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Dubois signs to stick with Arista twang

Arista/Nashville VP/general manager Tim Dubois has elected to stay as head of the Bertelsmann Music Group-owned label, ending a bidding war with Sony Music for his services.

Dubois informed his staff of his decision Wednesday, and company sources confirmed that he has agreed to a new contract.

Dubois became the prize in a very public battle between Arista and Sony, which wanted him to take creative control of its Nashville operation (Daily Variety, March 15). Sony had unsuccessfully wooed MCA Nashville president Tony Brown for the same slot.

The ping-pong offers and counteroffers from Sony and Arista increased in recent weeks, with reports changing daily as to Dubois’ final resting place.

Sources say a press conference will be held next week to announce details of his new contract. Speculation is that the new deal includes hefty sales bonuses and revenue percentages, although rumors that control of other BMG properties in Nashville will be ceded to Dubois appear unfounded.

Dubois is a hot property because of the overnight success of Arista/Nashville , an operation Dubois helped launch from scratch four years ago. Dubois, who once taught accounting, had previously worked as the writer/producer for RCA’s crossover country act Restless Heart.

In four years, Arista has become a Nashville powerhouse, challenging MCA Nashville for dominance. Artists such as Alan Jackson and Brooks & Dunn have had multiplatinum success, and other high-selling acts such as Pam Tillis and Diamond Rio have given Dubois an unequalled success new talent ratio.

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