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MTM Music spins records arm

MTM Music, the supplier of music for programming offered by MTM Entertainment and the Family Channel, has bowed MTM Records.

The new label will focus on developing direct marketing campaigns using the Family Channel as an outlet to tout its wares, and by inking artists who may have fallen from favor with major record labels, but still have significant followings.

MTM Music chief Al Kasha, an Academy Award-winning composer and recently named president of the music division, has fashioned a game plan that will makethe growing divisiona place where labels and artists can market their albums directly to the public.

“Many consumers suffer from record store intimidation, and as a result are reluctant to visit their local store,” Kasha told Daily Variety. “We are making their favorite music available through alternative ways.”

The plan also includes tie-ins with major advertisers of the Family Channel, such as Conroy’s Flowers or Simmons Mattress Co., to market recordings.

Conroy’s, for example, would aid in advertising adisc on TV as part of a Mother’s Day promotion, and then tie the album toa flower order, or have it available in the florist’s 1,800 stores.

Kasha said that in addition to inking artists to the MTM label, he’d also work with other record companies who want to take advantage of the TV opportunities his firm can offer.

He is looking to ink artists who, in addition to performing music for a particular MTM/FC program, can also appear on the show. Kasha recently nabbed Edgar Winter to guest on “The Cape,” where he also wrote a tune for the syndicated drama series.

Kasha, who had been a consultant to the division since its bow a year ago, is credited with shepherding the arm’s rapid growth and “greatly exceeding the initial projections,” according to MTM Enterprises CEO Tony Thomopoulos.

The arm earns revenues on music publishing income and the licensing of songs to various programs.

Kasha and his music division have supplied music for eight TV series on web, cable and first-run syndication, including NBC’s “The Pretender” and such Family Channel offerings as “New Family Challenge” and “Home and Family,” among many others.

“Al’s got strong relationships, and has an excellent reputation in the music industry,” said Thomopoulos. “We have great new music for our shows and movies. We have gifted composers working with us, and we’re constantly developing several new composers that we are excited about.”

Kasha won an Academy Award for best original song in 1972 for “The Morning After” by Maureen McGovern from “The Poseidon Adventure,” and in 1974 for “We May Never Love Like This Again” by Melissa Manchester from the “Towering Inferno.”

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