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THE SAME OLD SONG,
PART FIVE

I.B. BAD TELLS THE STORY OF CBS RECORDS/SONY MUSIC

THE DOUG MORRIS REBOOT

When Doug Morris took the reins of Sony Music in July 2011 as Chairman/CEO—having been forced to sit for six months by Vivendi—he immediately began to execute the wholesale reorganization he’d formulated while waiting to officially start the job. He brought in L.A. Reid to head Epic, cemented the tandem of Stringer and Barnett as Columbia co-chairmen—until Barnett announced in October 2012 that he would accept Lucian Grainge’s offer to rebuild Capitol Music Group—and gave oversight of RCA to Peter Edge and Tom Corson, both onetime Davis protégés, while consolidating the various BMG artist rosters under the RCA umbrella. The results of Morris’ presence were immediate and tangible, as the two warring cultures became a seamless whole and the company began to function like a well-oiled machine.

Once the core labels were stabilized, with Sylvia Rhone joining Reid as Epic president in 2013, Morris turned his attention to Sony’s U.K. operations, replacing Nick Gatfield with Jason Iley in 2014, and tapping Randy Goodman to head Sony Music Nashville a year later. With those moves, Morris completed his third masterpiece, following similar transformations of Warner and Universal—an unparalleled achievement in music-business annals. Thanks to Morris’ canny decision-making, Sony Music has experienced six years of tremendous success, while Rob Stringer became the top label exec in the business during his Columbia tenure, with giant marketshare and the most sterling roster in the business. Looking in the rearview mirror, the only criticism of Columbia under Stringer has been its lack of hip-hop acts, a prerequisite for the streaming age. But Epic and RCA, which will soon be part of his purview, have that covered.


On April 3, Morris will hand the keys of a fine-tuned high-performance vehicle to Stringer. It will be interesting to watch as he takes the wheel. •

 
...Read the whole story

NEAR TRUTHS:
THE AGENCY SAGA
What do you want from live? (6/11a)
NEW RELEASES:
HOF AIMS FOR #1
Polo G's riding high. (6/14a)
SIGNS OF HITS LIST
We're reading the tea leaves. (6/14a)
LIVE NATION PONIES UP AT HOLLYWOOD PARK
Rams, Chargers and concerts. (6/14a)
MUSIC’S HOTTEST FIRMS: GRUBMAN SHIRE MEISELAS & SACKS
Is there a lawyer in the house? (6/14a)
RHYTHM, BLUES AND THE FUTURE
The musical tapestry we know as R&B.
WHO'S NEXT?
Predicting the next big catalog deal.
JUST THE VAX, MA'AM
Once we all get vaccinated, how long before we can party?
WORLDWIDE GROOVE
How is globalization bringing far-flung territories into the musical mainstream?
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