High level musical chairs at labels

The music biz had more than the Grammys to talk about last week. Former CBS Records chief Walter Yetnikoff is about to make his move with his newly hatched Velvel Music Entertainment Co. And rumors are flying that negotiations have been so brutal between Arista Records head Clive Davis and Bertelsmann that Davis has been talking with David Geffen about a possible linkup. Davis, whose contract expires in January, built Arista into a major label over 15 years with such stars as Whitney Houston. Skeptics doubt that Geffen and Davis could work together because of past disputes and suggest the gossip could be a ploy to make the Germans worry. A Davis spokeswoman said he hasn’t talked to Geffen about starting a new label; Davis and Geffen did see each other on a recent vacation, but that was it.

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