Executive Turntable: Moves at RCA, BGM Production Music, Songtradr & More

RCA Records announced the promotion of Val Pensa to SVP, pop/rock marketing, on Thursday (Sept. 6). She will remain in the New York headquarters.

Pensa was named a Billboard 40 Under 40 Power Player in 2016 and a Billboard 30 Under 30 Power Player in 2009. Prior to the promotion, she held the role of VP, marketing, at RCA Records.

“I am incredibly grateful to Peter Edge, John Fleckenstein, Joe Riccitelli and Carolyn Williams for this amazing opportunity,” said Pensa. “I have been lucky enough to call RCA my home for the majority of my career and I am thrilled to continue to work in an environment that nurtures creativity, innovation and artist development.”

“Val is impressive not only due to her A+ execution but also for her limitless passion for our artists,” adds Williams, EVP, marketing. “She has enjoyed many stand out moments in her career at RCA and I’m looking forward to her next chapter.”

During her tenure as a product manager, Pensa has directed successful campaigns for superstar and emerging talent including Britney Spears, Tinashe, Cam, Grace, Kygo, Snakehips and more.

Carolyn Williams has been promoted to EVP, marketing at RCA Records, the label announced Wednesday (Sept. 5). She will remain in the New York headquarters.

In her new role, Williams will be responsible for overseeing the marketing staff as well as continue to lead marketing campaigns for BROCKHAMPTON, Childish Gambino, H.E.R., SZA and more. She was previously SVP, marketing.

"I am truly honored by this appointment and excited to be stepping into this new role at such an amazing time for RCA," said Williams in a statement. "Being a part of this innovative, creative and passionate team, helmed by Peter Edge, has not only afforded me the opportunity to grow and develop some of the most memorable marketing campaigns of my career, but to also work with some of the best in the business! I am looking forward to enhancing my partnership with John Fleckenstein and continuing to develop impactful marketing strategies that push our business forward and elevate our extraordinary artists."

"Carolyn's passion, marketing acumen and attentive leadership maker her a driving force in our company and in the industry at large," added Fleckenstein, co-president of RCA Records. "From Alicia Keys to SZA to Childish Gambino, her careful attention to detail and sage direction has put her in a class all her own. I am thrilled to have her ascend and lead the broader marketing team and inspire world class campaigns on behalf of our entire, incomparable artist roster.” 

BMG Production Music (BMGPM) has announced on Thursday (Sept. 6) that it will be expanding into Southeast Asia. With the expansion comes a series of new appointments in Hong Kong and Singapore.

Andy Wong, who serves as the Director of Business Development (Asia), will join BMGPM to lead the music production team based in Hong Kong and will report to Andrew Jones, VP Universal Production Music, Asia Pacific. Wong brings over 20 years of experience to the role and previously worked at Universal Production Music Asia as a general manager.

Aiden Chan, a manager, and Wesley Chan, junior account manager and music supervisor, join BMGPM in Hong Kong as well. Both previously held roles at Universal Production Music Asia during Wong’s managerial role.

Jeff Long joins BMGPM as manager in Singapore. A highly-respected 20+ year veteran in the Production Music business in Asia, Long previously served in the same post at Universal Production Music Asia. He will report to Andy Wong.

“We’re thrilled to have talents like Andy, Jeff, Aiden, and Wesley joining the BMGPM team. They bring enormous experience, knowledge, and creativity,” said Jones. “Without a doubt, they are four of the very best. I look forward to working with them to help make BMGPM the first choice for Asia’s ever-evolving media and production communities.”

Songtradr, a music-licensing platform, has announced on Tuesday (Sept. 5) that Clare Nicholls has been appointed to chief financial officer. Nicholls will work at the company’s U.K. headquarters alongside CEO Paul Wiltshire to develop a unique investment strategy to support Songtradr’s international expansion and product development.

Nicholls will oversee the execution of M&A opportunities and strategic partnerships, as well as the integration of block chain technology into Songtradr’s licensing ecosystem.

“Clare is an award-winning finance visionary who has led IPOs at global blue chip companies,” said Wiltshire. “As CFO, Nicholls will help Songtradr dominate the music-licensing category as we look to expand our footprint internationally and build our portfolio of proprietary products. We’re honored to have her as part of the executive team at Songtradr,”

Added Nicholls: “I am thrilled to be joining Songtradr at such an exciting point of its development.  The team have built a game-changing global music licensing and distribution platform, unlocking a number of opportunities for both technological and geographic expansion.”

Nicholls brings over 20 years of experience in finance, strategy and operational assessment, and has previously held roles at Salomon Brother, UBS Warburg and ABN Amro.

ANTHEMIC agency has announced on Thursday (Sept. 6) that Randy Bookasta has been named co-publisher/editorial director of FLOOD Magazine and head of music and culture at ANTHEMIC. Bookasta will be responsible for growing the media brand’s audience and digital platform. He will be based in Los Angeles and lead the marketing agency’s talent and culture partnerships.  

“Randy brings with him an extraordinary track record in the music and publishing industry,” said Alan Sartirana, CEO and founder of ANTHEMIC and FLOOD Magazine. “His experience and knowledge will set a high bar for what FLOOD and ANTHEMIC will deliver for our partners. We couldn’t be more eager for him to jump in as FLOOD continues to grow well beyond our Los Angeles roots to becoming THE authoritative international cultural media leader.”

Added Bookasta: “I’ve been consistently impressed by the amazing work of both ANTHEMIC Agency and FLOOD Magazine. They have been a true ambassador for the arts with a unique ability to integrate brand initiatives with care and style. I’m thrilled to be a part of this great team and to provide my experience to help bring FLOOD to even greater heights.”

Bookasta brings 25 years of experience to the new role, and has previously held positions at SpinMedia as VP of industry relations and content development, Hot Topic and Sony Pictures Digital.

Independent music group Cooking Vinyl has hired ex-Warner/Chappell executive Ryan Farley as a new managing director for the business.

While confirming Farley’s appointment, Cooking Vinyl boss Martin Goldschmidt said, “We have big plans for the expansion of our publishing company.” He continued, “We are really excited to have Ryan head up our publishing company worldwide. His strength is creative A&R and he will be able to make a big difference in developing careers for our current and future writers.”

“I’m looking forward to leading the business with a hands-on A&R approach; creating an environment where songwriters feel valued, supported and provided with real opportunities in the knowledge that their rights are being diligently administered, protected and accounted for,” added Farley.