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WALK CAPTURES THE REPUBLICAN NOMINATION

Charlie Walk has been elevated to President of the Republic Records GroupMonte and Avery Lipman jointly announced the big news this morning. Walk, hitherto EVP, has played a huge role in a career-best year for the company.    

Walk, hitherto EVP, has played a huge role in the career-best year of Monte Lipman’s company—riding herd on the label’s promotion team and achieving record-setting results while also overseeing all marketing initiatives. He was also instrumental into the successful integration of Island into the Republic universe.

He has found an ideal home for his talents with the Lipman ethos, which has achieved remarkable synergy on a number of fronts, scoring hit after hit from Republic’s feeder labels—notably Big Machine, Cash Money and Island—as well as cultivating multiple breakouts from its own roster. Republic ended 2015 with an 8.9 marketshare.

The Walk-led Republic promo department has dominated the airwaves as no other squad has in the last two decades, and in 2015 they had an overall share of 22.3 (up from 15.3 in 2014), occupying the #1 spot in Top 40, Rhythm, Hot AC and AC. At one point during the year, they had one of four records on the air, and one out of every three at Pop.

The official announcement was replete with effusive quotes.

Monte Lipman began the round of tributes. “Charlie is one of the most determined, imaginative, and fearless executives that I’ve ever worked with,” he raved. “In addition to his extraordinary instincts and tenacity for identifying, developing and breaking new artists, Charlie will now have even more latitude to help steer Republic into uncharted waters with this new position. The formation of the Republic Group reflects our bullish outlook for the future of this business and all the opportunities that exist.”

Avery Lipman seconded that emotion: “As Republic looks to the future and begins to widen its scope, I cannot think of a better executive to help lead this effort,” he offered. “His imagination and innovative view of the world is literally redefining what it means to be a music company.”

“Passionate and visionary executives like Charlie are making Universal Music the industry leader in breaking new artists and helping our superstars achieve new heights,” UMG EVP Michele Anthony chimed in. “I’m proud to have worked with Charlie for many years and I’m pleased to congratulate him on this well-deserved promotion.”

Finally, Charlie himself took the dais. “At Republic, we have redefined our position in the music entertainment business and marketplace as a global leader,” he stated. “The label’s culture is built on evolving as quickly as the landscape changes, and being in sync with our artists every step of the way. I want to thank Michele, Monte, and Avery for empowering me to explore uncharted territory and embracing progressive thinking when it comes to breaking artists and further establishing career superstars. I look forward to continuing to work with our incredible team of executives and partners, helping to redefine the role of a modern music company.”

Walk has a keen vision for where the business is going, an inherent understanding of the importance of branding and an uncanny knack for finding new ways to monetize company assets.

The charismatic exec—known to have one of the best Rolodexes in the business—joined Republic in 2013. Since then he has brought his fiercely competitive energy and entrepreneurial mojo to bear on an array of hits, helping to shepherd Taylor Swift to four #1s at Pop radio on her first project fully outside the realm of Nashville, kicking down the door with Drake and Nicki Minaj and proving instrumental in the breaking of home-grown Republic acts The Weeknd, James Bay and Ariana Grande. He also spearheaded the phenomenal success of the 50 Shade of Gray soundtrack, a marketing coup that gave The Weeknd his first smash and teed up his stunning breakout.

His prior experience in lifestyle marketing also informed the innovative imprint deal he piloted with fashion icon John Varvatos, which brought crossover country star Zac Brown into the Republic fold.

Walk has a keen vision for where the business is going, an inherent understanding of the importance of branding and an uncanny knack for finding new ways to monetize company assets.

The label gave him a mythic tribute with the Scorsese-style short film The Cleaner, co-starring Lipman and other label execs and celebrating Walk’s lethal promo prowess.

The veteran exec began his career in the Sony system and spent nearly two decades there, beginning as a college rep while attending Boston University’s School of Management and subsequently making his mark as a Boston local at Columbia. In 1999 he ascended to head of promo at the label under Donnie Ienner, and he succeeded Steve Barnett as Epic President in 2005. During his Sony tenure, Esquire hailed Walk as a “visionary.” He exited the label world in 2008 to hang up his own shingle with marketing agency JWALK, with clients such as Lacoste, Kenneth Cole and Deleon Tequila.

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