BMG announced today (Dec. 5) that it would be splitting its U.S. repertoire teams into three distinct units, each with the same authority and autonomy as its individual global operations, according to company CEO Hartwig Masuch.
The announcement comes as BMG’s current president of U.S. repertoire, Zach Katz, announced in an internal memo that he would be leaving the company at the end of the year to pursue a new role in 2019.
“I would like to express my utmost gratitude to Hartwig, for believing in me over the years and believing in the U.S. team,” Katz said in a statement about his departure. “Under his management, BMG has grown exponentially and achieved more in the past 10 years than most companies could ever dream possible. I am positive the greatest years of BMG still lie ahead with the company’s new US leadership group at the helm.”
“Zach has made a substantial contribution to BMG over the past six years, most notably in helping our U.S. operation make the transition from an acquisition-driven startup to an organically-driven music publishing and recordings company which genuinely delivers on its core values to its clients,” Masuch said in a statement. “I have immense respect for the commitment he has given BMG and salute his multitude of achievements. ... Zach is above all a close friend and I am convinced we’ll work again together in the future.”
In BMG’s new structure, its U.S. operations will be divided into Los Angeles, Nashville and New York divisions. Thomas Scherer will run the L.A. office as its new executive vp repertoire & marketing; Jon Loba and Kos Weaver will jointly run the Nashville office in their current respective roles as executive vp BBR Music Group and executive vp BMG Nashville; and John Loeffler will run the New York office as its newly-appointed executive vp repertoire & marketing. Those distinctions will take effect beginning Jan. 1, 2019.
“The U.S. represents more than 50 percent of BMG’s business,” Masuch explained in a statement regarding the division of the U.S. teams. “To give you a sense of scale, if it was a country, our Los Angeles operation would be our biggest territory some way ahead of the U.K.; Nashville would be our third-biggest territory, just ahead of Germany; and New York would be sixth biggest, just behind France. ... Putting this new structure in place will empower local management and enable us to better deliver our mission of offering artists and songwriters a genuine alternative to the established companies.”
Scherer, who joined BMG in 2008 and previously held the title of executive vp frontline publishing, U.S. and global writer services, had overseen BMG’s offices in New York and L.A. as well as the international publishing creative teams, particularly spearheading negotiations in China and its content deal with Alibaba. Loeffler, who has been at BMG since 2009, has spearheaded the company’s relationships with artists like Roger Waters, John Fogerty and Kenny Loggins, and will now oversee both recorded-music and publishing in New York. Both Loba and Weaver have been working in Nashville for years, and will join together as the company moves into a new Nashville location next year. Loba will also continue to run BBR Music Group’s stable of labels, including Broken Bow, Stoney Creek and Wheelhouse.
“In a fast-growing company like BMG, one of the great challenges is to ensure you have the optimum structure for each stage of development,” Masuch added. “This structure prepares the ground for BMG’s next phase of growth in the U.S. and I would like to congratulate Thomas, John, Kos and Jon as they take on these exciting new roles.”