Sony taps McPherson for new hip-hop shop

Exec to o'see A&R, artist development, marketing

Sony Music has launched Sony Urban Music to centralize its U.S. urban artist-development marketing and other activities under one roof and act as a liaison for the development of urban artists at imprints Epic and Columbia.

The major tapped former Epic A&R exec David McPherson as executive VP of the new urban unit, reporting to newly minted Sony Music U.S. prexy Don Ienner. McPherson will oversee all of Sony’s urban A&R, artist development, marketing and promotion.

Move comes as Sony Music undergoes an extensive worldwide restructuring, which is expected to result in much closer integration of several divisions within Epic and Columbia and to eliminate 1,600 jobs globally.

McPherson has a long pedigree in urban music, most recently serving as Epic Records Group’s exec VP of A&R and urban music for nearly three years. Before that, he was senior VP of urban A&R at Epic and 550 Music from 1998 to 2000.

Exec also has held various posts — from A&R to publicity and marketing — at both Mercury and Jive Records over the past decade.

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