This Week's Stories: Roc-A-Fella co-founders form new company; Uni South launches management division

This Week's Stories:

Roc-A-Fella Co-Founders Form New Co.

By Carla Hay

NEW YORK -- Former Roc-A-Fella Records CEO Damon Dash has formed a new company, the Damon Dash Music Group, with Kareem "Biggs" Burke. The two co-founded Roc-A-Fella with Jay-Z.

DDMG will be distributed by Universal Music Group, which will sign artists and act as an umbrella organization for various record labels. These labels include Dream Factory (a partnership with producer 7 Aurelius) and reggaeton imprint Militain Musica, to be launched with hip-hop artist N.O.R.E. (a.k.a. Noreaga).

There will also be partnerships with the Wu-Tang Clan and M.O.P./First Family on yet-to-be-named separate labels.

Island Def Jam last month acquired the remaining 50% of Roc-A-Fella that it did not already own, and named Jay-Z as president/CEO of Def Jam Records. Dash said at a press conference that he will still be involved with Roc-A-Fella and Def Jam as a consultant.

Uni South Launches Managment Arm

By Phyllis Stark

NASHVILLE -- Nashville-based Universal South Entertainment, the parent company of Universal South Records, has formed the artist management division Universal South Artists (USA).

Veteran manager Marc Dottore comes aboard to head the new division. Making the transition with him are clients Jessi Alexander and Kathy Mattea.

The management arm is being offered as an option for artists on Universal South and other labels. Of the four initial clients, only Jennings is on the Universal South roster.

While plenty of management firms have formed small labels over the years, Universal South is the first Nashville label to form a management arm. USA was launched with the intention of helping the company earn revenues beyond record sales. The management division will share in its clients' profits from such streams as touring, merchandise, endorsements and publishing.

Universal South launched in 2002 as a joint venture between New York-based Universal Records and senior partners Tony Brown and Tim DuBois in Nashville.