reps will have opportunities to stay on with the company and work under the EMM umbrella, but it was not made clear how many such positions will be available.

Says the head of one label distributed by Caroline, "We now have to pitch to Caroline sales people who then have to pitch to EMM sales people who then have to pitch to the retail buyers. Everything is going to filter through EMM, and that means more competition for their attention."

An EMI spokesperson declined to comment.