Batt In, Redmond Out At BPI

Restructuring at the British Phonographic Industry continues with the appointment of veteran British pop songwriter/producer Mike Batt in a newly-created non-executive role and the departure of director of communications & development Steve Redmond.

Batt has been named deputy chairman. The role will mean extensive involvement with the BPI's council, which oversees its strategy and organization. He will work closely with the label body's recently-appointed non-executive chairman Tony Wadsworth (EMI Music U.K. & Ireland chairman/CEO) and CEO Geoff Taylor. Wadsworth and Taylor were appointed in January, replacing the BPI's executive chairman Peter Jamieson.

Batt is the founder/director of U.K.-based independent label and management company Dramatico Entertainment. His recent achievements include his discovery of international hit-maker Katie Melua in 2003. Under Batt’s tutelage, Melua has become a multi-platinum act; her current album, "Piece by Piece" (2006) has shipped more than 3.5 million copies in Europe to date, according to Dramatico. The label also recently signed Italian model-turned-singer Carla Bruni for the U.K.

Batt is also famed as the singer/songwriter/producer for 1970s novelty act the Wombles, a pop band dressed in life-size costumes based on characters from a U.K. kids' TV show of the same name. The Wombles had eight U.K. Top 40 singles on CBS in 1974/75, and scored four Top 30 albums.

According to Batt, a priority in his new role will be to help spread a "growing spirit of unity within the BPI to the other music industry organisations with whom we have many common interests; [independent labels bodies] AIM and IMPALA in particular, but also the composer and publisher organisations."

Redmond is a former editor and publisher of U.K. trade publication Music Week. He joined the BPI in May 2004 after serving in a consultancy role for 18 months. In his BPI role, he was also a director of the BRIT Awards and the Official U.K. Charts Company.

In a statement published today (March 30), Redmond said: "Peter Jamieson and I worked very closely together over the past four years and his departure is a good point for me to move on to something new." He tells that he will continue to act as a consultant over the coming month for this year's British Music Week in Germany.

Redmond was a key figure in launching BMW, a BPI-organised showcase event featuring U.K. acts playing at various German venues, which debuted May 2006 in Berlin. This year, the event is being repeated and extended to include events in Hamburg, Munich and Cologne (April 20-18).