Sony Music unveils new sales plan

Unit to handle Columbia, Epic, Legacy, Sony Nashville

Sony Music on Thursday took the wraps off its newly consolidated sales operation and tapped Columbia exec Tom Donnarumma to oversee it, in the latest chapter of an ongoing effort to restructure and trim down operations company-wide.

The new unit will handle all U.S. sales duties for Sony’s family of domestic labels, including Columbia, Epic, catalog unit Legacy, Sony Nashville, Sony Classical and Sony Discos.

Donnarumma will oversee the individual sales teams at each label, as well as developing overall sales strategies for releases across the entire company. He will also be charged with coordinating sales strategies with Sony’s distribution unit.

Meanwhile, Sony Music Distribution tapped Epic Records sales veteran Bill Frohlich as exec VP of it’s own sales division, reporting to Sony Music corporate exec VP Robert M. Bowlin. Frohlich had been senior veep of sales at Epic for five years, after having worked his way up the CBS and Sony ladders over a 25-year period.

Donnarumma most recently spent a year as senior VP of sales and retail marketing at the Columbia Records Group, acting as the main liaison between the label and Sony Music Distribution.

He got his start as a retail buyer in New Jersey in 1977, and later joined Sony Music predecessor CBS Records as an account service and sales rep in the mid 1980s. After a yearlong stint at PolyGram, Donnarumma rejoined Sony, moving up through the ranks of Columbia’s sales department.

Sony has been working its way though a major restructuring for more than a month, consolidating many back-office functions at Columbia and Epic, and laying off roughly 1,600 employees, or 16% of its workforce. Last week, the company grouped all its hip-hop and R&B operations into a new, unified Urban Music department.

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