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IB tease: WMG-Sony talks

STRANGE BEDFELLOWS: One big question surrounding the industry-shaking events of 11/11 is, what happens to Warner Music now? Insiders say talks are taking place at the highest level between WMG and Sony Music, reportedly about a possible distribution deal. Could it lead to an even deeper involvement in the future? Meanwhile, Warner CEO Stephen Cooper is now clearly the boss of the company, and observers are curious to see how the Cooper-Lyor Cohen business relationship plays out; most believe that the CEO job was Cohen’s next logical move. In the short term, it now appears that Warner is not a seller, although insiders say the Hartwig Masuch-led BMG/KKR group is now keenly interested in Warner/Chappell, having lost out on both EMI and WMG. The news of the WMG-Sony talks and Ienner’s deal with UMG emanate from our ever-vigilant in-house pundit I.B. Bad. Look for his full column weighing the survival chances of EMI as a whole and its key executives tomorrow morning. (12/1a)

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