U Music taps exex in pub arm revamp

Reorg creates 3rd-largest music pub

With the structure of its record labels in place following the acquisition of Polygram, Universal Music Group has reorganized its music publishing arm. The new setup taps both Polygram and Universal execs and creates the industry’s third-largest music publisher, behind titans Warner-Chappell and EMI.

MCA Music Publishing chief David Renzer also earns an ascension to worldwide prexy of Universal’s Music Publishing Operations, which now includes MCA Music Publishing and Polygram Music Publishing.

The merging of the two smaller publishers, which had been expected (Daily Variety, Nov. 10), will result in Universal owning and administering about 700,000 song copyrights through its 40 offices in 32 countries.

Polygram publishing chief David Hochman was among several key execs not given new roles, a list that also includes Nick Gatfield, head of the domestic arm, who was handed the reins just months before Polygram was acquired by UMG parent Seagram in a $10.4 billion deal.

In addition to integrating the distinct cultures, growing the Universal publishing operation will be tough in the austere post-acquisition era, where chiefs are being asked to reduce overhead and curtail spending but still expected to show double-digit percentage growth annually.

“We have an acquisition fund, and we are actively going after song catalogs because we need to in order to grow the business,” Renzer told Daily Variety. “But we also have to make sure we are taking good care of the copyrights and that we already have.”

Aiding Renzer will be Michael J. Sammis, chief financial officer of the combined organization, who held the same post at MCA; and former Polygram exec Crispin Evans, senior veep of international business and legal affairs.

Scott James maintains his role as senior veep of music for films, TV and new technologies worldwide, and Kim Frankiewicz remains VP of international, the same role she held at MCA. She will be based in Gotham.

Continental Europe will be overseen by exec veep Paul Connolly, who will serve as managing director of the merged U.K. companies, and finance director Bob Alexander. Both were MCA execs.

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