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Rhino taking Warner catalog by the horns

Retro label revisited by WMG execs

Warner Music Group’s catalog division is returning to its roots.

The unit is dropping its Warner Strategic Marketing moniker and officially changing its name to Rhino Entertainment.

Founded in 1978, the label became part of Warner Music Group in 1998, six years after Time Warner purchased 50% of the label. Company created WSM in 2001 as the central catalog development, licensing, soundtrack and television marketing area.

Over the last several years, reissues and packages of Warners artists have used the WSM tag combined with the label that initially released the recordings, Elektra and the Eagles, for example. The Rhino imprint has been used on new collections such as the soundtrack to “Ray,” which was issued by Rhino/Atlantic.

“Inside and outside the music industry, people know what Rhino is,” said Scott Pascucci, president of the division. “It’s a strong brand, but it’s more than that — it’s a community of professionals whose passion for great music, artist worship and pop culture borders on zealotry. Rhino has a personality that the moniker WSM just can’t convey. I was proud to work at Warner Strategic Marketing, but I’d much rather work at Rhino.”

From Hell to Peter, Paul & Mary

Rhino’s slate for the next two months includes compilations dedicated to Richard Hell, Michael McDonald and Peter, Paul & Mary; expanded versions of albums by the Stooges, Chicago and T-Rex; live albums from Yes and Jerry Garcia; and a chronicle of the 2004 Austin City Limits festival.

Rhino, which made its name through exhaustive boxed sets, will release on Sept. 27 the four-CD “Children of Nuggets,” an overview of psychedelic rock bands from the last 30 years.

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