Layoffs hit Polygram distrib unit

Polygram laid off at least 25 employees Friday from its distribution operations, with more expected to follow before the end of the week.

The cuts, which have not touched the company’s music labels, could rise with the addition of workers at the company’s central operations warehouse in Indianapolis.

PGD is the U.S. distribution arm for the Polygram family of music labels, including A&M, Mercury, Motown, Island and others.

A Polygram spokeswoman confirmed the cuts but did notprovide numbers. Polygram shook up its distribution system in August, naming Jim Caparro president to replace former Commtron chief Gary Rockhold, who reportedly left on less than amicable terms (Daily Variety, Aug. 26).

Caparro said upon his appointment that Polygram was reviewing its distribution operations to determine whether the jobs of the estimated 600 employees in Indianapolis would be affected.

The company announced the consolidation of its central operations to a single location in northeast Indianapolis as of the third quarter of next year, with Caparro noting that he was looking to make operations “cheaper, faster and better.”

Friday’s cuts at PGD were termed “a restructuring” by the Polygram spokeswoman. Although no VP-level executives were affected, such long-time executives as label liaison Judy Sarra and finance exec Al Pedicine were among the victims of the cutback. Also exiting was video production exec Tom Wolverton and several account executives.

Although Polygram plans to add digital compact cassettes to its available product mix next month, the loss of warehouse workers in Indianapolis is not expected to affect the initial rollout, with the estimated 300 national retail outlets.

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