More than 30 Christian artists added to roster

Warner Bros. Nashville has heard the Word.

Warner Music Group is making plans to fold the successful Christian imprint Word Label Group into its Nashville division, putting the combined unit under the direction of Warner Nashville prexy Jim Ed Norman.

Move, which puts all of WMG’s Nashville-based labels under one roof, gives Word access to the marketing and promotion muscle of Warner Nashville, giving Christian acts a better shot at breaking into the mainstream. All the while, each imprint will maintain its own distinct creative personality.

Grant, Grace switchover

Move adds Word’s roster of more than 30 Christian artists to the Warner Nashville family, including Amy Grant, Point of Grace, and Jaci Velasquez.

“When you have two Nashville-based companies, both with distinct resources and strengths, and the ability to effectively market to different segments of the music-buying public, it’s clear that they can achieve greater success by working alongside each other,” Warner Bros. Records topper Tom Whalley said.

Word president and chief operating officer Malcolm Mimms will retain that title, and get the added moniker of chief operating officer, Warner Bros. Nashville.

Warner Music spent more than $80 million dollars in November to acquire Word from media company Gaylord Entertainment, in a bid to expand its presence in the Christian market. That segment of the business has defied an industrywide downturn, growing sales 13.5% last year, according to data from the Christian Music Trade Assn.

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