Distrib divides operation into three U.S. divisions

Furthering its integration of Polygram Music into the Unversal Music Group, the latter has restructured its sales and distribution operation, Universal Music and Video Distribution.

The distrib will divide its operation into three divisions in the U.S to oversee the workings of 12 regional offices.

Firings in the sales and distrib ranks had been expected (Daily Variety, Jan. 18) and will total around 200 staffers and execs.

“With this restructuring, we feel that our new organization will embody the best of both Universal and Polygram,” said Henry Droz, prexy of UMVD. “As we strive to build the foremost sales organization in the business, we have eliminated the redundancies and broad duplication of activities between the two organizations.”

It will also reshape its sales force into two arms: one for the sales and marketing of mainstream releases, the other focusing on catalog albums, compilations and reissues as part of an expansion that creates a new, centralized catalog division.

Specialized jazz and Latin sales forces will also be established.

UMG execs said the newly configured org taps about half of the execs from both companies. They added the realignment will also allow UMVD to “redefine ourselves by … creating a new entity that is totally unique, highly responsive … and innovative in its approaches to the marketplace,” exec veep Jim Urie said.

The distrib will also bow a new retail marketing group that will create and implement special promotions for retailers to help market UMG’s products.

Last week, UMG pinkslipped around 500 employees, significantly trimming the staffs of the Geffen, A&M, Mercury and Motown record labels.

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