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Publishing Briefs: Sony/ATV Promotions, Rich Conlon’s New Firm, Mike & Keys Join Atlas

Billboard's Ed Christman rounds-up all the big news happening in the music publishing world.

Billboard’s Ed Christman rounds-up all the big news happening in the music publishing world.

— Sony/ATV Music Publishing has promoted Rich Christina to the role of senior VP, head of East Coast A&R, based in the company’s New York office. He will report to Sony/ATV U.S. co-president Danny Strick, who also oversees the company’s Nashville and and Latin operations.

“There is no one better who can relate to artists and songwriters than Rich Christina,” Sony/ATV chairman and CEO Martin Bandier said in a statement. “The number of hits that have come from the songwriters he has signed is impressive and the list continues to grow.”

Among Christina’s many signings are songwriters RedOne (Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Pitbull, Jennifer Lopez), J.R. Rotem (Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Maroon 5, Fall Out Boy) and Evan Bogart (Beyonce, Britney Spears, Enrique Iglesias, MKTO, Jason Derulo), while he has enjoyed a productive 2014 with a roster including Stellar Songs/Sony/ATV writers Charli XCX and Kiesza. He also works closely with the Norwegian songwriting and production team Stargate.



Christina started his industry career in A&R at Atlantic Records before a first stint at Sony/ATV and then joined EMI Music Publishing as senior VP A&R. He returned to Sony/ATV in 2012 as SVP A&R following the takeover of EMI.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with Rich for a number of years at Sony/ATV and I have always been amazed by his ability to recognize and develop new talent,” Strick said in a statement. “I am pleased that he will continue to makes real strides in his newly fortified A&R role at Sony/ATV.”

In addition to the Christina appointment, Clio Massey has joined Sony/ATV’s East Coast A&R team as director of A&R, and will report to Christina. Massy previously was in A&R at Universal Music Publishing Group and Liberal Arts and worked closely with artists and songwriters including Rami Afuni (Kiesza, Miley Cyrus), Robin Hannibal (Rhye, Quadron) and Ido Zmishlany (Shawn Mendes).

Former BMI executive Rich Conlon is setting up his own consulting and investment firm under the name Rights Management Holdings LLC.

For 20 years Conlon worked at BMI and when he left earlier this year he held the position of senior VP of managing corporate strategy, digital and corporate communications. 

In setting up shop in Norwalk, Conn., Conlon says the company will have a dual focus. One aspect of his business will be offering consulting services to rights owners, and strategies geared to the revenue producing side of their assets. 

Within that, Conlon will offer rights valuation and licensing; strategic development and product development. The consulting side of the company has already landed several clients, including Universal Music Publishing Group.

The other side of Conlon’s company will invest in companies that enable commerce in copyright and the creative/entertainment communities. He will seek out early and mid-stage emerging technology companies that are building global capabilities for future commerce that can handle high volume transactions and/or collect and analyze big data. So far Rights Management Holdings is funded by private individuals, but Conlon says he is seeking additional investors so that Rights Management Holdings can live up to the Holdings part of its name.

Prior to joining BMI, Conlon worked in content licensing at Viacom; and prior to that he was working in licensing television rights for the Learning Channel.

Atlas Music Publishing have signed Hip Hop/R&B/Gospel production duo, Mike & Keys, (formerly known as The Futuristiks) to a worldwide publishing deal. 

The duo provided production for 50 Cent’s “Before I Self Destruct,” with “Hold Me Down;” they also worked on  such albums as Dom Kennedy’s “From the Westside With Love, II,” Redman’s “Reggie” and Sheek Louch’s “Donnie G: Don Gorilla.” They have also worked with Eminem, Fat Joe, Royce da 5’9”, 8 Ball, Jay Rock, Curren$y, Master P, Juelz Santana, Drumma Boy, Ras Kass, Strong Arm Steady, Freddie Gibbs, Casey Veggies, K.Roosevelt and OverDoz, according to the Atlas announcement.  

“The first thing that jumped out at me about Mike & Keys’ production is the way they make the drums such a driving force, and centerpiece of their tracks,” Atlas A&R executive Jake Simon said in a statement. “The fact that they are themselves instrumentalists plays a huge role in the craftiness of their work, and paves the way for an unparalleled level of versatility.”

Mike & Keys, who are Money Mike (Michael Ray Cox, Jr.) and J-Keys (John Groover), have upcoming songs with Jeremih, Tee Flii, T.I, BJ The Chicago Kid, Nipsey Hussle and Dr. Dre, among others.

“Atlas Music Publishing is a progressive publishing company,” Rick Martin, manager for Mike & Keys, said in a statement. “They take pride in their ‘all hands on deck’ approach when it comes to creating opportunities for each and every writer/producer they sign.”