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Executive Turntable: Kobalt Names New SVP of Synch, Monument Adds Promotion Team

A rundown of moves and shakers across the music business, including at Kobalt, Monument Records and Blue Raincoat Artists.

Kobalt has promoted Chris Lakey to the role of senior vp, creative synch, it was announced Wednesday (April 22). He was previously vp, creative synch at the publisher.

In his new role, Lakey will oversee the creative synch team out of the company’s Los Angeles office.

Before joining Kobalt in 2008, the 20-year music industry veteran worked for eight years at Universal Music Publishing Group.

Also announced this week was Kobalt’s hiring of Jill Tschogl as vp, creative. In her new role, Tschogl will sign writers and artists and work with the Kobalt creative roster globally.

Tschogl started her career at Universal Music Publishing, where she managed a roster of more than 80 writers, including J.Cole, Miguel, Ester Dean, Cardo Got Wings, Hit-Boy, and Happy Perez. After 13 years there, she went on to head the music and content team at livestream platform and artist discovery app WAV. For the past four years, she led her own creative consulting and management company, Full Set Creative, where she worked with recording artists, songwriters, producers, wardrobe stylists, hair stylists and makeup artists.



Monument Records has added a promotion team that will be led by radio professional Drew Bland, Monument co-presidents Jason Owen and Shane McAnally announced Thursday (April 23).

In his new role, Bland will oversee three promotion executives in regions across the country, including director, regional promotion Lisa Mastrianni; manager, regional promotion Katelyn Lester; and one additional member who will be announced in the coming weeks.


Together, the new promotion team will partner with stations to garner airplay for the label’s artists while also investing in markets via press, college and brand events and charitable initiatives to feed local fanbases. They will kick off their efforts with Walker Hayes’ new single “Trash My Heart,” which releases digitally on April 24 and will impact radio in June.

Also announced Thursday was the promotion of Katie McCartney to general manager, where she will continue overseeing day-to-day label operations and marketing strategies.



Pete Fisher, formerly CEO of the Academy of Country Music and vp and general manager of the Grand Ole Opry, has launched his own consulting firm. The new venture, Fisher Entertainment Consulting, will connect businesses, brands, TV, film and philanthropy to Nashville entertainment.

Fisher stepped down from his role at the ACM last May after two and a half years on the job. During that period, he also headed up ACM Lifting Lives, the organization’s charitable arm. Prior to that, he worked at the Grand Ole Opry for 17 years.



Management company Blue Raincoat Artists has partnered with Major Influence managers Steve Milbourne and Teresa Raeburn, who will now operate under the Blue Raincoat Artists banner. They bring with them a roster of artists, songwriters and producers including L Devine, The Wandering Hearts, Sunset Sons, Robin Howl and Okan.

Prior to joining Major Influence in 2015, Milbourne worked at Kitchenware Records and Sony Music, where he served as creative director and oversaw campaigns for AC/DC, Michael Jackson, Mark Ronson, Kasabian, Hurts and Editors.

Raeburn started her career at BMG in New Zealand before joining Arista in the U.K. in 2000. Over the course of her career, she has held a variety of marketing and executive roles and worked with artists such as Dido, Kasabian, Will Young and Kings of Leon.



Music licensing marketplace Songtradr has hired Dave Curtin as vp of U.S. partnerships, it was announced Wednesday (April 22).

In his new position, Curtin will work to create strategic partnerships across the advertising, brand, OTT, media and content communities by leveraging his relationships with ad agencies and brands and working with media and streaming companies to scale Songtradr technology to a U.S. audience.

Curtin was previously senior vp of licensing and branded content at Paradigm.



Jeff King, chief operating and corporate development officer of Canadian performance rights organization SOCAN, has been named chair of the board of DDEX, the international standards-setting organization dedicated to improving the exchange of data and information in the music industry. He succeeds Paul Dilorito (formerly of PRS for Music) in the role.

AT SOCAN, King is responsible for strategy, licensing, distribution, international, information technology and corporate planning. He has been with the organization since 2001.



James Larus — dean of the school of computer and communication sciences at EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland and formerly a principal researcher at Microsoft Research — has joined blockchain music startup Beatdapp as advisor and technical expert, it was announced Friday (April 24).

Larus has published over 100 papers, has nearly 11,000 citations of his work across peer-reviewed academia and has been granted over 40 U.S. patents. He joined Microsoft research in 1998 to launch and lead the Software Productivity Tools (SPT) group, which developed and applied program analysis techniques to build tools to detect software defects. Prior to that, he was an assistant and associate professor of computer science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.