EMI Christian Music Group (EMI CMG) is laying off almost 10% of its staff as part of a companywide restructuring, Billboard.biz has learned. The changes bring the Sparrow and ForeFront labels under the same roof with the creation of EMI CMG Label Group. Additionally, EMI CMG’s publishing and distribution arms will be renamed, and the company has formed a centralized marketing unit, EMI CMG Marketing.
The moves leave EMI CMG with 261 staffers.
“We challenged ourselves and our leadership team here to figure out how to realign our company to best serve the changing needs of the music consumers and better serve our artists, our staff and our customers,” EMI CMG president/CEO Bill Hearn says.
Hearn says the reorganization will make EMI CMG “a better company, a more productive company. This will reduce our costs in the 8% to 10% range, which is significant.”
All label functions for ForeFront and Sparrow have been combined under EMI CMG Label Group. ForeFront will move from Franklin, Tenn., to EMI CMG’s offices in Brentwood, Tenn.
Peter York, who has been Sparrow Label Group president for eight years, becomes president of EMI CMG Label Group. ForeFront president Greg Ham has been promoted to the newly created position of executive VP of business development for EMI Christian Music Group. Both report to Hearn.
Sparrow and ForeFront artists — including Steven Curtis Chapman, Stacie Orrico, Switchfoot, TobyMac, Newsboys, Avalon, Rebecca St. James, Audio Adrenaline, Jump5 and Tait — will remain on their respective labels.
As part of the restructuring, EMI CMG’s Chordant Distribution Group will change its name to EMI CMG Distribution. Rich Peluso, formerly co-president of Chordant, will be president of EMI CMG Distribution.
David Crace, former VP of marketing for Chordant, has been promoted to senior VP of the new EMI CMG Marketing, reporting directly to Hearn.
EMI Christian Music Publishing becomes EMI CMG Publishing. Eddie DeGarmo continues as president.
Among the 27 staffers exiting are Rick Cua, VP of copyright development, and Rod Huff, co-president of Chordant Distribution Group, who will depart his post April 1.