Barry Weiss To Join Forces With SONGS Publishing On New Label
Former Jive/Zomba CEO Barry Weiss will team up with SONGS Music Publishing to launch a new record label, sources tell Billboard.
Weiss, SONGS founder/CEO Matt Pincus and SONGS president Ron Perry have negotiated almost all the terms of the deal and a signing could come as early as this week, the sources said. The label is said to be in touch with potential distributors, including Sony Music Entertainment.
SONGS executives were unavailable to comment.
Weiss joined Jive/Zomba in 1982 and helped founder Clive Calder build the company into a powerhouse, peaking with Britney Spears, the Backstreet Boys and 'Nsync in the late 1990s/early 2000s. After Calder completed the sale of the company to BMG in 2002 for a whopping $2.7 billion, Weiss stayed aboard and continued the label's successful run. But when Weiss was passed over as head of Sony Music Entertainment (which had merged with BMG) in a power shift late in 2010, he bolted to the Universal Music Group to head up the East Coast label group, which comprised Republic Records and Island Def Jam. However, Republic Records was already moving in the fast lane when he arrived, leaving Weiss to focus on Island Def Jam, where he and label president Steve Bartels streamlined operations and got the label back on the road to profitability. But when his contract was up, UMG split up Island Def Jam in half, and Weiss left the company in April of 2014.
SONGS, founded in 2004, came into its own in 2013 with signings that included Diplo, Lorde and The Weeknd. In that year, it twice made the Billboard publisher's quarterly Top 10 rankings for the Top 100 radio songs. In 2014, SONGS was in the Top 10 in all four quarters.