RCA will lay off 50 as Davis builds team

Promotion and sales divisions to be hit hardest

The newly created RCA Music Group will lay off about 50 staffers from its RCA Records and J Records labels as part of an ongoing effort to trim back-office expenses and build a new team under recently installed topper Clive Davis.

The layoffs, which had been expected, came two months after parent BMG bought the half of J it didn’t already own from Davis, pairing it with RCA Records to form the group. Davis then replaced the outgoing Robert Jamieson as group chief.

Cuts will hit hardest at RCA, which has a more substantial back-office infrastructure. Sources close to the company say the promotion and sales departments at both labels will take the brunt, with some additional downsizing in A&R.

“Staff reductions at RCA Music Group are part of our effort to eliminate duplicate positions and responsibilities amongst certain areas at RCA Records and J Records,” the company said in a statement. “These changes won’t affect the independent creative integrity of the two labels.”

A handful of senior execs will ankle as a result of the move — among them RCA radio promotion boss Ron Geslin and senior VP of A&R David Bendeth. However, Davis is expected to tap a new senior A&R exec within days, with other new hires to follow.

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