Business

Executive Turntable: Concord Publishing Chief Jake Wisely Steps Down, UK Music Names New CEO

Jake Wisely
Beth Herzhaft

Jake Wisely

Concord partner Jake Wisely is stepping down from his role as chief publishing executive and passing the torch to COO Jim Selby. Wisely will join Concord’s board of directors, remain a partner and shareholder and maintain an advisory role in the day-to-day operations of Concord Music Publishing. He will also retain his executive member seat on the board of directors at the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA).

“The Concord Board of Directors and I are pleased to name Jim Selby as my successor,” said Wisely in a statement. “Since joining Concord in 2016, Jim has been an invaluable member of the team, helping to forge our discipline and culture, focusing on synergies between Concord businesses and maximizing value for all stakeholders. Jim is a consummate music fan, well-versed in our roster and catalog, and will ensure that Concord’s songwriters and composers are diligently served.”

Wisely came to Concord after 10 years with The Bicycle Music Company, which he had joined shortly after its 2005 acquisition by Steve Smith's Sound Investors. Over the next 10 years, Wisely, Steve Smith and current Concord chief business development officer Steven Salm acquired numerous businesses and catalogs across publishing and recorded music with the backing of Wood Creek Capital Management. Bicycle merged with Concord Music Group in 2015, becoming Concord Bicycle Music. In 2018, the company was rebranded as Concord and now operates three core businesses: Concord Music Publishing, Concord Recorded Music and Concord Theatricals.

Concord CEO Scott Pascucci said of Wisely, “Concord would not be what it is today without Jake Wisely and The Bicycle Music Company. Jake was critical to the establishment of Bicycle as a world-class publishing operation, which then became the foundational platform for Concord along with Concord Music Group. Since the combination of those two companies in 2015, Jake has proven himself to be an extraordinary manager and strategic thinker, whose contributions have been invaluable in building the company through new partnerships and investments. I look forward to working with him in his new role as a member of the Concord Board of Directors.”

He continued of Selby, “Jim was a natural choice when deciding who should guide Concord Music Publishing in its continued growth. He knows all areas of the Concord business, is a champion for our artists, songwriters and composers and will transition to Chief Publishing Executive seamlessly over the coming months. I am excited to see our publishing business flourish under his leadership.”

Before being named COO, Selby served as Concord’s chief revenue officer. Prior to that, he spent four years as general manager overseeing label shared services for Concord imprints including Concord Records, Craft, Fantasy, Fearless, KIDZ BOP, Loma Vista and Rounder. His previous roles included CEO of Naxos of America -- a role he held from 2007 to 2014 -- and senior vp of digital at Ole Media Management. He is a past member of the A2IM board of directors, where he was chairman for two years.

“I am thrilled to carry on the work that Jake started at Concord Music Publishing,” said Selby. “It is an honor to serve our songwriters and composers as the industry forges ahead in the digital era during these challenging times. I want to thank Concord’s executive team and Board of Directors for their support through the years and the trust that they have bestowed on me to lead Concord Music Publishing.”

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UK Music has named Jamie Njoku-Goodwin as its new chief executive. He was appointed by the UK Music board after an extensive recruitment process that attracted over 200 applicants.

Njoku-Goodwin, also a musician, brings with him a wealth of political connections in the U.K., having served as a special adviser to U.K. Health Secretary Matt Hancock and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Njoku-Goodwin succeeds Michael Dugher, who stepped down from the role in January. Tom Kiehl, who has been acting CEO since February, will continue as deputy CEO and director of public affairs.

"On behalf of all my colleagues on the UK Music Board, I’m delighted to welcome Jamie Njoku-Goodwin to the team,” said UK Music chair Tom Watson. “Jamie is a first-class appointment and brings renewed leadership to UK Music at a vital time for the industry. His experience of working at the heart of Government will be invaluable to the industry as we make the case to ministers that our sector needs further support as we return to being a net contributor to the country’s economy.”

Njoku-Goodwin added, "Be it through the £5.2 billion it generates for the economy, the 190,000 jobs it sustains across our country, or the symbol of British exceptionalism it broadcasts around the world, the music industry is one of our most important national assets - and something we should all be hugely proud of. UK Music has a vital role in fighting for the interests of the music industry, and I am delighted to be taking the helm of the organisation at such an important time.

"There are big challenges facing commercial music, like the impact of coronavirus, the importance of copyright, and the need for more action on diversity and inclusion,” Njoku-Goodwin continued. “But for all the challenges, there are also huge opportunities - and I am confident that with the right support, the music industry can be the British success story of the 2020s.”

 


 

Shani Gonzales has been promoted to managing director of Warner Chappell Music UK, effective Oct. 1. She will continue in her existing post of head of international A&R.

Gonzales, who plans to relocate to London in January, will work closely with newly-appointed vp of operations and finance Kate Alderton and head of A&R Amber Davis while overseeing Warner Chappell’s London-based global and regional department heads. She will report to Warner Chappell co-chair and CEO Guy Moot.

Since rejoining Warner Chappell less than a year ago, Gonzales has focused on integrating and connecting the company’s global roster across borders, including Ari Pensmith (London), Capital Bra (Germany), El Guincho (Spain), Fred Ball (London) and Jack & Coke (Sweden). She’s also managed the crossover of songwriters into new markets, including connecting U.S. hip-hop producer Tay Keith with U.K. rappers AJ Tracey and AITCH to create “Rain,” which peaked at No. 3 on the UK singles chart.

Gonzales started her career at BMI before joining Warner Chappell’s A&R team in 2004. She went on to work at Epic Records and Def Jam, later being named co-head of A&R for the U.K. and U.S. at BMG. She returned to Warner Chappell last year to assume the new role of head of international, executive vp of U.S. A&R out of the company’s New York office.

 


 

Nwaka Onwusa has been promoted to chief curator & vp of curatorial affairs at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. She succeeds Karen Herman, who stepped down on Sept. 15.

In her new role, Onwusa will provide leadership to the Rock Hall’s curatorial division, which includes permanent, traveling and digital exhibitions, museum redesign creative projects, artifact collections and library and archives.

Onwusa’s promotion follows her work on three new Rock Hall exhibits: the 2020 Hall of Fame Inductee Exhibit; Induction All Access: Photography by Kevin Mazur; and It’s Been Said All Along: Voices of Rage, Hope and Empowerment. On the latter, Nwaka served as lead curator and museum spokesperson for local, regional and national interviews.

Prior to joining the Rock Hall last year, Nwaka spent a decade researching, developing and curating over 20 exhibits for The GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE, as well as satellite and traveling exhibits.

Coinciding with Onwusa’s appointment, a number of other Rock Hall promotions and expanded roles were announced this week, including: Jennifer Bittner, promoted to director of people & analytics; Vicky Dorsey, promoted to director of network engineering; Andy Leach, now senior director of collections & library & archives; Becky Machovec, promoted to director of foundation relations; Shelby Morrison, promoted to director of curatorial operations & artist relations; and Ashley Walker, promoted to director of individual giving.

 


 

Talent management and entertainment company Jonas Group Entertainment has launched a Nashville-based publishing division, Jonas Group Publishing. Founder and CEO Kevin Jonas Sr. – songwriter and father of the Jonas Brothers – will be joined by songwriter Terri Jo Box (Miranda Lambert, Eric Church, Trisha Yearwood) on the roster.

“The roots of Nashville we both have in country and CCM and the wings of Top 40 that he has, it was a no-brainer for me to have the best of both worlds, working with Kevin,” Box told MusicRow, which broke the news. “He’s also focused on integrity, so that was another thing that drew me to being part of the company. They also set up my situation to where it didn’t look like a lot of deals, because I am able to have creative control in helping to build the company and consulting on writers and artists we work with. He has a long-term game plan. I’m excited about what we are building here in Nashville.”

Jonas Group Publishing will beef up its staff and roster over the coming year.

 


 

John Ingrassia has joined Jared Gustadt’s new podcast production studio Audio Up Media as president, music. Since starting in the role, Ingrassia has already developed significant deals with Primary Wave, Warner Records and Sony Music, with more in the works.

Ingrassia has held senior level positions at a number of music companies, including Sony Music, where he served as executive vp overseeing day-to-day operations for the Columbia Records Group and, later, president of the commercial music group following Sony Music’s merger with BMG. He’s been the general manager at Vector Management in Nashville since 2009.

"After spending the first part of my music career working for one of the major record companies, and then the last decade supporting artists at one of the best management companies in the business, I am more than excited to join Jared in his latest venture and create new opportunities for music discovery through the exploding medium of podcasts,” said Ingrassia in a statement. “Even as the popularity of podcasts has increased exponentially in recent years, music has been underserved, and Audio Up’s mission is to develop innovative programming that incorporates music that can stand on its own –the perfect complement for telling stories in a pure audio medium.”

Added Gustadt, “John and I believe that podcasting is poised to become the next great discovery platform, not only for developing artists, but also for established artists looking to release new content in innovative ways, particularly in these uncertain times, as well energizing the vast catalog of music that is available thanks to streaming services.”

 


 

Toronto-based Paquin Entertainment Group is opening an office in Nashville, its first south of the U.S.-Canada border. It will be led by artist manager Michelle Szeto.

The Nashville office will serve as home base for Szeto’s growing management roster, which includes Donovan Woods, Wild Rivers, Logan Wall and Devan. It will also lay a foundation for Paquin’s expansion into overseas markets.

In addition, Paquin’s agency division, Paquin Artists Agency (PAA), has hired three new agents: booking agent Vesna Pejkovic, André Guérette and Jason Furman, the latter two of whom join the company as vice presidents. Pejkovic, who will work out of Vancouver, brings clients Chris Botti and Raffi to the company. Meanwhile, Guérette – who will be based out of Toronto alongside Furman – brings clients including Patrick Watson and Pink Martini, while Furman brings Straight No Chaser and grandson, among others.

The agency also welcomes Frédérique Bernatchez as agent assistant.

 


 

The Blues Foundation has hired Patricia Wilson Aden as its new president and CEO, effective Oct. 1. She succeeds Barbara Newman, who is going into retirement.

Aden, who brings over 30 years of non-profit management experience to the role, most recently served as president and CEO of the African American Museum in Philadelphia. Prior to that, she was executive director of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation.

 


 

Indie label Mom+Pop Music has promoted Lindsay Schapiro to vp, head of digital.

Schapiro will lead all of Mom+Pop’s digital activities, including global DSP relations for the company, and oversee all artist campaigns. Schapiro, who first joined the label’s digital department in 2016, most recently served as senior director, digital marketing/streaming. She has been a key player in campaigns for Flume, Tycho, Courtney Barnett and more.

 


 

Ritz McCain is joining Spotify as senior editor of Christian & Gospel.

McCain most recently served as director of global streaming at Capitol CMG under Universal Music Group. Prior to that, she was worked in A&R and publishing at indie hip-hop label Reach Records and at Sony Music’s Provident Label Group.