Third Man Records Lays Off Seven in Nashville

A general view of Jack White's Third Man Records on March 9, 2013 in Nashville.
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A general view of Jack White's Third Man Records on March 9, 2013 in Nashville.

Jack White's Third Man Records has trimmed its Nashville office by seven employees in an effort to streamline and cut costs. The layoffs, which affected the design and events departments, as well as assistants and interns, were in Nashville only and did not touch the multi-faceted company's (label services, record pressing, retail, mail-order, studio) Detroit operation.

"Yesterday, Third Man Records terminated seven positions in Nashville," Third Man co-founder Ben Swank told The Tennessean newspaper. "No one was laid off at our Detroit operation... These decisions occurred in the name of trying to do business in a more streamlined fashion and were not made lightly or easily."

The employees at Third Man, located in Nashville's SoBro neighborhood, were asked to sign separation agreements that included a severance in exchange for confidentiality regarding the company. Third Man still has 28 employees at its Nashville compound, launched in 2009, which houses 

a record store, label offices, distribution center, photo studio and the "world’s only live venue with direct-to-acetate recording capabilities," according to its website. The Detroit outpost added a vinyl pressing plant a year ago to much fanfare.

In a new interview with the Guardian, White was asked whether his efforts have helped revive vinyl in the increasingly digital music economy. "Oh, there's no doubt about it," he said. "People were thinking we were being old-timey, retro and cute. But our point was: this is a format that really makes sense for music lovers. It's the only part of the music industry that’s rising in sales."

Third Man Records has an artist roster that includes White, Margo Price, Lillie Mae and SHIRT, the label's first rapper.