A number of high-placed executives are exiting Warner Bros. Nashville and Word Entertainment as part of the massive restructuring process by the Warner Music Group (WMG).
Contrary to a prior report on Billboard.biz, Warner Bros. Nashville president Jim Ed Norman is not leaving the company.
Among the cuts are senior VP of creative services Janice Azrak and senior VP of A&R Paige Levy, both longtime employees of the company. Executive assistant Kim Drummond also exits.
Faith Hill is the only major artist on the label, which is also home to John Michael Montgomery and Blake Shelton.
Also in Nashville, approximately 32 people were let go from Word Entertainment, the company’s Christian division. In contrast to the country arm, most key players remain in place in Word, including CEO Malcolm Mimms, Word Label Group president Barry Landis, Word Distribution president Mark Funderburg and Word Label Group senior VP of marketing and artist development Mark Lusk.
Word’s cuts were felt across the board, but the public relations and A&R departments were hardest hit. The entire PR department is gone, including director of publicity Leanne Bush and associate publicist Anita Crawford. The A&R department lost 50% of its staff, including VP Chris Rodriguez, director Bryan Mieller and manager Linda Wornell.
Among the other Word staffers let go are marketing coordinator Jay Prock, radio promotion coordinator Jennifer Shelton and longtime staffer Marie Lehman, who handled special events.
WMG is in the process of eliminating 20% of its global workforce of 5,300. The purchase of WMG by an investment group led by Edgar Bronfman Jr. closed Monday, and the company’s new owners are striving for a projected $225 million in cuts.