Warner Music revamps arm

Co. to streamline, lay off 30 staffers

NEW YORK — Continuing its companywide push to streamline operations, Warner Music Group will revamp its Warner Classics Intl. unit, shuttering the European home offices of classical imprints Teldec and Erato and laying off 30 staffers.

WCI, a unit of WMG’s international division, will continue to release material under the Teldec and Erato names, but many of the labels’ key functions, including A&R and marketing, will be handled out of WCI’s head office in London.

The current headquarters of Teldec in Germany and Erato in France will be closed. The Blighty-based staff of WCI will number roughly 25 after the cuts, the company said. Those staffers not shown the door will be shifted to London from the continent.

Meanwhile, distribution responsibilities for WCI’s works in Germany and France will be transferred to the respective Warner Music divisions in those markets.

“We are responding to a new commercial environment with a changing market for classical music and the need to offer to a new adult audience a more balanced and wider range of repertoire alongside traditional classical works,” said Warner Music Intl. chairman and CEO Stephen Shrimpton.

The newly restructured division, which current WCI prexy Marco Bignotti will continue to helm, will boast such marquee classical performers as tenor Jose Carreras, pianist Helene Grimaud and German conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt.

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