Republic Records named David Wolter executive vp, A&R out of the label’s New York headquarters and Miles Beard executive vp, A&R out of Los Angeles.
Wolter was most recently executive vp of Virgin Records at Capitol Music Group, a role he assumed in 2018. Before that, he worked for 10 years at RCA Records, where he signed Bleachers, Walk The Moon and Elle King, among others. That was preceded by an earlier stint at Republic, where he worked between 1997 and 2007; he signed Gorillaz during that time.
At Republic, Wolter will oversee upcoming releases for Benee, Greta Van Fleet and Jimmy Fallon, among others, as well as sign new talent.
“David is not only one of the most respected A&R executives in the business, but he’s also an arbiter of culture,” said Republic co-president Wendy Goldstein in a statement. “He has left an indelible mark on popular music with incredible and groundbreaking signings throughout his career. He really sets the tone for the future of our A&R team. We immediately connected from our first meeting, and he’s going to be a major asset to the evolution of our department.”
Beard comes to Republic from APG, where he started as an intern and rose to senior vp, A&R. During his tenure, he signed Charlie Puth, Alec Benjamin and Pink Sweat$. He has also worked extensively as a DJ in nightclubs across the U.S., on-air at KIIS-FM and at private events.
“Miles has really set the pace for pop music with an unbelievable winning streak of incredible signings throughout the past decade,” said Goldstein. “The impact of his work is palpable throughout the industry. As we continue to expand our A&R team, he’s the perfect addition as a prescient executive with sharp instincts and a diehard work ethic. It’s an honor to welcome him to Republic Records.”
The Beggars Group of Labels announced several hires and promotions in its streaming division.
Brandon Becker was promoted to global head, streaming, where he will direct campaign streaming strategy in collaboration with the labels and maintain primary relationships with the company’s streaming partners worldwide.
Matthew Gawrych joined Beggars as U.S. streaming director. He joins the company from FUGA, where he served as global head, marketing strategy. In his new role, he’ll be tasked with overseeing Beggars’ U.S. streaming business and day-to-day relationships with designated U.S. accounts. He’ll also lead U.S.-originating campaigns.
Marissa Esposito was promoted to U.S. junior streaming account manager, where she’ll directly support Gawrych in handling direct relationships with several streaming partners, along with providing administrative support to the global streaming team.
Finally, Shaun Delaney will now assume sole oversight of all U.K. streaming activity as Beggars’ senior streaming lead, while Molly McIntyre moved from the U.K. radio department to become U.K. junior streaming account manager.
Kobalt promoted Jon Trumbull to head, global writer & publisher relations. He was previously vp, writer & publisher relations.
Trumbull, who has been with Kobalt since 2011, was the second employee at Kobalt’s writer & publisher relations team in the U.S. In his most recent role of vp, he oversaw the company’s New York and Nashville offices and the team’s analysis division. He has directed the administration of some of Kobalt’s top clients, including Dave Grohl, Nine Inch Nails and Paul McCartney.
“Jon has consistently raised the bar for servicing our clients,” said Kobalt president and COO Jeannette Perez. “Kobalt continues to stand alone as the best-in-class client services to songwriters and publishers, and Jon has been a key part of that.With his leadership, I am confident he will continue to find new ways to strengthen our service offerings and support Kobalt’s continued growth.”
The Recording Academy appointed Ryan Butler as vp, diversity, equity & inclusion, effective immediately. He reports to co-president Valeisha Butterfield Jones, his predecessor in the DEI role.
Butler joined the Academy in 2019 as a key member of the advocacy and public policy team and later served as director, then senior advisor, of the DEI department. He has led various efforts including the launch of the Academy’s first-ever Black Music Collective and podcast of the same name, the Women in the Mix study alongside Berklee College of Music and Arizona State University, and the implementation of an inclusion rider for the upcoming 64th Annual Grammy Awards. Butler also was instrumental in launching a series of partnerships including Color of Change and GLAAD.
During his tenure as senior advisor, Butler simultaneously served as the founding executive director of the Warner Music/Blavatnik Center for Music Business at Howard University, his alma mater. – Paul Grein
Orangetheory Fitness appointed artist, DJ and producer Steve Aoki as its first-ever chief music officer. In the newly-created role, Aoki will oversee the “musical vibe” for Orangetheory’s global network throughout the year, according to a press release, while helping the brand “evolve its member experience” in terms of music. The relationship will continue throughout 2022.
Aoki’s duties will include leading music advisory sessions with the Orangetheory team, providing customized musical beats for exclusive member content and helping the brand to establish a music advisory board. He will additionally design a custom track for the company’s forthcoming “More Life” ad campaign.
As a brand partner for the company, Aoki will work closely with the Orangetheory fitness team on setlists that will serve as the soundtracks for a new workout series entitled “All Out with Aoki,” the first of which will debut globally on March 26.
“We know the critical role music plays in the workout experience, which is why we enlisted Steve Aoki as CMO,” said Dave Long, co-founder and CEO of Orangetheory Fitness. “Steve’s dedication to health and wellness coupled with his passion for science and technology makes him a natural fit. His values align perfectly with Orangetheory’s science-backed, technology-tracked workout.”
Added Aoki, “Health, science and technology are three personal passion points for me and as Chief Music Officer for Orangetheory Fitness, I’m able to put them all in play. There is a strong parallel between the energy at my shows and how Orangetheory coaches light up their own classes every day – my new setlists are meant to enhance this already amazing workout.”
Keith Hagan launched Skylark Artist Management, a new management/marketing/publicity company.
Hagan served as co-owner of SKH Music for the past 12 years, during which he was involved with the careers of The Afghan Whigs, TOTO, Kenny Rogers and Robert Finley. Joining him in the new venture on the client side are The Afghan Whigs, Robert Finley, Cymande and Lily & Madeleine; Hagan will also continue handling publicity for the Kenny Rogers estate. New clients for Hagan at Skylark include Beth Orton, The Whitmore Sisters and The Mastersons.
“During the pandemic, I was quite active in a couple of different areas, not all of them management related,” Hagan commented. “I became a full-time volunteer for Joe Biden’s campaign along with contributing to the launch of Brooklyn Made Presents. However, at the end of last year, I felt the time was finally right to strike out on my own fully. I have an excellent support team around me here at Skylark, and I’m very excited for what the future holds.”
Before SKH, Hagan was vp/general manager at PFA Media, which he helped launch in 2002. He also served as vp, publicity at Mammoth Records for nearly eight years and as the “alternative” publicist at Arista Records for two years.
EMPIRE hired Stephen White as chief product officer. White will oversee all data and technology and be responsible for the strategic product direction of the company, including product vision, innovation, design and development.
White was previously the CEO at StageIt Corp, which he joined in May 2020 and remained with through its sale to VNUE in January. Before that, he was chief executive and chairman of the board at Dubset Media Holdings, where he led the charge on repositioning and rebranding; the business sold to PEX in February 2020.
Between 2012 and 2014, White was chief executive and president at Gracenote, where he worked for a total of 14 years and played a pivotal role in growing the company from a small startup. Prior to Gracenote, he served as vp, product at streaming music startup Echo.com and as senior director and executive producer at CKS, a media consultancy based in Silicon Valley.
Distribution and payments platform Stem hired Charleton Lamb as head, marketing. In the role, Lamb will lead the team responsible for introducing Stem’s tools and services to the music industry, developing its visual identity and crafting brand communications.
Lamb arrives at Stem from Spotify, where he spent over four years on the Spotify for Artists team. While there, he played a key role in the development, launch and success of tools including Direct Upload, Marquee and Discovery Mode.
“Charleton has been a powerful advocate for independent artists and labels for a long time, and he’s one of the best at breaking down the complexities of the music industry into simple messages and engaging creative,” said Milana Lewis, CEO of Stem. “We’re thrilled to have him on the team.”
Matthew Hargis, senior vp, promotion and marketing at Big Machine Label Group imprint BMLG Records, is exiting his role at the company to spend more time with his family. Hargis will continue on with the label until a successor is found.
“After 11 years at BMLG Records, I have made the decision to step away,” said Hargis in a statement. “Our children have reached an age where my wife and I believe the focus needs to be on them for these foundational years. I have been blessed by the last 22 years in this amazing Country music community which has afforded me the ability to take some time away.
“I am forever grateful for the opportunities Scott [Borchetta], Jimmy [Harnen] and all of our world-class artists have provided me at BMLG Records as well as our previous stints together at DreamWorks and Capitol,” he added, “It is bittersweet to leave BMLG, but it is the right decision for our family at this time.”
In his own statement, Harnen, BMLG Records’ president & CEO, said, “Matthew led the BMLG Records promotion team to 38 number one singles in just 11 years. Two of those number one songs, FGL’s ‘Cruise’ and ‘Meant To Be’, were Diamond Award winners (signifying over ten million in sales). The incredible list of number ones also includes the eight-times platinum ‘If I Die Young’ by The Band Perry, as well as seven number one multi-platinum singles by Brett Young.”
Harnen added, “I know I speak for everyone at the Big Machine Label Group when I say thank you so much for your incredible leadership, friendship, kindness, honesty and expertise. People like you are in short supply in this world. We wish you the very best and if you ever decide to rejoin the music business you will always have a home with us.”
Sarah Jones was promoted to general manager of concert discovery service Songkick, which is owned by Warner Music Group. Jones is stepping in for current Songkick manager director Bill Ashton, who will leave the company at the end of March after a ten-year stint at WMG.
Jones has been with Songkick since 2018, when she joined the company as commercial director. She was promoted to vp, commercial in 2021. Before that, she worked at the BBC for 14 years, most recently leading its global partnership strategy across videos and podcasts.
In her new role, Jones will oversee the launch of marketing service Songkick Campaigns, which will allow for direct and bespoke fan messaging. It will additionally allow tour marketers to have exclusive control of how to activate marketing campaigns and promote tours directly to fans.
Benjamin Blank, president of WMG’s media business, said in a statement, “Sarah’s track record is incredible and I can’t think of a better person to take the reins of Songkick. I’m sad to see Bill leave, and I want to thank him for all he’s done and for leaving the business on such a high. When live music grinded to a halt, Sarah and Bill were central to the business pivoting and finding new ways to engage our audiences and artists.”
Also at Songkick, Simon McCabe was promoted to vp, technology, WMX Media, WMG’s recently-launched next generation services division. While his role has expanded to encompass all of WMX’s media businesses, including HipHopDX and Uproxx, his main focus will be continuing to develop and build on Songkick’s core business and suite of artist marketing tools.
Downtown Music Holdings appointed Alison Moore, CEO of Comic Relief USA, and Kelli Turner, CFO of Sun Capital Partners, to its board of directors.
Moore formerly served as chief revenue officer at Soundcloud and as chief business officer, beauty collection at Conde Nast, where she oversaw the Glamour and Allure brands. She’s also held multiple gm and executive-level positions across digital products, strategy and brand development at NBC Universal, DailyCandy and HBO.
Turner was previously president and COO at SESAC and worked as president and CFO of RSL Management Corporation and CFO and executive vp of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia before that. She also held executive roles at Tim Warner and New Line Cinema.
Luca Gentili was promoted to vp, operations & industry relations at Warner Chappell Music Italy.
In the new role, Gentili will continue being based in Milan and report to Warner Chappell president, Southern Europe Santiago Menéndez-Pidal. He’ll be WCM’s main point of contact with Italian collection society Società Italiana degli Autori ed Editori (SIAE), with a goal of helping the organization further drive efficiency and transparency on behalf of the publisher’s songwriters.
Gentili joined WCM in 2008 as administrative director. He was later named finance director, covering the company’s operations in Italy and Greece. He sits on the board of directors at the Federazione Editori Musicali (FEM), which represents Italian music publishers and authors.
Artist management company In De Goot Entertainment, led by president/owner Bill McGathy, recently opened a Nashville office, located at 900 South Street, Ste. 101. The Nashville office joins the company’s locations in New York City, St. Louis and London, as well as its presence in Los Angeles and Detroit.
It was simultaneously announced that several In De Goot staff members received promotions. They include Michael Iurato, promoted to president, A&R and artist development; Adam Lebensfeld to president, promotion; Alison Shepard to president, marketing & strategy; Gwyther Bultman to senior vp, artist management; Chris Frank to vp, promotion; Katrina Tumandao to digital marketing director; and Matthew Young to director, digital marketing/artist manager.
Iurato said of the new Nashville office, “Nashville has always been a destination for musicians. Over the past couple of years its infrastructure in the rock world has been extremely influential. We felt the time was right to extend our reach not only for us as a company but for how we can best represent our artists.”
McGathy previously served as national director, rock promotions for Polydor/Polygram, and later worked as national director, rock promotions at RCA.
In De Goot Entertainment represents artists in genres including rock and alternative, with an artist roster including Halestorm, Shinedown, Black Stone Cherry, Ayron Jones and more. – Jessica Nicholson
The Opportunity Network, a New York-based nonprofit that aims to close the opportunity gap for underrepresented students, appointed Caron Veazey – Black Music Action Coalition co-founder and chair and chair of Splice Global Music Council – to its board of directors.
In a statement, AiLun Ku, president and CEO of The Opportunity Network, said Veazey will “help us further our mission of building equitable structures of access, and increasing professional mobility for underrepresented students across the country.”
Veazey is also the founder and CEO of boutique management and consulting company Something in Common and previously managed Pharrell Williams, with whom she co-founded the creative collective i am OTHER.
Artist Growth, a collaboration platform for labels, artist managers and creative teams, hired Rob Weitzner as executive vp, revenue & growth.
Weitzner will be responsible for developing “new pathways and partnerships for the company,” according to a press release, as he leads marketing, business development and sales strategies around the company’s music industry API. He arrives at the company from The state51 Music Group’s digital supply chain company Consolidated Independent (CI), where he was head of business development, strategy & partnerships.
Working in artist management for the first decade of his career, Weitzner went on to serve as vp, business development at eMusic and as vp, business development and digital strategy at TVT Records. He later worked in leadership roles at A2IM (American Association of Independent Music) and at IODA, where he served as head, global business development.