EMI PR pools muscle

New arm will flex for smaller U.S. units

British music major EMI will consolidate radio promotion efforts for many of its smaller North American labels into a new division — to be called EMI Music Collective — led by freshly promoted VP Kevin Carroll.

The new structure reps a bid by EMI to spread the resources of its radio promotion machine across its constituent labels, giving smaller players within the conglom more opportunities to break their releases in the mainstream market.

EMI Music Collective will cover promotion duties mainly for Angel/Blue Note/Manhattan as well as Astralwerks and S-Curve. It will beef up promotion for EMI Canada, EMI Christian, Narada and Higher Octave.

EMI’s flagship divisions. Capitol and Virgin, will retain their inhouse promo staffs.

Carroll, who will be based in New York and report to EMI North America chief David Munns, arrives from Blue Note Records, hot on the heels of that label’s multiplatinum success with singer-songwriter Norah Jones.

Exec said the decision to bring all the promo efforts under one roof, which came from Munns and exec VP Phil Quartararo, stemmed from a desire to give equal priority to releases — like Jones’ smash “Come Away With Me” — that might not be on the radar initially with the larger imprints.

“One thing you absolutely cannot do without a staff is getting out to radio and getting these records set up,” Carroll told Daily Variety. “There (had) been an issue with them where there will be a handoff to Capitol or Virgin, but the problem is they have their own A&R channels to service.”

Announcement comes on the heels of a momentous decision from radio giant Clear Channel Communications to end all dealings with independent promotion companies, thereby re-establishing a direct link with label promo staffs.

Carroll said EMI’s move Tuesday was planned well before the Clear Channel announcement, but conceded that the configuration could have advantages now that labels will have to be in much closer contact with radio stations.

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