Music Industry Moves: Leslie Dipiero Named President of Jonas Group Publishing

Leslie DiPiero joins Jonas Group Entertainment as the company’s new president of Jonas Group Publishing, effective May 31. The Nashville-based division first opened its doors in 2020 and has since been steadily expanding its catalog acquisitions, recordings and sync opportunities in the region.

Under the guidance of CEO Phil Guerini, DiPiero will lead the team in signing and developing songwriters and producers. The current JGP roster is made up of songwriters Franklin Jonas (the youngest Jonas brother), who recently released his debut single, “Cocaine,” and Terri Jo Box who has credits on Lainey Wilson’s “Hillbilly Hippie” and Cody Johnson’s “God Bless The Boy.” She’s also written songs recorded by a diverse group of artists including Miranda Lambert, Ashley McBryde, Eric Church, Shenandoah, Trent Tomlinson and more.

“Working with Phil Guerini and Kevin Jonas Sr. is an honor and privilege for me,” said DiPiero. “These two individuals have a longstanding friendship based on honesty and integrity. What brought us together is a shared passion and inspired direction towards helping creators reach their goals and dreams.”

DiPiero simultaneously exits her position at Florida Georgia Line’s publishing company Tree Vibez Music, where she held the title of general manager for six years. She will continue to work with Tyler Hubbard whose songs are currently administered by Warner Chappell Music.

+ Universal Music Group promoted Corey Williams to VP of business and legal affairs, rights and clearances for Republic Records, Def Jam Recordings and Island Records.

Williams is responsible for providing an expanded focus on rights and clearances, as well as shared services across Republic, Def Jam and Island. He will remain based in New York and continue to report to Antoinette Trotman, senior VP of business and legal affairs, rights and clearances for Republic Records, Def Jam Recordings and Island Records.

“Corey is an invaluable member of our team and has been instrumental in contributing to the continued success of Republic, Def Jam and Island,” said Trotman. “His wealth of experience, knowledge, and expertise have been crucial in navigating the rapidly evolving music industry landscape and ensuring that our artists and labels are well-positioned for long-term success.”

Prior to joining UMG in 2015, Williams served as associate director of business and legal affairs at Atlantic Records.

+ Shelley Hargis has been upped to VP of radio syndication and group strategy of BBR Music Group where she’ll be responsible for handling all nationally syndicated campaigns and group strategy/promotion.

Having been with the label group for over two decades, Hargis began her tenure with BBR Music Group as Southwest regional of promotion in 2002, before becoming national director in 2005. Three years later, she helped to establish the label’s Stoney Creek imprint and later its Red Bow imprint. In 2018, Hargis rose to her most recent post of VP of promotion for Broken Bow Records, scoring a prolific amount of No. 1 songs and propelling forward the catalogs of Jason Aldean, Dustin Lynch, Lainey Wilson and more.

+ Mom+Pop Music announced the signing of singer-songwriter Goth Babe (Griff Washburn) with the debut of his first single with the label titled “Alone in the Mountains.”

“We welcome Griff to Mom+Pop as we deeply value his aesthetic and DIY nature,” said Michael Goldstone, founder and co-owner of Mom+Pop. “He is creating art that is both purposeful and transformative with an unwavering commitment. We instantly gravitated to working with someone so dedicated and brilliantly talented.”

Goth Babe is set to start his North American LOLA tour on April 22 in Colorado and will close in New York’s Forest Hills Stadium with Sylvan Esso. On the LOLA tour, $1 of every ticket will be donated to Protect Our Winters, an organization dedicated to climate change initiatives where Goth Babe is a member of their creative alliance team.

Thaddeus Rudd, co-owner of Mom+Pop, adds: ”We’ve been fans for a long while and respect what Goth Babe has built on his own. Griff’s celebration of the natural world along with his activism around environmental concerns informs his art and music. He has built a unique culture around the Goth Babe project. We’re thrilled he’s chosen to partner with Mom+Pop in helping to bring his vision to an even wider global audience.”

Wednesday, April 19

Hipgnosis Songs has acquired the writer’s share of performance income for all songs written by David Foster, the acclaimed Canadian songwriter, composer, musician, arranger and producer. Over his five-decade career, Foster has won 16 Grammy Awards and co-written major hits for Whitney Houston (“I Have Nothing”), Chaka Khan (“Through the Fire”), Cheryl Lynn (“Got to Be Real”), Peter Cetera (“Glory of Love”), Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli’s duet “The Prayer,” as well as songs for Earth, Wind & Fire, Michael Jackson, Chicago, Madonna and many others. He also has received three Academy Award nominations for best original song and been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

The acquisition has been made on behalf of Hipgnosis Songs Capital, a partnership between Hipgnosis Song Management and funds managed by Blackstone. Foster was advised by business manager Howard Grossman of Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman and attorney Michael O. Crain of Crain Law Group.

David Foster Hipgnosis Song Management

+ ​​SoundExchange has appointed Doug Cohn as VP of artist and label relations, Kathleen Strouse as its new senior VP of operations, and Amanda Carmichael as VP of international.

A four-time Emmy winner, Cohn previously served as the senior VP of music and entertainment at Cumulus Media and also started Nickelodeon’s first-ever music department as the company’s senior VP of music and talent. He will help to drive the day-to-day operations of the industry and artist relations team and advance relationships with the label/content owner, artist and management communities while driving a proactive approach to outreach operations.

Doug Cohn

Strouse will oversee SoundExchange’s full end-to-end royalty processing and business intelligence (RPBI) and customer services teams. She previously served as the senior VP, head of global data management and strategy at Warner Music Group.

Carmichael will guide foreign neighboring rights collections, operational processes, and data exchanges with collective management organizations. She will also advise SoundExchange executives on general international policy considerations affecting the organization. Previously, Carmichael served as the Head of International at Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL).

+ Downtown Music has promoted Ben Patterson to president of its newly-created artist and label services division. Linked to Downtown’s distribution arm (DashGo), the division will work to expand the range of the company’s service offerings including project management, short-form video strategy, social media and global creative/digital advertising.

Los Angeles-based Patterson has served in senior roles at the Firm and GMG Entertainment, and founded DashGo in 2004, with the artist and label-centric distribution company later acquired by Downtown in 2019. Since then, he’s been the chief operating officer of Downtown Music Services, the combined publishing and distribution service — the precursor to Downtown Music.

Patterson has worked with artists Cheat Codes, Los Tucanes De Tijuana, and TV Girl, and helped to empower labels such as Avex USA’s label “Selene,” Nataniel Cano’s label “Los CT,” and New 11. He has a special focus on thriving genres such as música Mexicana and lo-fi.

+ Claire McAuley has been promoted to the new role of executive VP of global rights management at Warner Chappell Music. She will remain based in London and report to Carianne Marshall, co-chair and chief operating officer of WCM.

McAuley is behind the company’s approach to overhaul the publisher’s systems and speed up payments to writers. She helped put together platforms designed to recover missing royalties, secure additional revenue for writers in emerging markets, and better track the global use of songwriters’ music across DSPs, as well as in film and TV production.

“Our strategy at Warner Chappell Music is to do everything it takes to get our songwriters paid for their music, wherever in the world their songs are used,” said McAuley. “We’ve made considerable investments in our people and our systems over the past few years, and our songwriters are already noticing the benefits of these changes. But there’s even more we can do as the music ecosystem continues to evolve.”

+ ASCAP has promoted Gabriela (Gaby) González to senior VP of international affairs and Latin membership. González will collaborate with Spanish and Portuguese-speaking societies in Europe and Latin America, working with the Latin membership team and ASCAP’s international affairs team to increase revenues and distributions for music creators in said regions.

Since joining the organization, González has signed some of ASCAP’s top talent including Marco Antonio Solís, Camilo, Natti Natasha, Claudia Brant, Jhayco, Sebastián Yatra, Farruko and Kali Uchis among others. She recently helped spearhead the launch of “Tu Música,” an ASCAP Foundation scholarship for undergraduate or graduate students of Latin descent who are planning to pursue a songwriting career and/or a performance career in Latin music.

+ Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG) has upped Ana Rosa Santiago to senior VP of Latin music, effective immediately.

Santiago has signed top Latin talent to UMPG, including global stars like Bad Bunny and Feid. Based in Miami, she will continue reporting to Alexandra Lioutikoff, UMPG president of Latin America and U.S. Latin. Both Lioutikoff and Santiago were featured in Variety‘s 2023 Miami Impact Report.

In her newly elevated role, Santiago leads UMPG Latin A&R and Sync, including overseeing creative strategy, signing and developing the best in Latin talent, creating cross-border opportunities for songwriters, and licensing and promotion for UMPG’s Latin American catalog.

Santiago is also part of UMPG’s Global Creative Group, a team of senior A&R leaders across key territories who identify and expand global opportunities for the company’s songwriters, artists and producers.

+ AEI Music has launched AEI Ventures, an investment division aimed at supporting the “next generation of founders in the music and hospitality industries,” according to a press release.

AEI Ventures will be investing in new companies created in the traditional music and hospitality industries, with an emphasis on working with those from historically excluded or marginalized backgrounds.

“We’ve always found the most success when working with those that come from outside of the traditional sectors we operate in, whether that’s founders or even our internal staff,” Diluk Dias, co-founder & CEO at AEI Music. “With the launch of AEI Ventures, we’re expanding this approach beyond the niche dance music industries we’ve traditionally operated in, to bring more outsiders inside across music and hospitality.”

“For too long, the access needed to get a foot in the door or investment to reach the next level has been limited for many communities. We are excited to play a part in changing this,” added Sarah Cole, COO of AEI Music.

+ Winamp has announced the first version of its mobile-responsive web player (set for arrival in Q3) featuring a new “super-aggregator” with a range of functionalities. The platform includes a “Fanzone,” which creators can use to sell their products and exclusive content — images, video, audio, or “special gifts” — with the option of tiered subscription plans.

Artists access the Fanzone via Winamp for Creators, which was originally launched on March 15 and provides creators with ways to build new revenue streams to supplement their income from DSPs, a single place to manage their Fanzone subscriptions and other impending services such as distribution and copyright management (both Q2), licensing and creating/selling NFTs out of their content (both Q3).

“With the new Winamp player, our aim is to empower creators to make more money, at a time when they really need it,” said Alexandre Saboundjian, CEO of Llama Group. “Winamp’s mission is to change the mindset of artists – from one where they feel like victims of poor revenues from the DSPs, to one of empowerment about what they can achieve by themselves.

Monday, April 17

Universal Music Group Nashville (UMGN) has tapped Lori Christian and Rob Femia to join its executive board. Christian has been upped to executive VP of marketing, while Femia has been named executive VP of business and legal affairs for the label group consisting of Capitol Records Nashville, EMI Records Nashville, Mercury Nashville, and MCA Nashville.

Christian was formerly senior VP of marketing, a role she occupied in 2020 after leading the publicity department at UMG Nashville following the 2012 merger of EMI and UMG.

In her elevated post, she will oversee UMG Nashville’s artist development, brands and sponsorship, creative services, international marketing, and media marketing departments for the label’s artist roster. She has previously worked to launch projects for Alan Jackson, Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton, Darius Rucker, Keith Urban, and Luke Bryan, among others.

Femia has over 15 years of experience practicing entertainment law. After first joining UMG Nashville in 2013 as head of business and legal affairs, he was upped to senior VP in 2018. He’s also held roles at Sony BMG, Virgin Records/Capitol Music Group/EMI Music North America, and Atlantic Records.

+ Sony Music U.S. Latin has promoted Miami-based Esteban Geller to general manager. He will continue to report to Sony Music U.S. Latin President Alex Gallardo.

Geller previously served as senior VP of artist relations and marketing, leading artist strategy for the label’s roster that includes Becky G, Camilo, Carlos Vives, Christina Aguilera, Christian Nodal and more. In his new role, Geller will continue to helm strategic opportunities for artists, adding to the Puerto Rico and West Coast operations, radio/promotions, video commissioning, and Sony Music U.S. Latin’s relationship with management companies.

“Latin music has become a respected mainstream genre, and I’m honored to have experienced this development every step of the way at Sony,” commented Geller. “This wouldn’t be possible without our incredible and passionate staff, managers and amazing artists. Every project is so important to us, and we approach each artist with the same care and diligence. Much appreciation to Alex and Afo [Verde] that have entrusted me to not only develop music releases, but most important artists careers.”

Gallardo added, “Esteban is one of the most dynamic, savvy, energetic, and enthusiastic executives in the business. He has played a key role in our expansion and the sustained success of countless acts. He’s a true team player who doesn’t just envision big ideas; he actively executes them at the highest level.”

+ Lynsey Wollaston has been named the new VP and general manager for European festivals at AEG Europe.

Wollaston is bringing over 16 years of commercial and operations experience to oversee the European team’s day-to-day operations. She will help to develop and support the strategic vision for the division across AEG’s roster of festivals, including American Express Presents BST Hyde Park and Luno Presents All Points East in London, Rock en Seine in Paris, and AEG’s newest festival, Bristol-based Forwards.

“As we gear up for the busy festival season ahead, I look forward to working with Wollaston to deliver the best-in-class events for which we are renowned, and to growing the festivals division of the business,” said Jim King, AEG European Festivals CEO.

Prior to joining AEG, Wollaston held the role of managing director of festivals and events at Vision Nine Group and previously served as the global operations director at IMG (Arts, Entertainment and Culinary).

+ BMI has hired Elice Cuff-Campbell as senior director of media relations to lead the communications efforts of BMI’s Nashville and Austin offices. She will report to Liz Fischer, BMI’s senior VP of corporate communications and marketing, and work closely with Nashville Creative VP, Clay Bradley.

Cuff-Campbell will also oversee media relations for BMI Nashville’s numerous events, including showcases, No. 1 parties, award shows, festivals and more. Prior to joining BMI, Cuff-Campbell was a senior publicist at the Green Room PR company, working for such high-profile artists as Dierks Bentley, Lady A, the War And Treaty and more. She’s also a member of the Academy of Country Music (ACM) and Country Music Association (CMA) and is part of the GrammyU mentorship program.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Elice to BMI,” said Fischer. “Her knowledge of the Nashville music community is second to none, as is her enthusiasm for music and songwriting. She will be a wonderful partner to our Nashville Creative team, helping to highlight the many ways they support BMI’s unmatched roster of songwriters, composers and publishers.”

+ Concord‘s international music publishing division has made a series of adjustments to its executive team. The company’s president of international publishing, John Minch, will transition into the role of executive director of publishing, while Jeff Van Driel has been promoted to general manager of international operations in London.

Minch will leave his post as the day-to-day manager of international publishing operations to refocus on the rights held by Concord songwriters and composers. “I’ll work on projects and with clients that I have had a close relationship with, but it is time to make way, after nearly twenty-five years,” said Minch in a statement. “It’s a pity, I am only just starting to understand what I am doing. But it’s time to put my feet up and light a cheroot. I am hugely grateful to Concord for the freedom and encouragement they have given me over the last seven years and for encouraging me to continue to represent Concord and our composers and writers on industry associations.”

Van Driel will move from Concord’s U.S. headquarters in Nashville to London and will be responsible for Minch’s music publishing operations duties as well as the European operations of all of Concord’s businesses. Minch will continue to report directly to Jim Selby, Chief Publishing Officer and Van Driel will report to CEO Vic Zaraya.

“I am honored and excited to be taking on this role for Concord,” commented Van Driel. “Given Concord’s rapid and disciplined growth, there are ongoing opportunities to enhance operations and prove our global commitment to the creative community throughout the world. We have dedicated and talented teams who embrace continuous improvement, utilizing the best and most practical technological solutions in the market.”

+ Leroy Harris has been promoted to head of marketing at Spotify UK and Ireland.

Leroy joined Spotify nearly four years ago as an artist marketing lead and helped helm numerous album campaigns for the likes of AJ Tracey, Dua Lipa and Sam Smith, according to an announcement post written by Spotify UK and Ireland’s Managing Director, Tom Connaughton.

“We’ve tasked him with taking our marketing activity to yet another level and, given Leroy previously held roles leading culture marketing for the likes of Red Bull and ASOS, it’s clear that we’re in very capable hands,” Connaughton wrote.

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