×

MCA gets groovier

Label takes over Geffen's black music arm

HOLLYWOOD — MCA Records has pacted to take over Geffen Records’ black music arm and will release, market and promote the latter’s artist roster.

The move, billed as a joint venture, as both labels will share in the profits derived from album sales, adds heft to MCA’s growing — but thin — black music division, which has had a number of recent successes in the genre.

It has also put a new management team in place to raise the arm’s profile and profitability.

A handful of Geffen staffers will be furloughed as a result of the shift, and two of the 10 acts on the roster — which boasts the Roots, Soft Money, Genius and the Flip Squad All-Stars — will be dropped.

Geffen exec Wendy Goldstein, who championed many of the urban arm’s signings, will become part of the MCA family.

The pact, orchestrated quietly by Geffen Records chairman Eddie Rosenblatt and MCA prexy Jay Boberg (many execs at Geffen and MCA did not know it was in the works until the deal was finalized late Thursday) is being designed to trade off MCA Records’ successes in the genre with acts like Mary J. Blige and K-Ci & Jo Jo.

“We feel our artists will be best served by MCA, which has a long tradition of dominance in urban music and is better equipped to build on the success of artists like the Roots and Genius,” Rosenblatt said in a statement.

The transfer of Geffen’s hip-hop roster to the MCA Records domain is the latest example of the confidence that execs at parent Universal Music Group, who gave their approval for the deal, have in Boberg’s MCA Records.

Universal owns both MCA Records and Geffen Records.

Popular on Variety

More Music

  • Atmosphere71st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, Show,

    Emmy Viewers Not 'Feelin' Good' About Bizarre Music Choices

    It was known ahead of time that the Emmy Awards planned to dispense with a traditional orchestra or pit band for the walk-up and bumper music. What wasn’t anticipated was that the music choices were being outsourced to a bar mitzvah DJ in Des Moines. Or, very possibly, it was a local who had found [...]

  • Born to Be Live: 'Easy Rider'

    Born to Be Live: 'Easy Rider' Gets a Concert/Screening Premiere at Radio City

    In a year full of major 50th anniversary commemorations — from Woodstock to the moon landing — why not one for “Easy Rider,” Dennis Hopper’s hippie-biker flick that was released on July 14, 1969? That was the idea when a rep for Peter Fonda, who starred in the film as the laid-back Captain America, reached out [...]

  • Rob Thomas Sammy Hagar

    Sammy Hagar Joins Rob Thomas for 'Smooth' Performance (Watch)

    Who do you call when your pal Carlos Santana has plans on a Friday night? If you’re Rob Thomas, you recruit another famous friend, rocker Sammy Hagar, who turned up to help the singer close out the latest show of his Chip Tooth Smile tour with a performance of “Smooth” at the Fox Performing Arts [...]

  • US record producer The-Dream arrives for

    Top Music Publishers Come Together for Songs of Hope Honors

    The 15th annual Songs of Hope honors united songwriters, music industry insiders and more than a few preeminent doctors at producer Alex Da Kid’s Sherman Oaks compound on Thursday night. Jimmy Jam returned to host the event, which served as a fundraiser for the ever-vital City of Hope medical treatment center as well as a [...]

  • Monkees/Badfinger/Nazz Supergroup Takes Beatles' 'White Album'

    Monkees/Badfinger/Nazz Supergroup Gets Back to '68 by Touring Beatles' 'White Album'

    The 50th anniversary re-release of 1969’s “Abbey Road” may be just days away, but that doesn’t mean Beatles fans have been there and done that when it comes to celebrating ’68. Todd Rundgren, the Monkees’ Mickey Dolenz, Badfinger’s Joey Molland and several other name musicians of a certain vintage are teaming up to go out [...]

  • Rob Cowan, Greg Silverman'The Conjuring 2'

    Greg Silverman’s Stampede, School of Rock Team for Unscripted Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    Former president of Warner Bros. Pictures Greg Silverman is partnering with School of Rock through his content creation company Stampede. The collaboration with the music school will create exclusive content, starting with the development of an unscripted series.  School of Rock operates a network of performance-based education franchises that offer students of all ages guidance [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content