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Executive Turntable: Ericka Coulter Joins Warner; WEA Adds E-Commerce Chief

A list of moves and shakes across the music business, including at Warner, WEA and Universal

Label executive Ericka Coulter joined Warner Records as senior vp of A&R. Previously, Coulter was vp of A&R at Epic Records.

Based in Los Angeles, Coulter will report to Warner’s co-chairman and CEO Aaron Bay-Schuck. “Ericka is an extraordinary champion of new talent,” Bay-Schuck said. “Ericka has incredible drive and insight into what makes a hit record and what it takes to make an artist a star.”

Before her six years at Epic, Coulter founded live performance platform TheBasement Series, an industry showcase wherein emerging artists perform for industry professionals and brands. She’s also held positions at Interscope and Capitol (Evolve) Records and has spearheaded projects by Rick Ross, 21 Savage, Keyshia Cole, Jidenna, Charm La’Donna, Giveon, Lonr., and many more.


Coulter says her main purpose is to effect change in the industry and build new legacies. “I’m a huge fan of Warner’s artist-centric approach and team,” Coulter said. “I’m all about doing everything I can to bring out the best in every artist I work with – from helping them create, to finding every possible avenue of exposure and connection to move their careers forward.”

Throughout her career, Coulter has worked with numerous artists. She oversaw acts like Rick Ross and Giveon during her time at Epic, and TheBasement Series highlighted names like LU KALA, Blxst, Mereba, Ambré, Kalan.FrFr, Kaash Paige, and G Herbo. TheBasement Series has garnered news coverage in the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Billboard, HITS, and, and has partnered with Amazon Music, Dropbox, S!NG, Airbnb, Jack Daniels, Triller and Beats by Dre.

“She’s not only a great A&R exec, with a gift for discovering and nurturing amazing performers, but she’s taken her passion to the next level by creating a fantastic environment where artists can find the people and resources to develop long-term careers,” Bay-Schuck said.

WEA, the label and artist services division of Warner Music Group (WMG), announced Tuesday (June 22) that EMP CEO Ernst Trapp has been promoted to president, global e-commerce & retail.

EMP is a European specialty music and entertainment merchandise e-tailer, and was acquired by WMG in 2018. It has since operated as a standalone unit led by CFO Jan Fischer and Trapp, who has worked with Twenty One Pilots, Panic! At the Disco, Metallica, Guns n Roses, Nirvana and major brands like Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, and Harry Potter.

“It’s been a pleasure to be a part of the WMG family for the past four years through EMP, and I’m happy to now have the opportunity to work even closer with the team as we put our focus into our e-commerce efforts,” Trapp said in a statement. “In today’s rapidly advancing digital world the opportunities to connects fans and artists are endless and I look forward to tapping into all of them.”


In his new role, Trapp will continue overseeing operations at EMP as CEO while also leading WEA’s global e-commerce efforts like direct-to-consumer sales and artist webstores. “The move will centralize the company’s worldwide e-commerce strategy under Trapp’s remit with teams around the globe working collectively to deliver memorable campaigns for artists and fans,” the press release reads.

He will be based in Lingen, Germany and report to WEA’s President Maria Weaver.

Meanwhile, Scott Cherkin is assuming SVP, Audience Strategy at WEA. He’ll oversee global audience engagement, working across the organization to establish best practices of tracking, measuring and learning from audiences.

Trapp and Cherkin’s new posts round out WEA’s executive team under Weaver, with Danielle Lee having been appointed to President of Artist and Fan Experiences. Benjamin Blank and Elsa Vivero were promoted as well to president of Media and general manager / executive vp of Global Commercial Services, respectively.

Simon Johnson will join Universal Music UK in a newly created role — managing director of strategy, growth and eCommerce — effective Monday (June 28). Johnson previously spent six years with Amazon.

Reporting to chairman and CEO David Joseph, Johnson will join the Universal Music UK leadership team and focus on building strategies, capabilities and new businesses to deliver growth, according to the press release. He will drive the company’s overall eCommerce strategy and work closely with Richelle Parham, Universal Music Group’s (UMG) recently appointed president Global e-Commerce & Business Development. Together, they will work to implement global strategic initiatives to create new commercial opportunities for UMG artists and labels.

“Simon brings his strategic vision alongside incredible experience in management, retail, data and analytics to this new role, but above all he is a creative and innovative thinker who shares our belief in the huge potential for eCommerce and finding authentic new ways for our artists to build their markets and audiences,” Joseph said.


In his new position, Johnson will develop new direct-to-consumer platforms alongside the company’s existing stores and explore new retail routes such as drop-shipping models, as well as interactive and shoppable experiences.

Universal Music Group (UMG) announced the appointment of Manuel Martos as general manager of Virgin Music Label & Artist Services Spain. Martos has served as Universal Music Spain’s Artistic Director since 2017.

He will be based in Madrid and report directly to Victor González, president of Virgin Music Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula. “Manuel Martos is an executive who brings invaluable experience to the structure of Virgin Music Spain,” González said. “The mission of building a roster of new independent artist talent, as well as achieving synergies with established and emerging record labels is certainly in very good hands with Manuel’s management.”

Martos said his goal is to maintain the “bold spirit” of the label and expand its legacy. “I am very grateful for the trust the company has placed in me,” Manuel said. “It is a real honor, as well as a great challenge to undertake this new adventure as the head of Virgin Music Spain and I face it with great enthusiasm.”

Virgin Music Label & Artist Services Spain is a division of UMG’s recently launched global network, delivering artist and label services to entrepreneurs and independent artists. It was launched to provide artists with global solutions and has fully staffed operations in the U.S., Japan, U.K., Germany, France, Australia, Sweden and across Latin America and Iberia.

Madison Square Garden Entertainment announced that Randy Fibiger has been promoted to senior vp of bookings and that Josephine Vaccarello has been named senior vp of MSG live & business operations.

These new roles were created to ensure that all live entertainment bookings are streamlined across MSG Entertainment’s venues: Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, the Beacon Theatre and The Chicago Theatre. Fibiger and Vaccarello will continue to report to Darren Pfeffer, executive vp of live, MSG Entertainment.

“Josephine and Randy are instrumental to our live entertainment business,” Pfeffer said in a statement. “Their relationships within the industry and expertise across all areas make them integral in leading our business operations and bookings groups, respectively, ensuring MSG Entertainment continues to raise the bar in creating exceptional moments for artists and fans alike.”


In his new role, Fibiger will oversee all concert bookings across MSG’s portfolio of venues and for Boston Calling. He will handle bookings for Madison Square Garden and supervise the bookings team as they focus on relationship-building with artists, managers, agents and promoters. “With the overarching goal of providing a superior experience at all MSG Entertainment venues, Fibiger will focus on unique event opportunities including residencies, multi-night and multi-city bookings, and more,” the press release reads.

Fibiger has more than 23 years of experience in live music and joined MSG Entertainment in 2009. Vaccarello joined Radio City Entertainment in 1998 and worked her way up to her most recent position of senior vp, Live.

In her expanded role, Vaccarello will oversee the strategy and business operations for the Live business while continuing to oversee family entertainment and performing arts, venue tours and special events. She will focus on optimizing the use of MSG Entertainment’s five venues and developing bookings strategies that help drive growth.

Moving forward, Peter Mongillo, director of Live, MSG Entertainment and Jeanine Kalikow, senior manager of Bookings, MSG Entertainment, will report to Fibiger. Mongillo will be responsible for booking Hulu Theater at MSG and The Chicago Theatre; Kalikow will book the Beacon Theatre. A Director who has yet to be hired will book Radio City Music Hall and will also report to Fibiger.

Andres Wolff has been named vp of artist relations and marketing at Sony Music Entertainment, U.S. Latin. He is making his return to Sony after serving as vp of marketing for Latin America and Iberia at Warner.

Wolff will be based in Miami and report to Esteban Geller, senior vp of marketing and artist relations for Sony Music Latin U.S. Latin. He will work with a roster that ranges from Shakira and Maluma to Ozuna and Rauw Alejandro.

LiveXLive Media announced their hiring of music industry professional Michelle Edgar. Edgar will “focus on developing and expanding relationships with artists and labels, global consumer brands and creating unique partnerships,” according to the press release.

LiveXLive Media is a global livestream platform for on-demand audio, video and podcast content in music, comedy and pop culture. They own PodcastOne, Slacker Radio, React Presents and Custom Personalization Solutions.

Edgar’s role will serve to amplify LiveXLive’s flywheel, which is to listen, watch, attend, engage and transact through music, pop culture, arts, sports, lifestyle and exceptional content and tech across all platforms. She will focus on using her experience to empower women leaders through projects focused on women’s empowerment and diversity and inclusion in the industry from artists to clients.

Edgar will be working closely with the company’s leadership team, featuring CMO Jackie Stone, global head of Artist and Talent Relations Roe Williams, SVP of Strategic Development Nikki Hart, SVP of Communications and PR Aileen Budow and vp of Business Development Jess Ettman.

LiveXLive Media also announced that music host Matt Pinfield will anchor its weekly rock countdown show. The Weekly Rock Countdown with Matt Pinfield debuted Monday (June 21) and will launch new episodes every week.

Soon, Pinfield will also host a weekly “Rock News” segment, which will be a service-wide news feature for all Rock listeners across LiveXLive.

Each week, Pinfield will share his knowledge of rock history and personal stories about some of music’s biggest talent while counting down the top songs of the week based on LiveXLive users’ plays, hearts and shares. The LiveXLive Weekly Rock Countdown is one of six weekly, exclusive, data-driven countdowns LiveXLive produces.

Rachel Hacken has been hired by YM&U Management as manager of U.S. music. Hacken previously held positions at AEG in Marketing and Atlantic Records in A&R respectively.

In this new role, Hacken will be on day to day management teams for clients including 5 Seconds of Summer, Jane’s Addiction, Liz Phair and Fever 333. She will also oversee tour marketing for North America across the YM&U management roster.

QC Sports, subsidiary of QC Media Holdings and home to Quality Control Music, has appointed Brad Cicala to be the managing partner of their newly launched football division. QC acquired Cicala’s company Terra Firma Sports Management in the agreement.

“What excited me about working with QC is the synergy in conducting business on par with Fortune 500 companies while still adhering to a family structure,” Cicala said. “Our goals aligned over the past decade with both parties helping young Black men and women transcend entertainment and sports into business, tech, gaming and ultimately a path towards real ownership with entrepreneurial spirit.”

Cicala’s career spans 20 years, adding NFL insight, negotiations and agency experience to the QC Sports enterprise. He brings with him a roster of clients for both on and off the field representation including Pierre Garcon, Diontae Johnson, DeSean Jackson, Malcolm Smith and John Ross III, among others.