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Costello coasts over to Reprise as sr. VP

Silences rumor of joining former Capitol topper

Phil Costello has been tapped senior veep of promotion for Reprise Records, ending months of industry speculation over where he would land after ankling Capitol Records.

The move, expected to be announced later this week, ends talk that Costello would be joining former Capitol prexy Gary Gersh at his newly minted GAS Entertainment banner, a music and multimedia outfit he runs with artist manager Gary Silva.

Costello will report to Reprise chief Howie Klein and exec veep/G.M. Rich Fitzgerald.

Separately, Reprise parent company Warner Bros. is close to landing Ruffhouse co-founder Chris Schwartz, who last month ankled the label he bowed more than 10 years ago.

Schwartz, whose potent Ruffhouse label is perhaps best known for multiple Grammy Award winning artist Lauryn Hill, will help Warners beef up its presence in urban and R&B music.

WB prexy Phil Quartararo has been on a mission since his arrival two years ago to boost the label’s fortunes in the genre and ink execs who can lure top artistic talent.

The Schwartz deal, if inked, would be the latest in a series of alliances designed to revamp the label’s black music arm: Warner Bros. recently inked a number of nonexclusive pacts with key R&B talent sources.

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