Friday, April 25, 2008

EMI's slow restructuring gains clarity

By Ed Christman
1 hour, 26 minutes ago

NEW YORK (Billboard) -
The restructuring of British record
EMI will be one of the most ambitious reworkings of a
major music company yet seen by the industry.

EMI, now owned by private equity firm Terra Firma, wants to
lay off 2,000 employees as part of a plan to tear down label
walls and international boundaries, and focus more on finding
new talent.

So far a small amount of the expected job cuts have taken
place at EMI's Christian Music Group and, most recently in the
radio promotion department at Capitol/Virgin, which handles
such acts as Coldplay and Lenny Kravitz.

These moves only hint at what's to come. When all is said
and done, EMI will have three centralized groups, divided by
function, instead of by label and region, sources say.

The company is centralizing all marketing, sales, catalog
and digital forces under a global music services group. The
purpose of peeling away these functions from the labels was to
have a smaller head count but allow for more efficiencies. In
the traditional music business, if one label was hot and
another cold, or if one had a heavy release schedule and the
other didn't, it became a resource allocation challenge.

A support services group will round up EMI's back-office
functions. Driving the music will be a centralized group, to be
headed by former Island Records Group president Nick Gatfield.
In some cases some labels will remain intact, like EMI Latin
and EMI Christian. But other A&R (artists and
repertoire)staffers will be genre or regional specialist,
instead of reporting to specific labels like EMI Nashville,
jazz division Blue Note, Virgin, Capitol or dance-focused


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