AOL Music topper taps BMG exex for Web ops

Richman, Harrison segue to marketing, label/artists posts

HOLLYWOOD — America Online music guru Kevin Conroy has poached two execs from his alma mater, BMG Entertainment, for executive directorships in AOL Music’s marketing and label & artist relations departments.

Scott Richman, who assumes the exec director of marketing post, will work with label and business partners on joint marketing, sponsorship and advertising efforts. He’ll also coordinate cross-marketing efforts with other units under the AOL-Time Warner umbrella.

Richman had been BMG’s vice president of partnership marketing since 1997, where he worked with such corporate partners as Microsoft, Disney and American Airlines. Exec has also held positions in BMG’s communications and distribution arms. He joined the company in 1991.

Evan Harrison was tapped exec director of label & artist relations, overseeing day-to-day operations of the division. Harrison founded the online marketing division of BMG’s Corporate Marketing Group, working as its senior director, inking partnerships with netcos such as AOL, Yahoo and RealNetworks.

Moves come as AOL Music emerges from a period of quiet to announce several new services, including a Webcasting channel for AOL members and a portal for discovering new and emerging artists.

AOL is also a retail partner in MusicNet, a digital music distribution company backed by parent AOL Time Warner, as well as Bertelsmann, EMI and Zomba Music. MusicNet is set to bow by the end of summer.

The execs are departing BMG even as the label group plans to shed several hundred employees to cut costs in the face of mounting financial troubles. The Bertelsmann-owned major is seen reporting a $150 million loss for the year.

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