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EMI exec to run Universal Music Nashville

Mike Dungan set to take reins this summer

EMI Nashville president-CEO Mike Dungan is exiting the country powerhouse for Universal Music Group Nashville, where he will take over as chairman-CEO, an informed source confirms.

An official announcement of the move is expected this week. A UMG spokesman had no comment.

Dungan, who will join UMG in early summer, will replace Luke Lewis, who has headed UMG’s Music City operation for a decade.

Lewis, who previously headed Mercury Nashville for 10 years, will remain with the company in an as-yet undefined capacity.

Since joining EMI in 2000 after a stint at Arista Nashville, Dungan has developed the company into a country music superpower.

Its roster includes trio Lady Antebellum (whose Grammy-winning albums “Need You Now” and “Own the Night” have collectively shifted nearly 5.2 million), Keith Urban, Dierks Bentley, Trace Adkins, Luke Bryan and Eric Church.

UMG Nashville’s acts include Sugarland, George Strait, Vince Gill and “American Idol” grads Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina.

The division also operates alt-country imprint Lost Highway Records, founded by Lewis in 2001; its roster includes Lucinda Williams, Oscar winner Ryan Bingham and Hayes Carll. Company also distributes Big Machine Records, home of Taylor Swift and Rascal Flatts.

An EMI spokesman confirmed that Dungan will exit the company March 31. EMI Christian Music Group CEO Bill Hearn will now head both of EMI’s Nashville-based businesses, while Capitol Nashville COO Tom Becci will helm EMI Nashville on a day-to-day basis.

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