Glen Brunman, longtime chief of Sony Music’s soundtrack unit, has been named exec VP and head of creative at Warner Music Group’s publishing company, Warner/Chappell Music.
Brunman will oversee all of Warner/Chappell’s A&R, creative and music synchronization efforts in the U.S. He will focus on expanding the current artist roster and identifying new opportunities for Warner/Chappell’s library across a range of traditional and emerging platforms, including online and mobile.
He reports to Dave Johnson, chairman and CEO of Warner/Chappell Music. There had been a vacancy at the creative head of the U.S. post for some time; position is newly titled.
When Johnson started to look for a creative chief for Warner/Chappell, he said it was important that the person be based in Los Angeles. He wanted someone who “really knew the landscape and had a record of achievement.”
While at Sony, Brunman oversaw more than 200 soundtrack albums over the past 15 years including “Titanic,” “Forrest Gump,” “Chicago,” “Men in Black,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” “Philadelphia,” “Garden State,” “Dreamgirls” and “The Sopranos.”
“I’m coming in from a different part of the business with a different perspective,” Brunman told Daily Variety. “But no matter what role I have been in, there are three things that have held true: Music has the power to change lives and the world we live in; great songs live forever and we have a responsibility to bring that to new generations; and rules are made to be broken. And I think those (ideas) are very applicable in the publishing world.”
Publishing is one of strongest areas in the music business, which is struggling overall as CD sales continue to fall at an alarming rate. Brunman sees the key to growth as signing songwriters with potential, and not strictly recording artists, plus staying ahead of the game in terms of technology utilizing recorded music.
As labels continue to reduce artist rosters, music publishing is becoming an epicenter for discovering and promoting new talent as well as finding new income streams for established talent.
“The key is marrying technology to the creative,” Brunman said, noting that he’s walking into “a varied and impressive group of accomplished songwriters” already at Warner/Chappell. “There’s a lot more opportunity to develop artists, to allow them to make the music they have in their heart (via the publishing side). This evolution of the business plays right into that.”
Brunman founded Epic Soundtrax in 1992 and served as its senior VP until 1996, when he was put in charge of soundtracks for all of the Sony labels as exec VP of the newly created Sony Music Soundtrax. He was most recently president of the division.
He started his career in the music industry in 1975 as a publicist for CBS Records, advancing to director of tour publicity and special projects for Columbia Records in 1978. He was publicist for Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel during their breakout years.
From 1979-88, Brunman was director of West Coast publicity for Epic Records. He was promoted to national head of publicity and media relations for the Epic label.