Executive Turntable: Promotions at Def Jam and RCA, New Hires at Paradigm and Because Music & More

Def Jam Logo
Courtesy of Def Jam Recordings


Def Jam continues to make executive-level changes since new chairman/CEO Paul Rosenberg took over at the beginning of the year. This week includes a historic one: Nicki Farag has been promoted to executive vp/head of promotion, making her the first woman to hold that title in the label's 34-year history. In addition to Farag's new position, the label also announced that Noah Sheer has been promoted to executive vp rhythm & lifestyle promotion and Keith Rothschild to senior vp promotion.

All three have extensive experience with the company. Farag has spent 15 years at Def Jam and Sheer 18 years at the company. Rothschild joined Def Jam in 2013, after 15 years at Warner Bros.

"I am delighted to announce the promotions of Nicki, Noah and Keith,” Rosenberg said in a statement announcing the moves. “In the short time we’ve worked together, I have come to know them as passionate, dedicated, energetic, top-notch executives. Their promotions are well-deserved and well-earned; and we are especially proud of Nicki’s new title and its historic significance to the label.”

Longtime promoter Lenore Kinder is joining the agency side of the music game, accepting a position in Paradigm Talent Agency’s Nashville office.

The move is effective April 2 and comes after a decade with Messina Touring Group and AEG Presents, where she worked with Imagine DragonsAdele and Mumford & Sons and helped build the careers of Kacey MusgravesThe Lumineers and Kelsea Ballerini. Kinder won the Rising Star award at the 2018 Pollstar Awards, as well as the 2017 ACM Award for Talent Buyer of the Year. She is a voting member of the Country Music Association, the Academy of Country Music and the Americana Music Association.

RCA Records appointed Karen Lamberton to executive vp, soundtracks and film & tv licensing. In her new role, Lamberton will be responsible for modernizing policy within the licensing field, build opportunities for exposure, and increase revenue and strengthen soundtracks department. Before her promotion, Lamberton was senior vp, soundtracks, music licensing & brand partnerships. Some of her accomplishments include garnering Grammy nominations for RCA such as the "Best Song Written for Visual Media" category.

“Karen is an industry leader in her field and is well respected by her peers and team alike. She has been an innovator and has delivered countless times for RCA,” said RCA co-president Joe Riccitelli in a statement. “She is an absolute key for the senior management team here at RCA and Sony as a whole. Karen’s smile is her logo and her personality is her business card.”

Because Music U.K. has announced three additions to its leadership team, expanding the UK operation. Nick Huggett joins as CCO, Lisa Rimmer as director of sales & digital operations and Laura Kelly as creative & marketing product manager for London Records.

Huggett is best known for signing and developing Adele while at XL Recordings. He has also held A&R positions at Mo Wax, Columbia, Island and Parlophone.

Rimmer most recently spent four years in account management at Warner Music, with eight years experience at EMI Music prior. She will now operate across both the Because roster and London Records back catalog. 

Meanwhile, Kelly will look after the London Records back catalog. She spent seven years at Ignition Records/Big Brother Recordings working with artists such as Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.

Musicians On Call is welcoming Darren Pfeffer, executive vp of MSG Live, to its board of directors. Pfeffer has supported the nonprofit, which brings live and recorded music to the bedsides of patients in healthcare facilities, for over 15 years through events and fundraising efforts in his previous role with iHeartMedia.

“Darren has been a faithful supporter of our mission for more than a decade and we are delighted to welcome him to the Musicians On Call Board of Directors,” said Pete Griffin, president of Musicians On Call. “He has an incredible influence in the live music space, his experience and vision will be instrumental in our efforts to bring the healing power of music to more patients across the country.”

Pfeffer, who also sits on the boards of the TAO Group and Boston Calling Events, said: “We’ve all experienced music’s power to lift our mood or spark inspiration. When you’re sick and confined to a hospital room, music becomes even more powerful. It’s a tremendous honor to be named to the board for Musicians On Call and further support their life-changing efforts.”

The Orchard announced that Mona Fimreite will be joining its European marketing and sales team as international sales and marketing director. She will be responsible for leading the company’s regional sales and marketing efforts while evolving her music and tech trajectory. Fimreite is versatile in her skill set: she boasts a background in software development and computer science. She also worked in digital marketing and e-commerce before she joined the music industry in 2009 at Sony Music Norway.

“Mona’s analytical approach, combined with her passion for music and understanding of fan behavior, makes her natural-born for this role. She is focused on driving success for our artists and labels,” COO Colleen Theis said in a statement. “We are confident her vision and leadership will lead The Orchard to an even higher level of success.”

Essential Broadcast Media has announced four additions to the Nashville PR firm. Joining founder and owner Ebie McFarland and publicist Dana Kyle are Joseph Conner as a senior publicist, Janet Edbrooke and Megan Newton as publicists and Kendal Taylor as a coordinator.

“I am very excited about the team we have assembled and the combined years of experience and relationships these professionals have developed at some of the most influential and innovative companies in the industry,” McFarland said in a statement. “Each person brings something unique and valuable to our roster of clients.”

The firm counts George StraitKenny ChesneyEric ChurchDarius Rucker and Kellie Pickler, among others, on its roster.


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