Executive Turntable: Hires at Def Jam, Plus Moves at Warner Music Group, Townsquare & More
Def Jam Recordings has found its newest executive vice president and head of A&R in artist manager and A&R executive Steven Victor. Effective immediately, Victor will join for the venerated label’s senior executive team, where he will be responsible for artist signing and development. Victor will be based in Def Jam’s New York offices and report to Paul Rosenberg, who will become CEO of the label on January 1, 2018.
“I’ve worked within the Def Jam family for years and am honored to be part of the new leadership driving the future success of this iconic label,” Victor said in a statement. “I’m genuinely excited to continue Russell and Rick’s legacy of discovering and developing new artists while creating new opportunities for our incredible talent. I’d like to thank Lucian and Paul for trusting me with this task and look forward to working with the A&R and management teams at Def Jam.”
Victor boasts a long list of bona fides. Prior to his new position, he served as SVP of A&R for Universal Music Group and COO of G.O.O.D. Music (a Def Jam/Kanye West joint venture), as well as heading William Victor Management. Victor played a central role in the rise of Desiigner, who he personally signed and developed, as well as managing Pusha T and the-Dream during his tenure at William Victor.
More moves in the ‘biz:
--Robb McDaniels has been named CEO of Beatport by the electronic music outlet’s parent company, LiveStyle, Inc. In his new role at Beatport, McDaniels will focus on strengthening the company's online music store, which has helped Beatport return to profitability, as well as its increased user engagement with the site. McDaniels made his name as the founder and CEO of INgrooves, a distribution and artist services operation that would eventually partner with Universal Music Group. Since then, he has become a music technology entrepreneur at TechInvest and talent manager at Faction Entertainment, both positions he will retain an interest in while serving at Beatport.
--Mark Baker has joined Warner Music Group, becoming its VP of public policy and government affairs. His new post casts him as WMG’s primary liaison with governmental and regulatory bodies, overseeing the company’s public policy positions and initiatives around the world. The New York-based Baker will report jointly to EVP and general counsel Paul Robinson and EVP of communications & marketing James Steven. His first post at Warner, Baker has spent the past 15 years at alcohol company Diageo, most recently serving as its director of global trade and regulatory affairs.
--Townsquare founder and chief executive officer Steven Price has started his transition into the new role of executive chairman of the board. Longtime executives Bill Wilson and Dhruv Prasad have been promoted to co-CEOs, and will report to the board of directors. Erik Hellum has also been appointed as COO of the radio and media conglomerate’s local media.
--Joining on at Townsquare is Craig Marks, a longtime journalist and former executive editor at Billboard, who takes on the role of editorial director. Marks will oversee web, social and video content for eight of the brand’s music and entertainment verticals, including TasteofCountry, ScreenCrush and Diffuser, as well as working alongside longtime XXL editor-in-chief Vanessa Satten. Beyond Billboard, he served in senior editorial positions at several magazines, including as editor-in-chief spots at Blender, Spin and Popdust.
--Copyright administration company Songtrust has hired Mandy Aubry as director of global business development and client relations. The Amsterdam-based Aubry will help expand Songtrust into the European market, focusing on collaborations with labels, publishers and businesses. She arrives at Songtrust after a decade at Dutch rights management company Fintage House, where she managed the company's international music publishing roster for film and TV.
--Essence has made internal promotions for its newly-founded live events and experiential department. Candace Purdie-Montgomery, a 13-year veteran of the lifestyle brand, has been announced as the division’s first executive director, while Jovanca Maitland, a 16-year Essence vet, will serve as its director. Montgomery will work with Essence’s general manager Joy Profet to emphasize the growth of its special programming, including its Essence Festival and Black Women in Music events. Maitland will report to Montgomery and will focus on developing customized sponsorships at live events.
--Hybrid music group Big Loud announced the appointment of Patch Cubertson as its new VP of A&R for its record label division. Culbertson is expected to lead the company’s efforts to discover and develop talent for Big Loud Records’ roster, as he had with his eight-year tenure as director of A&R at Republic Records. He will report to label president Clay Hunnicutt and founding partner Seth England.