More bad tidings for the record industry this week, as Warner Bros. Records begins a company-wide restructuring and layoffs that have included several major employees. Digital Music News reports that the restructuring involves cutbacks and consolidation of the promotion units of both Warner Bros. and Reprise Records.
Senior vice presidents of promotion Mike Rittberg and Ron Cerrito were among those leaving as a result of the early-August layoffs. Though the company has not confirmed reasons for the layoffs, the label’s low record sales, and Access Industries’ purchase of the company are thought to be the likely culprits.
Access Industries acquired Warner Music Group Corp. in early May in a transaction valued at $3.3 billion. The purchase encompassed WMG’s entire catalog of recorded music and music publishing business.
Digital Music News has released a memo from several top Warner Bros. executives expressing the need for change.
It also explains a few of the changes that have already taken place, like the recent hire of Sr. VP of Radio Promotion for WBR and Reprise Records, Peter Gray. Gray has been involved with groups such as Maroon 5, Kings of Leon, and Christina Aguilera, among others. The memo assures readers that hires like this will breathe new life into the company’s promotion team.
It also expresses the company’s desire to focus on early-stage developing artists and indie-oriented releases.
Time will tell if Warner Bros.’ internal changes will be enough to meet the growing pressure of the rapidly changing record industry.
Access the full memo here on Digital Music News.