Executive Turntable: Moves at Columbia Records, Island Records, VEVO & More

 logo for Columbia Records.
Courtesy of Columbia Records

The logo for Columbia Records.

Mike Navarra has been promoted to vp of publicity at Columbia Records, it was announced Tuesday (Sept. 25). Navarra will report to Kimberly Harris, svp of publicity, who also made the report.

Navarra has been with Columbia Records since 2007, when he began as an intern in the rhythm radio department. He transitioned to publicity in 2009 and was assigned -- and helped establish -- One Direction. He has contributed to the launch and success of Harry Styles, Grace VanderWaal, Juicy J, and others. He was honored as a Billboard 40 Under 40 Rising Star in 2015.

"Mike is a talented and creative executive who has been an integral part of our team,” said Harris.  “His relationship with artists and media partners allows him the ability to extend the reach for our artists in unconventional ways. The entire company joins me in congratulating Mike on his promotion.”

“I want to thank Kim, Jen Mallory, and Ron Perry for their support,” stated Navarra.  “To be able to work alongside this great team on an incredible array of projects with the best artists in the world has been an extraordinary opportunity.  I look forward to contributing to Columbia’s success and growth toward the future.” 

Island Records announced on Thursday (Sept. 27) that LaTrice Burnette has been appointed to evp and gm of the label’s senior management team. Burnette will be based in New York and will work across the label’s artist roster. She will report to Darcus Beese, president of Island Records.

“When I had the opportunity to meet with LaTrice and discuss my vision and her ambition, it was crystal clear that LaTrice is the future of the new generation of Island Records,” said Beese. “She will be an invaluable new member of the senior team.”

Added Burnette: “I am absolutely thrilled to join the family at Island Records, a label rich in culture and a place where true artistry, artist development and most of all, music, reign supreme. I’m excited to dive into Island’s culture and continue to open up the roster to hip-hop, urban and R&B genres. I’m so thankful for this incredible opportunity.”

Burnette joins Island after working at Epic Records for eight years, previously serving as the SVP of Marketing. In the role, she successfully headed campaigns for DJ Khaled, Travis Scott, Yo Gotti and more. Last year, Burnette secured a coveted spot in Billboard’s 40 Under 40 list.

Bryon Schafer joins VEVO as the svp of research, the company announced on Thurdsay (Sept. 27). He will be responsible for leading VEVO’s audience and advertiser research in addition to their consumer and artists insights.

“I am delighted to announce that Bryon is joining us," said VEVO CEO Alan Price, “He is a highly respected and analytical executive, with extensive digital media experience, whose insight and analysis will help drive the value of the music video.”

Schafer added: “I’m thrilled to be joining the team at VEVO. The value proposition is incredibly strong for us as the eminent platform for music video. I’m excited to start working with such a talented and passionate team, expanding our insight capabilities and further unlocking value to those we work with and represent.”

Bryon previously worked at Otter Media, where since 2015 he gave advice on product, brand, content, marketing, advertising and industry issues for Otter Media and its affiliated companies, including Crunchyroll, Fullscreen Media, Gunpowder & Sky and more.

Position Music president and CEO Tyler Bacon announced Tuesday (Sept. 25) the promotion of Wendy Griffiths to the position of evp of synch & creative marketing.

In her new position, Griffiths will continue to work daily with Position Music’s composers and A&R staff as well as colleagues at major and indie music publishing companies to create original and cover music for pitching opportunities. She joined the company in 2016 as svp of creative marketing.

“During her two years here she has worked hard and succeeded in helping to grow our revenue optimize our music catalog and visibility and has also created a team environment fueled by her commitment to communication and working towards a common goal,” said Bacon.

“I am proud and excited to be working with Tyler and the Position Music team,” added Griffiths. “What Tyler has created here at Position is indeed the current and most cutting edge model for the music business. Having spent most of my career at the majors, it’s incredibly rewarding and satisfying to be a part of an independent company that is growing so quickly.”

Pulse Music Group has promoted Joe Poindexter to svp, digital, the company announced Wednesday (Sept. 26). He has been with Pulse since January 2012, and he previously served as vp.

In the new role, Poindexter will continue to execute the company’s digital strategy as well as lead Pulse Digital, a revenue-generating line of business providing digital strategy, digital execution and DSP representation for several outside clients from all areas of the entertainment industry.

“As a new-generation music publisher, continuing to create and execute a smart digital strategy is one of the things that sets Pulse apart from other publisher,” said co-CEO Scott Cutler. “Joe’s leadership and vision for Pulse’s digital presence has been an important part of our success and we’re thrilled to recognize that with this promotion.”

“I am grateful for the opportunity to work for a company like Pulse, and I thank Scott Culter and Josh Abraham for their continued belief in me,” added Poindexter. “We’ve found a great balance in having the courage to do new things, while maintaining the vision that was established at the very beginning of this journey.”

ICM Partners has promoted Danielle Beckford, Kyle Kernohan and Liz Pantone to agents in the concerts department, it was announced Monday (Sept. 24). All three will report to partners and concerts department heads Steve Levine, Rob Prinz and Mark Siegel. All three were previously coordinators in the concerts department.

"Danielle, Kyle and Liz have each proven to be great assets to the department and we look forward to the strong careers they each have ahead of them,” Levine, Prinz and Siegel said.

Beckford joined ICM Partners as an intern while she was receiving her masters at Carnegie Mellon University. She is heavily involved with the Office of Black Ministry’s Pierre Toussaint Scholarship Fund that supports inner city youth with college scholarships and funds a secondary school in Haiti.

Kernohan joined ICM as an intern in 2012. He will be participating in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Workplace Mentorship Program this coming year.

Pantone began her career at The Agency Group after graduating from Skidmore College. She joined ICM as an assistant to Siegel in 2013 and she was later upped to coordinator.

UK Live Music Group announced on Thursday (Sept. 27) that Greg Parmley is the new chair of the board. He takes over from Paul Latham, former COO of Live Nation UK, following Latham’s retirement after 30 years in the industry.

UK Music CEO Michael Dugher said: “Greg is someone who commands huge respect in the live music industry. He is the ideal person to take on the mantle from Paul Latham and ensure the UK Live Music Group continues to develop a proactive agenda and deliver real results for the sector."