Six months after a splashy launch touting their synergy as sister labels, Big Machine Records and Show Dog Nashville have quietly split.
Both labels remain fully functional but are no longer affiliated beyond Show Dog owner/country superstar Toby Keith’s financial stake in Big Machine. Both imprints continue to be distributed through Universal Music & Video Distribution.
At their September launch, the labels were structured as sister companies, sharing most of their staff, including the entire promotion team. They also shared office space in a Music Row building owned by Big Machine president Scott Borchetta.
Keith has since moved his staffers out. They are now housed in temporary office space while Keith and his manager, T.K. Kimbrell, purchase a new building.
Show Dog retained most of the shared staff, including VP of sales Johnny Rose and VP of promotion Denise Roberts.
“I didn’t think we’d be this busy, this early,” Keith tells Billboard. “My agenda alone will dominate the staff.”
Borchetta is in the process of hiring a marketing executive for his label; he recently hired a full promotion team, including new VP of promotion Jack Purcell, a veteran country record executive.
Both sides say there was no falling out, and Borchetta says, “I don’t have a better friend in the business than Toby Keith.” In launching Big Machine, Borchetta says, “there was a lot of work I had to do, and [Toby] gave me a huge leg up in getting this together. He was able to fast forward a lot of great opportunities for us.”