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Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs leaving WMG

Hip-hop artist's Bad Boy partnership to continue

With his contract wrapped, Sean “Diddy” Combs is ankling Warner Music Group/Atlantic Records as an artist.

Much-rumored departure does not affect WMG’s joint venture with the hip-hop impresario’s imprint Bad Boy Entertainment and its acts, the output of which will continue to move through Atlantic. Combs’ Bad Boy catalog remains at WMG in perpetuity.

Combs had not been prolific during his five years with WMG: He issued one album, “Press Play,” in 2006. Set debuted at No. 1 nationally.

Recent industry scuttlebutt has placed Combs’ forthcoming album “Last Train to Paris” at Interscope.

Combs’ departure comes as Warner Bros. Records implemented staff cuts last week, with 10-13 staffers exiting.

Sources said senior VP of sales Dave Stein, who spent more than 25 years at the Burbank-based company, was among those terminated.

Longtime senior VP of legal and business affairs Susan Genco ankled the label this week. Insiders characterized her exit as voluntary.

Label downsizing, which began Wednesday, hit personnel in a number of departments. Parent Warner Music Group’s distributor WEA and company’s indie distribution arm, Alternative Distribution Alliance, also reportedly suffered attrition.

WMG’s current fiscal quarter ends Wednesday.

Rhino Records, WMG’s catalog division, took the brunt of the layoffs on Thursday (Daily Variety, Sept. 25). Roughly 20% of the company’s staff was eliminated. Several sources claimed 38 jobs were lost; in some cases, entire departments were shuttered, while others were left with skeletal staffing.

However, Rhino still plans to produce physical releases, sources added.

A WMG spokesman and a Warner Bros. Records spokeswoman had no comment.

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