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Executive Turntable: New Hires at Sony/ATV, iHeartMedia, The Orchard & More

The latest moves and shakeups in the music industry this week.

Sony/ATV has made four new hires on its A&R team: Dane Schmidt joins Sony/ATV from Tree Vibez Music as creative director; Katie Kerkhover joins from CAM Creative as creative manager; Stephen Denninger joins from Universal Music Publishing Group as creative coordinator; and Laura Castillo joins from her Sony/ATV internship as A&R assistant. They will all be reporting to senior vp Josh Van Valkenburg, who oversees the A&R team in Nashville.

“Dane, Katie, Stephen and Laura bring another level of energy, excitement, and experience to our team,” Valkenburg said in a statement. “They are passionate about songwriters and we are thrilled to have them join our family.”


iHeartMedia appointed Justin Nesci to executive vp advanced audio and data revenue, effective immediately. He joins from Fox Network Group and will now be reporting to Carter Brokaw, president of digital and audience segment revenue strategy.

In his new role, Nesci will be responsible for developing data-driven audio strategies across iHeartMedia platforms such as SmartAudio. “We’re thrilled to have Justin spearheading iHeartMedia’s advanced audio and data revenue efforts,” said Brokaw. “His background in every level of organizational development at a variety of top media companies and start-ups will be key as we ensure our advertising partners are able to fully utilize our multiple platforms and unparalleled reach.”


The Orchard has announced a new addition to their urban division: Jay Andino. Andino, who joins from 300 Entertainment, will take on the role of vice president and will report to CEO Brad Navin.

“Jay’s enthusiasm and exceptional track record in the urban genre make him the ideal candidate for The Orchard’s Urban Music Division,” Navin said. “We are excited to welcome him to our global team as we further expand The Orchard’s unparalleled offering.”


ICE, previously ICE Services and ICE Operations, joined into a single entity and appointed Thorsten Sauer to CEO. Previously, Sauer was president of broadcast and media services at Ericsson, where his clientele consisted of BBC, ITV, Disney and Viacom.

“I am delighted to be joining ICE and look forward to working with an experienced team and organization that is so highly regarded in the industry,” said Sauer. “I believe that by combining the strength of the different ICE companies, we are in a great position to deliver best-in-class services to the industry in these exciting times.”


Boiler Room has appointed Stephen Mai to chief content officer in a newly-created role. Mai will oversee marketing, communications, events, film, creative and editorial, with a focus on helping the company’s global platform reach a mass audience. 

“We are bringing these areas of the business together under one leader as we expand our content and distribution platforms to drive our brand and content pillars to a mass global audience,” said Boiler Room founder Blaise Bellville in a statement. “Stephen has a track record of transforming iconic youth media brands and taking them to new heights. We’re excited by his vision for the brand.”


Downtown Music Publishing has appointed Bruce Lampcov as head of west coast business development. In his new role based in L.A., Lampcov will oversee the expansion of Downtown’s roster of prominent artists and songwriter catalogs, media companies and film composers. Previously, Lampcov served as executive vp at Fintage House where he signed household acts like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Kanye West

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Bruce to the Downtown family,” said Andrew Sparkler, Downtown’s senior vp, business development. “His deep and varied industry experience will greatly increase our presence in Los Angeles and beyond. Additionally, having Bruce on the team will bring with it some familiar aspects (he has excellent taste in food) and some unique ones (as far as I know, he’s our only employee who is a semi-professional cyclist).”