Exec will chair gospel label for company

Warner Music Group has expanded its relationship with Mike Curb, chairman and founder of country music powerhouse Curb Records.

A new six-year deal makes Warner Music Intl. the exclusive licensee for Curb’s releases in Europe, Latin America and parts of Asia. Warner’s WEA distribbery will continue to manufacture and distribute Curb discs Stateside.

Meanwhile, massive WMG publishing arm Warner/Chappell will handle administration of all Curb’s publishing copyrights outside the U.S., Canada and Japan.

Curb himself will take on a new post as nonexecutive chairman of Word Entertainment, a gospel label that Warner acquired in 2002 from Gaylord Entertainment for more than $80 million.

Exec’s promotion will not affect the reporting structure at Word, whereby prexy-chief operating officer Malcolm Mimms reports directly to Warner Bros. Nashville’s Jim Ed Norman, who in turn reports to Warner Bros. Records topper Tom Whalley.

In the seven years that Warner’s Atlantic imprint has been distributing Curb in the U.S., the label has enjoyed a string of country hits from such acts as Tim McGraw, Jo Dee Messina and LeAnn Rimes.

Curb, a former lieutenant governor and acting governor of California, goes back three decades with Word Entertainment, for whom he recorded with his group the Mike Curb Congregation.

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