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EMI Records rebranded Capitol

Capitol, Virgin become music major's global labels

LONDON — EMI Records is being renamed Capitol in the markets where the brand does not exist, in the latest attempt to turn around the fortunes of the ailing British music giant.

The change was announced by EMI Recorded Music chairman-CEO Alain Levy Thursday as part of a restructuring that will see EMI represented by two brands worldwide, Capitol and Virgin.

A managing director will be appointed in each territory to be responsible for EMI Record Music’s activities. In Germany, for example, Virgin Germany’s head, Udo Lange, is taking the top job, and EMI Germany’s Heinz Canibol is out.

All of EMI Recorded Music’s back-office services are to be integrated, leading to job cuts in the U.K. and continental Europe, where service duplication is most pronounced.

“This change in structure clarifies the roles of our creative record labels and focuses them on the key activities that will make a difference in signing, developing and marketing great talent,” Levy said. “Capitol, which has a long and rich musical legacy, and Virgin will be established as the two global brands for our creative activities that represent different identities with their own style and rich histories of creativity and great music.”

Capitol and Virgin are already EMI’s established brands in the U.S. Classical music label EMI Classics will retain its name.