WB Records pulls trigger on Whalley

Interscope prexy ankles post, will reside over second-half release slate

After more than a year of waiting, Interscope prexy Tom Whalley has finally ankled his post and begun a new career as chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. Records, consummating a reported $30 million deal negotiated with Warner Music topper Roger Ames last May.

Whalley, who began work at Warner’s Burbank offices on Monday, had been serving out the remainder of his contract at Interscope, which was due to expire on Jan. 1. Industry sources said the two majors finally hammered out a deal to let the exec go early.

It was not clear whether the accord included a payout to Interscope for the early termination.

Deal to bring Whalley on board was seen at the time as a bid by Ames to revitalize Warner Bros., which holds a rich back catalog but had signed little in the way of new hitmakers. Recently, the label has improved its position, posting platinum releases from metalers Linkin Park and Disturbed.

Whalley, who has worked with a diverse group of artists including Tupac Shakur, Bonnie Raitt and Nine Inch Nails, will preside over Warner Bros.’ second-half release slate, which boasts work from Madonna, Green Day and Barenaked Ladies.

Fills void

Exec’s appointment fills a void left by the departure of former chairman and CEO Russ Thyret, who ankled the label last March, in the middle of a staff restructuring that saw roughly 600 Warner Music employees leave the fold. Thyret’s duties had been temporarily taken up by Warner Bros. prexy Phil Quartararo, who is expected to remain on under the Whalley regime.

Move also brings Whalley full-circle professionally: He began his music-industry career 20 years ago in the Warner Bros. mailroom, before going on to Capitol Records and, in 1989, Interscope.

More Music

  • Portrait of author and writer Paul

    Paul Krassner, Satirist, Yippies Co-Founder and Counter-Culture Figure, Dies at 87

    Satirist, publisher, author and American counter-culture figure Paul Krassner died at his home in Desert Hot Springs, California on July 21. He was 87. His daughter Holly Krassner Dawson, confirmed the news to the Associated Press. Born in New York City on April 9, 1932, Krassner eventually moved to Southern California where he lived with [...]

  • Cameron Crowe, David Crosby, A.J. Eaton.

    Cameron Crowe on Why He Loved Leaving David Crosby Doc on a CSNY Question Mark

    David Crosby may or may not have stuck a joint in Cameron Crowe’s mouth the first time he ever met the future filmmaker, when Crosby was peaking with Crosby Stills Nash & Young and his interviewer was a precocious 15-year-old Rolling Stone correspondent. As Crowe said to Jimmy Kimmel the other night, “I remember it [...]

  • Adam Lambert Queen

    Concert Review: Queen and Adam Lambert Capitalize on 'Bohemian Rhapsody'

    About half way through Queen and Adam Lambert’s Saturday night show at the Forum in Inglewood, guitarist Brian May took the stage solo to perform a few numbers. He began by acknowledging that day’s 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing, as the video screen behind him streamed a real-time replay of the Apollo [...]

  • R Kelly Sexual Assult Accusations Mugshot

    R. Kelly to Face Charges in New York on Aug. 2

    R. Kelly has been ordered brought to New York for his arraignment on racketeering charges that allege he recruited young girls for sexual abuse at concerts across the country, according to the Chicago Tribune. The charges are part of multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against the singer that have been filed this year. Kelly, who [...]

  • Sturgill Simpson Announces New Anime Film,

    Sturgill Simpson Announces an Anime Film — and Album to Go With It — at Comic-Con

    From alt-country hero to anime producer, Grammy winner Sturgill Simpson is broadening his horizons. Appearing on a panel Saturday night at Comic-Con, Simpson announced an animated Netflix film, “Sound & Fury,” that he’s producing and wrote the original story for, to be accompanied by a simultaneously released album this fall he describes as “sleazy, steamy [...]

  • Garth Brooks Brings Blake Shelton to

    Garth Brooks Brings Blake Shelton to Boise for a Beer-and-Tears Stadium Gig (Watch)

    “I was singing with Garth Brooks! I’m freaking out!” said Blake Shelton, shortly after joining his fellow Okie on stage in Boise, Idaho Friday night. Shelton had flown out to the first of Brooks’ two nights at Albertsons Stadium to shoot a live music video for “Dive Bar,” the recently recorded duet that Brooks just [...]

  • Cara Delevingne'Carnival Row' TV show photocall,

    Cara Delevingne Says Her 'Carnival Row' Character Is Pansexual, Explains Defending Taylor Swift Against Justin Bieber

    Cara Delevingne and Orlando Bloom’s love affair may be at the center of the upcoming Amazon Prime Video series “Carnival Row,” but the British actress doesn’t want viewers to assume her faerie character is heterosexual. “I’m a pansexual faerie,” Delevingne told Variety during an exclusive one-on-one interview at Comic-Con adding that there are other queer [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content