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Caroline faces changes

EMI reorganizes U.S. indie distrib arm

A week after reorganizing its major pop music labels, EMI has gone the same route with its indie-oriented operation.

EMI Music has reorganized its U.S. indie distribution arm, Caroline, into three distinct units, one each for repertoire, artist development and independent distribution.

Caroline will continue to be overseen by senior VP-general manager William Hein, who will establish a new repertoire unit to focus on releasing and supporting EMI Music U.K. and EMI Music Intl. repertoire in the U.S. through three labels. Astralwerks will handle electronic, dance and alternative music; Caroline Records will relaunch as a hard rock, metal and punk label; and Internationally Known will begin issuing physical and digital releases for select international pop titles as well as some digital-only titles.

Glenn Mendlinger will assume responsibility for the day-to-day management of the Astralwerks label, taking over for G.M. Errol Kolosine, who will ankle the label in a few months.

Jeff Rougvie has been tapped to manage the Caroline Records and the Internationally Known labels. Both execs will report directly to Hein.

Caroline’s artist development unit has been established as a shared service to support the three labels in artist development, promotion and marketing. The services will also be made available to the independent labels distributed by Caroline as an optional service.

Astralwerks’ promotion and marketing teams will move into the artist development unit and expand their responsibilities to include support for the Caroline and Internationally Known labels. In addition, Caroline has brought on new regional and national radio promotion executives. Imperial, which launched last year as an urban artist development and marketing services division, will also operate alongside the new rock-focused unit.

Ramsey Dean, most recently general manager of indie Victory Records, has been tapped to oversee the rock genre for the artist development unit. Dean will also report directly to Hein.

Caroline Distribution will continue to service independent labels by providing marketing and promotion services plus specialized digital marketing support as well as global distribution for physical and digital music.

“These moves will make us more effective in promoting EMI’s repertoire from outside North America to the U.S. market, they will make our labels and distribution arms more efficient, and they will also help us super-serve the independent label community while maintaining the autonomy and indie sensibilities they have come to expect from Caroline,” said EMI Music North America chief operating officer Ivan Gavin.

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