Executive Turntable: New Heads at UMG's Eagle Rock and BMG Production Music, Moves at Republic and More

Courtesy of BMG Production Music
              

On Thursday (Dec. 12) Universal Music UK announced the appointment of Alice Webb as chief executive officer of Eagle Rock Entertainment, the company’s music programming production and distribution division for broadcast, DVD, Blu-Ray, TV and digital media.

Webb joins Universal Music from the BBC, where she worked for 15 years across multiple departments. Her roles at the broadcaster included a three-year stint as chief operating officer of BBC North -- where she successfully orchestrated the move of key BBC departments to Salford, England -- and a three-year run as director there. She finished her BBC tenure as director of the children’s and education department, where she helped lead the organization’s digital transformation and drive to reach new audiences.

“Universal Music is an extraordinary organisation -- it puts creativity at the heart of everything it does -- which is why after 15 happy years at the BBC, it is a privilege to be joining Universal Music and Eagle Rock Entertainment,” said Webb in a statement. “The opportunity to tell the stories of some of the world’s best-known artists -- past, present and future -- is one I couldn’t turn down.”

Added Universal Music UK chairman David Joseph: “Alice is an outstanding executive whose track record as a commercial and operational leader speaks for itself. The combination of her exceptional eye for creative output and digitally savvy leadership will help build upon Eagle Rock’s award-winning formula for success in one of our industry’s fastest evolving areas.”

 


 

LiveXLive Media, a digital media company focused on live entertainment, has brought on Garrett English as chief creative officer, it was announced Monday (Dec. 9).

In his new role, English is tasked with overseeing all content creation at LivexLive, where he will executive produce the existing slate of global live events and original series. He will also head up creative and content development, oversee programming and lead the company’s platforms talent and artist relations divisions. 

“We are excited to bring an executive of Garrett’s caliber to LiveXLive,” said the company’s president Dermot McCormack. “He will be instrumental in shaping the direction of our content as well as spearheading many of our important ongoing and annual initiatives like LiveZone Weekly and the Live Music Awards, that are planned to debut next year.”

Added English, “After years of developing talent-driven and music-focused content for linear cable I am thrilled to help build from the ground up a digital network dedicated solely to music culture.”

English joins LivexLive from Viacom, where he served as executive vp of live event programming, special & news at MTV, VH1, MTV2 and LOGO. During his stint there, he executive produced the MTV Video Music Awards and the MTV Movie Awards, along with other live events and specials.

 


 

BMG has appointed John Clifford to lead its worldwide production music business, BMG Production Music (BMGPM), which provides one-stop, pre-cleared and custom production music services to the global broadcast, film, games and advertising industries. He will report to BMG CFO Maximilian Dressendoerfer.

A native of Australia, the London-based Clifford joined BMGPM in 2017 as managing director UK and senior vp global sales, marketing & repertoire. During his time at the company, he has contributed to BMGPM’s growth with the integration of UK acquisitions Altitude and Deep East Music, the global relaunch of the BMGPM brand and the development of business with new clients including Ninja Tune and Red Bull.

Clifford replaces Berlin-based Geert-Willem Koolhof in the role, who opted to step down from the position following the completion of BMGPM’s initial build phase. The appointment of Clifford means BMGPM headquarters will now be run out of London, making it the fourth BMG global hub to be based in the UK capital.

Clifford, who has worked in production music for 25 years, previously ran the former BMG Zomba in Australia and held a variety of roles at Universal Production Music, including managing director UK, head of media rights management for Europe and, earlier, general manager Australia/New Zealand.

 


 

John Zarling and Jackie Campbell have announced the alliance of their individual companies in a new venture, 615 Leverage + Strategy. The boutique marketing company will focus on amplifying artist storylines via a diverse community of strategic partners, serving as a full-service extension to artist and label marketing teams.

“During my 20 years in the music business, I have been part of building and expanding careers by converging multiple marketing pillars,” said Zarling, who will serve as the firm’s president and chief strategy officer. “As the industry adjusts to a new paradigm of music consumption, it is essential that focus on the larger career arc of an artist is not lost. I am excited to partner with Jackie, someone whom I have immense respect for, to focus in these lanes. By combining our strengths into a cohesive effort, all of our clients will benefit.”

“For me, this journey started nearly three years ago, when I decided to launch my own company to see if there was a better way to implement marketing and strategic partnerships within the music industry world,” said Campbell, the firm’s head of business development & client service. “John has been a dear friend and mentor from Day One, and I could not be more thrilled to take this next step with him to expand and create a full-service marketing company to continue our mission to craft artist narratives through live events, partnerships and branded content.”

Zarling and Campbell have also announced the hiring of Cheyana Weekley as the firm’s project director and Jordan Lipsey as project manager.

The new firm takes its name from Campbell’s boutique brand strategy company 615 Leverage, where she directed partnership strategy for record labels, artist management companies, festivals and brands.

Zarling and Campbell previously worked together at Big Machine Label Group (BMLG), where Zarling served as senior vp, partnership marketing and promotion strategy between 2005 and 2016 before departing for Sony Music Nashville, where he was executive vp, marketing & new business. Meanwhile, Campbell oversaw BLMG’s corporate partnerships and brand integrations as the company’s director of partnership marketing.

 


 

Audio tech company Mixhalo has brought on Thomas Meyer as head of music industry business development and partnerships, it was announced Tuesday (Dec. 10).

In his new role, Meyer will focus on introducing the Mixhalo platform to artists, managers, agents, promoters and venue owners in the music and live entertainment arenas, while also helping to identify revenue and partnership opportunities at venues across the U.S.

Meyer previously spent 14 years at Sonos, where he led the company’s global artists, industry and sound creator relations and headed up the expansion of its PR strategy. He has also held positions at Sirius Satellite Radio, Zeno Group and Rogers & Cowan.

 


 

Chris Blackwell has been named the senior vp of creative content & development at Republic Records, Republic co-founders Monte and Avery Lipman and general manager Jim Roppo announced Friday (Dec. 13).

In his new role, which is based out of the company’s New York and Los Angeles headquarters, Blackwell has been tasked with leading creative development for film, television and premium platform projects to star and showcase Republic Records artists. His responsibilities include establishing partnerships to create, develop and release programming across digital, streaming and broadcast.

A full production slate is set to be announced soon.

“Republic is home to the biggest and most venerable roster in the world,” said Blackwell in a statement. “There’s so much talent in terms of the artists and the executive team. I’m excited to work together with everyone to bring a new and fresh perspective when it comes to original content featuring these acts.”

Blackwell hails from All Def Media, the Russell Simmons-founded digital entertainment brand where he rose from director of social to CEO. In July, the company filed for an assignment for the benefit of creditors (ABC) -- a common alternative to bankruptcy -- after reports of staff cuts emerged earlier in the month. At the time, freelancers for the company were claiming $50,000 in unpaid invoices.

 


 

On Monday (Dec. 9), Universal Music Canada (UMC) announced the promotion of Ryan “Shep” Shepard to senior director, national promotion. He will report to UMC’s vp of marketing JP Boucher.

In his new role, Shepard will oversee the company’s promotion department. His duties will include building and forging broadcast partnerships and opportunities, developing and leading plans to maximize airplay, increasing exposure for UMC artists and ensuring the company “remains at the forefront of innovation, creativity and strategic leadership in the Canadian broadcast landscape.”

Shepard’s nearly 30-year career includes nearly seven years as a Toronto and South-West Ontario promotions and marketing representative at Warner Music Canada, and an additional six years in that role at UMC. From 2014-18, he served as Canadian label manager at Glassnote Records, followed by a return to UMC as senior marketing manager, where he helped build the profiles of artists including Shawn Mendes, BAD CHILD and Of Monsters and Men.

“I’ve been fortunate to spend much of my music industry career focusing on airplay and promotions to amplify artists and I’m excited to return to my radio roots with this new role,” said Shepard. “It’s an honour to shepherd (pun intended) Universal Music Canada’s world-class domestic and international artists into the ‘roaring twenty-twenties’ with world-class radio strategies and activities that reflect our changing broadcast landscape, and I can’t wait to get started.” 

 


 

Ty Salazar is the new senior director of creative licensing at independent publisher, record label and management firm Position Music, the company’s president and CEO Tyler Bacon announced Wednesday (Dec. 11).

Salazar, who joined the company in 2013, has been instrumental in growing Position’s film/TV synch revenue by over 100% in the last two years, landing placements with Grey’s Anatomy, the NFL, The Resident, Power, Mayans M.C. and hundreds more. His new role will see him continuing to grow the company’s client base and synch revenue.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Ty for many years across two different companies,” said Position vp and head of synch Emily Weber in a statement. “Watching him kick-ass at Position Music has been amazing and he is an extremely important part of our team. Not only is he one of the most likeable and charismatic people in our industry, his music tastes and creative ideas are spot on. It’s no wonder the top Music Supervisors in Film/TV trust his music suggestions and want to work with him regularly."

 


 

Independent record label EMPIRE has announced the promotion of four of its executives: Eamon Mulligan to vp of product and e-commerce; Moody Jones to vp of digital and creative; Kush Arora to director of operations; and Harrison Golding to director of marketing & creative. The news was announced by EMPIRE founder and CEO Ghazi.

In their expanded roles, Mulligan, Jones, Arora and Golding will continue working closely with EMPIRE’s roster of artists and labels to execute the company’s overall strategy.

Mulligan's promotion comes after he successfully launched and solidified EMPIRE’s in-house merchandising team in 2019, creating everything from vinyls to lip gloss.

Jones and Golding have played key roles in developing and implementing digital marketing campaigns, with an emphasis on creating organic engagement between artists and fans.

Arora, meanwhile, has overseen every aspect of the label’s content delivery process, successfully growing and streamlining processes.

“Eamon, Moody, Kush and Harrison are key players on the EMPIRE team and have been pivotal in our success,” said Ghazi in a statement. “As we continue to scale and grow, their expanded roles will continue to push EMPIRE forward as a globally recognized label and brand in support of independent artists.”

 


 

Clare McConnell has been named senior privacy counsel at Warner Music Group (WMG), the company announced Thursday (Dec. 12).

McConnell is an online privacy expert and specialist in compliance with data privacy legislation in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere. She joins WMG from Guardian Media Group, where she led a team that ensured data privacy compliance and good practice across the company’s operations in the U.K., U.S. and Australia.

“Music companies have more of a direct relationship with fans than ever before,” said McConnell in a statement. “With that access comes the responsibility to treat people’s data sensitively and ensure that it’s only used to enhance their consumer experience.  I’m delighted to have the opportunity to ensure that Warner Music helps set the standard in this important area.”

McConnell will be based in London and report to Kate Logan, WMG’s general counsel, international.

“Ensuring fans’ data is treated appropriately is a huge priority for us, so it’s fantastic that Clare has agreed to spearhead our efforts in their area,” added Logan. “She has an incredible track record of working on some of the biggest data privacy programmes in the world, so it’s a real coup to bring her to Warner.”

McConnell has worked for several leading London law firms including Pinsent Masons, where she helped build the company’s award-winning international transport team. She later became lead commercial negotiator and head of the projects department at Stephenson Harwood Solicitors before going on to work as a specialist independent consultant. Following that, she joined Genomics England as its commercial counsel and data protection officer, guiding the U.K. government-owned company’s work as one of the largest big data health projects in Europe.

 


 

CAA has promoted trainee Julie Greenberg to agent in the company’s music and comedy touring division, it was announced Monday (Dec. 9).

In her new role, Greenberg will focus on music; she is based out of the company’s Nashville office.


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