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Executive Turntable: Columbia Taps A&R SVP; Michelman & Robinson Ups Top Music Lawyer

A rundown of executive hires, promotions and exits in the week ending Oct. 1, 2021: Katie Vinten joins Columbia Records, Michael Poster elevated at Michelman & Robinson.

Katie Vinten has been named senior vp A&R at Columbia Records. She’ll report to the label’s executive vp and A&R head Rani Hancock.

Vinten previously served as co-head of A&R at Warner Chappell. During her tenure, she signed Julia Michaels, Justin Tranter, Hailee Steinfeld, Kygo and Christina Aguilera, among others. She later co-founded Facet Records & Publishing alongside Tranter and also has her own management company, Black Diamond Management.

“Katie’s consummate understanding of song craft as well as her innate ability to nurture artists and creatives makes her a wonderful addition to the Columbia Records A&R team,” said Hancock in a statement. “We are thrilled to have her on board.”


“I’m so excited to thrive and learn under Rani and Ron’s leadership and am looking forward to holding myself to a standard as high as the Columbia Record’s legacy,” Vinten added.

Michael Poster has been appointed the first-ever music acquisitions and financing chair at law firm Michelman & Robinson, LLP.

Poster, who is based in New York, has been named to Billboard’s Top Music Lawyers list for four consecutive years and was also dubbed a 2021 Power Player by The Hollywood Reporter. In his practice, he specializes in bridging the gap between the music industry and corporate, private equity, finance and M&A transactions. He also heads Michelman & Robinson’s corporate & securities department.

“Michael is one of the go-to lawyers for industry players riding the wave of music publishing catalog acquisitions that have been making news over the past couple of years,” said Michelman & Robinson chairman and co-founder Sanford Michelman in a statement. “I’m proud to say that he and his team provide counsel to participants in some of the most significant catalog transactions on record.”

Poster added that in 2021 alone, Michelman & Robinson has closed eight catalog deals, with another 10 in the process of closing. He estimates that these transactions amount to over $250 million for buyers including Vine Alternative Investments, Catch Point Rights Management, Pythagoras Music Fund and IIG Holdings. Last year, Poster personally represented Vine in the company’s acquisition of pop and country songwriter/producer Sean Douglas’ catalog as well as its blockbuster $100 million-plus purchase of Calvin Harris’ catalog.

Poster’s roster of clients also includes City National Bank, Concord Music Group, Spirit Music Group, Downtown Music Group, Cutting Edge Group, Reviver Records, Film Score Records, Pinnacle Financial Partners and oneRPM.

Erika Alfredson and Jay Schumer have both been promoted to the role of executive vp marketing at Columbia Records, effective immediately, the label announced today. They both previously held the title of senior vp marketing.

Both executives will continue leading the Columbia marketing department as co-heads, overseeing big picture strategy for the roster.

Schumer and Alfredson have had long tenures at the label, with Schumer joining way back in 1998 as a sales coordinator. After working his way up to manager developing artist & jazz sales, he moved over to Sony Music Label Group (later Sony Music Entertainment) as senior director rock & alternative marketing and, later, senior director sales and retail marketing. In 2013, he pivoted back to Columbia as vp marketing and climbed from there.

Alfredson joined Sony Music Label Group in 2005 as a retail marketing representative, later switching over to Columbia to serve as marketing manager starting in 2011. From there she moved up the ranks, earning promotions to senior director marketing and, later, vp marketing and senior vp marketing.

Patty Morris is leaving Capitol Music Group after more than 20 years with the label and its parent UMG, Billboard has confirmed. A source tells Billboard that Morris is leaving of her own volition and on good terms.

Morris most recently served as CMG’s senior vp promotion for adult formats out of both the Los Angeles and New York offices of the label. She departs the job tomorrow, after which she can be reached at morepatty456@gmail.com.

The news of Morris’ exit was first reported by HITS Daily Double.

Todd Dupler has been promoted to vp advocacy & public policy at The Recording Academy, effective immediately. He’ll report to the Academy’s chief advocacy & public policy officer Daryl Friedman.

Dupler works with Recording Academy leadership to develop policy positions on issues that affect the music community while also representing the interests of the organization’s members before Congress and federal agencies. He additionally coordinates state and local advocacy with the Academy’s 12 regional chapters.

Most recently, Dupler served as managing director of advocacy & public policy at the Academy. Since joining the organization in 2012, he’s been a key player in launching the Academy’s grassroots district advocate program as well as its political action committee the Grammy Fund for Music Creators, where he currently serves as the fund’s treasurer. He also managed the Grammys on the Hill advocacy day for nine years.

With over 20 years of experience in Washington, D.C., Dupler boasts expansive knowledge of Capitol Hill and the legislative process. Prior to the Academy, he was on the legislative staffs of two members of Congress and a U.S. Senator and served as legislative director to the chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet. In the latter role, Dupler helped facilitate negotiations to reform copyright law and was a liaison to stakeholders in the creative industries. Dupler was also a presidential appointee at the U.S. Department of Labor and has experience in state government.

A member of the State Bar of Texas, Dupler serves on the board of the Texas State Society of Washington, D.C. He was previously on the board of the Copyright Alliance. He earned a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.

JD Anderson has been named senior vp marketing and digital strategy at Motown Records, effective immediately.

In his new role, Anderson will lead the label’s digital strategy, working on campaigns across Motown’s roster while reporting to Motown executive vp marketing Brian Nolan.

Anderson was previously senior vp marketing at Epic Records, where he spent eight years. While there, he notably worked with Future, directing the rapper’s documentary I’m Just Being Honest and amplifying the release of his album High Off Life with skywriting in New York and Los Angeles. He also orchestrated the release of seven DJ Khaled music videos in a single day.

Prior to Epic, Anderson worked at Def Jam Recordings for five years after directing the music video for The-Dream’s “Panties To The Side.” During his tenure at the label, he traveled across Europe shooting artists like Kanye West while leading online marketing efforts for records by Rick Ross and others.

Lena Franklin has been named vp marketing at Def Jam Recordings. She officially joined the label in June, quickly spearheading projects for Kaash Paige, Alessia Cara (In the Meantime) and Ludacris (the forthcoming Netflix animated children’s series Karma’s World).

Prior to arriving at Def Jam, Franklin spent five years in the urban marketing department at Interscope Records. During that time, she contributed to campaigns for Top Dawg Entertainment artists Jay Rock, ScHoolboy Q and Kendrick Lamar. She also worked closely with Rich the Kid as well as LVRN artists Summer Walker and Lil Mosey. She started her career in 2014 as a college marketing rep at Sony Music.

Joe Belliotti is the new CEO of MassiveMusic North America. He was formerly head of global music at Coca-Cola.

MassiveMusic assists brands in becoming “more strategic and effective with the emotional power of music and sound,” as stated in a press release announced Belliotti’s hire. The announcement follows the company’s recent acquisition by B2B music licensing platform Songtradr. Under that deal, MassiveMusic has been leading Songtradr’s B2B music services division since June 2021.

In the role, Belliotti will lead MassiveMusic’s New York and Los Angeles offices while maximizing the company’s potential in North America. Alongside his team, Belliotti will amplify brand content and experiences through bespoke music; drive brand strategies through music partnerships; build equity through sonic branding and voice design; and provide global music licensing services.

“Brands today see that having a data-informed strategic approach to music and sound gives them a competitive advantage in building relationships with audiences, driving business and shaping culture – and rightly so,” said Belliotti in a statement. He added, “Our ultimate goal is to continue to simplify the complexities of music and sound for CMOs, brand teams and their agency partners, and help them create impact.”

Over his career, Belliotti has worked with artists including Queen, Drake and Janelle Monae. He most recently co-founded The Music Division, an outsourced music department that works with brands. In Billboard, he has been named to the Power 100, Branding Power Player and 40 Under 40 lists.

Veteran agent Shannon Casey has been tapped as senior vp fairs and festivals at Wasserman Music, where she will expand the company’s reach in the festival space. She begins in the role today out of Wasserman’s Nashville office.

Casey joins Wasserman after 20 years at CAA in Nashville, where she’s represented notable acts in the live space. She’s also an active volunteer and concert committee member at Thistle Farms and Thistle Stop Café, served on the board of the Nashville Film Festival and coordinated the CAA Foundation’s philanthropic efforts with Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS) and The PENCIL Foundation. She is additionally a member of NARAS, the Academy of Country Music and The Country Music Association.

In a statement, Wasserman senior vp Lenore Kinder said that Casey “has cultivated decades of meaningful relationships with her buyers, and I have no doubt they’re just as eager to get back to business with her as we are!”

Josh Berman has joined Really Happening Management – the firm that manages Flying Lotus, Thundercat, Brainfeeder and The Cinematic Orchestra – as head of marketing.

Drawing on 20 years of music industry experience, Berman will oversee marketing, digital strategy, partnerships and business development at Really Happening. Over his career, he has worked artists including Randy Newman, St. Vincent, Denzel Curry and Brian Eno and has experience running labels and departments in marketing, business and artist development roles.

Berman launched his career as a marketing coordinator at WB Jazz, where his clients included Joshua Redman and Brad Mehldau. In 2004, he served as a marketing director and project manager at Nonesuch before moving to U.K. indie label Warp as PR director. He later worked in label management at Loma Vista Recordings and, subsequently, streaming and digital marketing at Loma Vista’s parent company Concord.

Berman was named to Billboard’s 40 Under 40 list in 2019.

Rebecca Prochnik has joined UTA in London as director of creative strategy U.K. Music. She was previously at the Earth Agency, which she founded in 2014 and where she represented independent acts including Skepta, Deerhunter and Black Lips, among others.

In a statement, UTA U.K. co-head Obi Asika – who joined the agency after it acquired his Echo Location Talent Agency this past March – praised Prochnik for her “unparalleled reputation for helping independent talent break into the mainstream music landscape.”

Following UTA’s acquisition of Echo Location, the agency added superstars including Diplo, Major Lazer, Marshmello, Alesso and Wizkid to its international roster. Osika co-heads the U.K. office alongside Neil Warnock.

Producer, engineer and songwriter Elisha Hoffman has been tapped as an industry relations ambassador at music royalty financing firm Sound Royalties.

Sound Royalties assists creators in securing funding from their royalty streams without giving up ownership of their copyrights. Hoffman will help represent the company through direct community outreach and curated events in Nashville, where he is based.

Hoffman’s credits include co-producing the remix of Shania Twain’s “It’s Alright” and the show-opening music for The Chicks’ “Fly” tour. He has written songs for Faith Hill and Runaway June and co-wrote the song “Give In To Me” for the 2010 feature film Country Strong. His songs have been heard on TV shows such as The Shield and Dark Angel. He is also a founding member of Steven Tyler’s country group The Loving Mary Band and co-founder of Pumphouse Records alongside Lee Brice and songwriter Rob Hatch.

“As someone who has been immersed in the music industry for my whole life, I’m well-versed in the many options creatives face when it comes to taking full advantage of the earning potential of their work,” said Hoffman in a statement. “Joining Sound Royalties to help bring their services closer to music creatives is a no-brainer for me. A company that offers funding on all types of royalty streams without taking ownership, while offering the opportunity for ongoing cashflow is a valuable resource to my fellow musicians and others looking to grow and/or maintain their career in the music world.”

Big Machine Label Group and BMLG Records have announced the hire and advancement of several employees on the promotions and marketing teams.

On the BMLG Records promotions side, Liz Santana has been elevated to senior director East promotion after six years with the label. She was previously director of Southeast promotion. She previously worked at a boutique public relations firm in Palm Beach.

Also in promotions on the label side, Stella Prado has been upped to senior director West promotion. Prado joined BMLG Records in Feb. 2016 after working for 21 years at KOST 103.5 FM in Los Angeles, where she climbed from intern to program director.

Kylie Dembek has been promoted to manager of strategic planning. After working at WKLB/Boston while in college, she moved to Nashville and took internships at the Grand Ole Opry and CMA. She was previously promotions coordinator at BMLG Records.

Additionally, Michelle Tigard Krammerer will depart BMLG Records today after working at the label group for seven years. She has taken another job to be announced soon.

At Big Machine Label Group, Kaylan Moody has been hired as start team lead in the marketing department. While in college, Moody kickstarted her career at University of Florida radio stations both on-air and in promotions. She joins BMLG following previous roles at WHHZ/Gainesville, Florida and, most recently, associate editor at All Access.

Josie Hardin has been been tapped as digital marketing manager at Big Machine Label Group, joining the company from previous roles at Sophie Shear Vocal Studios and William Morris Endeavor as well as internships at Universal Music Group and Thirty Tigers.

Lastly, Flo Myerscough-Harris has been upped to label assistant on the Big Machine U.K. team after previously serving as an intern there. Before that, she served in internships at Under the Apple Tree and NBCUniversal International.