Taylor Swift, Longtime Publicist Split

Brian Doben

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift and her publicist of nearly seven years are parting ways, Billboard has learned.

Paula Erickson, whose Nashville-based Erickson Public Relations has handled the singer's press since 2007, informed the Swift management team that she is resigning come mid-March. According to a source, Swift has her sights set on bringing all PR efforts in-house to the management company.

Erickson started handling Swift, 24, as the country star's debut album in 2006 was about to cross the million-sales mark and continued on through 2012's Red, which sold 1.2 million in its first week (according to Nielsen SoundScan). A new Swift album is expected in late 2014.

During Erickson's tenure, Swift's high-profile TV bookings have included hosting duties on Saturday Night Live, and performances at the Grammys, the MTV Video Music Awards and many country awards shows.

Although seven years can seem like a lifetime in the music business, a handful of veteran reps count long relationships with their clients. Among them: Liz Rosenberg, with Madonna since the early 1980s; Marilyn Laverty, Bruce Springsteen's rep for just as long; and Larry Solters, The Eagles' publicist for several years during the '70s and from 1994 until today.

Offers one high-ranking PR executive: "Taylor will have her pick of top-shelf publicists, but the challenge is finding that person you know and trust. Bringing PR in-house assures that person is directly involved in advising on what needs to be done and what doesn't."

The split marks the second recent high-profile publicist-artist breakup. On Feb. 27, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that Drake and ID Public Relations had parted ways following Drake being bumped from the cover of Rolling Stone.


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