Whalley exits Interscope

Interscope Records prexy Tom Whalley abruptly ankled his post Friday in the midst of contract negotiations with label founders Ted Field and Jimmy Iovine. He is among execs on the short list in line to take over Hollywood Records.

Whalley, who has been with red-hot Interscope since it opened its doors in 1990, is credited with signing Primus and the Wallflowers, among others, to the label.

He was elevated to the top spot last year and has since been overseeing Interscope’s day-to-day operations, though he never closed his prexy pact with the label.

Sources said Whalley is negotiating a multiyear, multimillion-dollar deal with Walt Disney Co. chairman/CEO Michael Eisner and Studios chairman Joe Roth to head Hollywood Records. He would fill the void created by the departure of label prexy Bob Pfeifer who recently exited after a three-year run to pursue other interests. (Daily Variety, April 17).

Interscope, which is half-owned by Universal Music Group, is among the industry’s hottest labels thanks to the success of such acts as the Wallflowers and Blackstreet and acts funneled through the label’s deal with Death Row and Trauma Records.

The latter’s No Doubt has been camped on the sales charts for more than a year and held the top spot last year for more than a month.

None of the parties involved could be reached for comment.

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