Big Machine Label Group chief Scott Borchetta has joined “American Idol” in the role of mentor.
Borchetta is known in the music biz as the exec who discovered Taylor Swift when she was all of 14. The deal calls for “Idol’s” next winner to record for Big Machine Records, which will join “Idol” partners Universal Music Group and 19 Entertainment and steering the hopeful’s career.
Fox and “Idol” producers 19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia North America are under enormous pressure to revive the franchise after viewership took a huge dive this past year.
Fox confirmed that “Idol” will launch Jan. 7 with an hourlong telecast followed by a two-hour seg the following night.
“There’s only one reason I’m doing this: ‘American Idol’ has proven again and again that it can launch superstars. I believe that working with these young artists the same way we work with new artists at the Big Machine Label Group will help the next ‘American Idol’ be as prepared as possible to continue the tradition of creating new superstars,” said Borchetta. “The entire label group will be invested, and we look forward to bringing our energy, focus and know-how to help develop this young talent at the highest levels.”
Randy Jackson, who exited the fold this year after being with “Idol” since its U.S. debut in 2002, had served in the role of mentor last season. The mentor role has been expanded for the coming season, with Borchetta taking part in some of the earliest auditions. It’s a nod to the success that NBC’s “The Voice” has had with music biz pros taking contestants under wing as “coaches.”
Big Machine’s roster of stars includes Tim McGraw, Reba McEntire, Rascal Flatts, Florida Georgia Line and the Band Perry.