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Executive Turntable: BBC Radio 2 Appoints New Chief, Sony/ATV Hires SVP of A&R

The BBC Broadcasting House in London.
Stefan Kiefer/imageBROKER/Shutterstock

The BBC Broadcasting House in London.

Helen Thomas has been announced as head of station at BBC Radio 2, it was confirmed Tuesday (May 12) by BBC controller of pop Lorna Clarke. Thomas’s new position is one of five new head of station roles responsible for pop music networks at the broadcaster, with the remaining appointments to be announced at a later date.

Thomas has served as Radio 2’s head of content commissioning since 2018. She previously worked as network editor at the station.

The news of Thomas’s hiring follows the announcement earlier this spring that current senior head of commissioning for Radio 2, Lewis Carnie, will exit the BBC this summer.

After launching her career in news at BBC 5 Live, The Today Programme on BBC Radio 4 and Newsbeat on Radio 1, Thomas later moved into music programming at BBC World Service. She’s produced several shows for the broadcaster, including Front Row at Radio 4 and the Johnnie Walker Drivetime Show, the Chris Evans Drivetime Show and the Breakfast Show at Radio 2. She subsequently led the first-ever BBC Music Pop Up digital radio station, Radio 2 Eurovision, and has brokered major partnerships with RHS, The Space and Art Fund. She also served as creative director of the Radio Academy’s Radio Festival in 2016 and is a founding member of the Young Audio Awards (formerly Young ARIAS) steering committee.

 


 

Katie Welle has been hired as senior vp, creative A&R at Sony/ATV.

Based in Los Angeles, Welle has over 15 years of music industry experience in both label and publishing A&R. She most recently served as senior vp, A&R at RCA, a role she held since 2014. Prior to that, she was an A&R consultant at both Sony/ATV and RCA. She also held the role of vp, creative at Sony/ATV between 2008 and 2014. She started her career in 2005 at Epic Records, where she worked as an A&R coordinator.

In 2019, Welle was named to Billboard’s “40 Under 40 Executives” list.

 


 

Festival and live events subscription marketplace festivalPass has announced the formation of a board of advisors and appointed Craig Kaplan as head of brand & media partnerships at the company.

Prior to joining festivalPass, Kaplan served as national vp of brand advertising and sponsorships at USA Today, where he managed the advertising sales team for print, integrated and sponsorship revenue and sales. He previously held senior roles at Gilt City, the Los Angeles Times and Conde Nast.

The advisory board is comprised of Lisa Licht, currently a marketing and brand partnership consultant and formerly CMO at Live Nation Concerts; Laurie B. Kirby, co-founder and president of FestForums and Best of the Fests, a b2b conference and awards event for music, film, food and wine festival organizers; Michael Josephs, executive vp business development and M&A at Townsquare Media; Vince Sarafa, chief strategy officer at Augeo Marketing; Lou Schwartz, CEO of Frankly Media; Gregory Butler, CEO of Rowl, Inc.; and Damon Gersh, president and CEO at Maxons Restorations.

 


 

Joel and Benji Madden’s event management company Veeps has filled a number of key executive roles.

Greg Patterson has joined the company as chief strategy officer following his April exit from Eventbrite, where he worked since 2016.

Lindsey Medina, who previously served as marketing director at Danny Wimmer Presents, has been hired as director of marketing.

Steve Rodriguez, formerly marketing operations manager at VSCO, has joined as head of growth.

Finally, Allie Gruensfelder and her team at Trendsetter Marketing have been brought aboard to work on publicity and brand awareness. They will function as an extension of Veeps to support the company’s artist and marketing efforts.

 


 

Independent production music company West One Music Group is further expanding into Latin America with Cristina Bellido, who has been promoted to senior vp of business development and will spearhead the company’s music licensing growth strategy in territories including Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru out of West One Music’s New York offices.

Bellido has more than 20 years of experience in the international music licensing and publishing business. In her new role, she will continue developing and nurturing relationships with advertising agencies and brands worldwide while also serving on the East Coast Board of the Association of Music Producers (AMP).

Under her leadership, Bellido’s team has developed partnerships with broadcasters across Latin America, making key placements on shows including Los Espookys on HBO and Diablero, Elite and Las Chicas del Cable on Netflix.

As part of the expansion, Bellido’s team has also added Laura Luna, who will serve as music and licensing consultant out of Mexico City. Luna has over 20 years of experience in the media and marketing industries in Mexico.

 


 

Fox Rothschild has hired Alex Threadgold as a partner in the firm's entertainment & sports law department.

Threadgold boasts more than two decades of experience in the entertainment industry and formerly served as in-house director of business affairs at VP Records and its distribution, music publishing, apparel, booking and international affiliates. He also founded and operated his own record company, Sound-Ink Records.

Joining Fox Rothschild from Savur Threadgold, where he served as partner, Threadgold’s focus is on intellectual property matters for creatives, helping them negotiate contracts, form corporations, register trademarks and pursue and resolve legal disputes. His music representations include bands, recording artists, DJs, songwriters, producers, record and management companies and more.

Prior to earning his law degree from Brooklyn Law School, Threadgold worked as a DJ. His background also includes label management, artist relations, event production, webcasting, retail and digital content creation. Among other projects, he has executive produced and commercially developed albums with MF Doom and Diplo.

 


 

Blockchain music startup Beatdapp has added veteran music executive Bryan Turner to its advisory board.

Turner formed and previously served as chairman at Priority Records, the hip-hop label that released music by artists including N.W.A., Ice Cube, Master P, Snoop Dogg and Jay-Z. Along with Jimmy Iovine’s Interscope Records, Priority also distributed Dr. Dre’s legendary 1992 album The Chronic under his leadership.

In addition to Beatdapp, Turner is currently developing a touring hip-hop show with Cirque du Soleil. He has also produced and promoted live concerts with artists including Lil Wayne, Cardi B, Lil Uzi Vert, YG and Wiz Khalifa.

 


 

Eric L. Martin has stepped down as CEO of the Indianapolis-based arts advocacy organization Music for All (MFA), its board of directors announced Wednesday (May 13). His resignation letter was submitted on April 15, ending over 25 years of leadership at the MFA.

In Martin’s place, the board elected Jeremy L. Earnhart to the position of president and CEO.

 


 

PR firm Shore Fire Media has promoted Andrea Evenson and Max Lefkowitz to senior account executives. Evenson is based out of Shore Fire’s Nashville office and Lefkowitz is based out of the Brooklyn office.

Both Evenson and Lefkowitz joined Shore Fire in 2015; they were previously account executives. Evenson has led campaigns for Lee Ann Womack, Baby Shark Live!, Scarypoolparty and more. Lefkowitz has spearheaded campaigns for artists including Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello and Daryl Hall & John Oates.

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