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Changes at Capitol Studios: Consolidation, Layoffs, New Role for Studio Manager Paula Salvatore

Capitol Records building
Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Capitol Records building

The historic Capitol Studios in Hollywood, home to recordings by Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Bob Seger, Tony Bennett,  Ray Charles and thousands of other artists, is undergoing some major changes.

Among the moves is consolidating administration services across all of the North American studios. Parent company Universal Music Group operates three studios in Los Angeles, one in Nashville, one in New York and at least one each in Canada and Mexico.

That switch led to a shift in roles for longtime vp/studio manager Paula Salvatore, who recently celebrated her 30th year with the studio. A source says Salvatore, who could not be immediately reached for comment, will continue working with the studio in a different capacity still to be announced. As word spread of Salvatore's departure as studio manager (without word of her new role) after legendary recording engineer Al Schmitt posted the news on Facebook, the outpouring of affection for the beloved Salvatore from artists, session musicians, composers and industry recording personnel resulted in several hundred posts singing her praises.

The studio is also shutting down its mastering and tape transfer departments. A source says the mastering department was being underutilized and the space will be converted into other resources. Much of the tape transfer work was already being handled by Iron Mountain, which will assume all the transfer duties it was not already handling. The layoffs total around half a dozen engineers and other staffers.

“At Capitol Studios, while demand for recording studios remains high, there has been an overall decline in requests for mastering services — to the point where we have decided to close Capitol’s mastering facility and focus on other areas of the recording process that are in higher demand by artists, including using the space to build additional recording suites," a UMG spokesperson said.

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