Epic Records head of promotion Todd Glassman has been let go from the Sony Music label, multiple sources confirm to Variety. He had recently seen a string of radio hits, with Epic artists holding five spots on the Top 40 chart, chief among them: DJ Khaled’s Justin Bieber-assisted “I’m the One.”
Epic Records also currently claims the No. 1 album in the country with DJ Khaled’s full-length “Grateful,” released June 30.
Since the abrupt exit of former Epic Records chairman Antonio “L.A.” Reid back in May, following an allegation of sexual harassment, the label has been grappling with internal tensions, according to insiders. President Sylvia Rhone, installed during the leadership of Doug Morris, who ascended from CEO in April, has been steering the ship during a transitional period, which looks to be all-the-more permanent, considering she’s locked into a three-year deal with Sony. And while successes have followed, so has a chasm between those perceived to be from the Reid camp.
Rhone, a 30-year veteran of the music industry, and Glassman go back to Universal Motown, which Rhone headed during the 2000s. According to a source, “there’s bad blood” between the two. When, in 2012, Rhone was setting up her joint venture at Sony Music, called Vested In Culture, she tried to recruit Glassman but he opted to stay put, seeing “stability was a better option.” Once Reid hired Glassman to replace Jacqueline Saturn as promotion head of Epic and EVP in 2013, Rhone was said to have been incensed at the slight.
Still, there’s no denying the radio hot streak Epic has been on of late. Khaled aside, another Epic roster act is crossing over to pop radio — French Montana’s “Unforgettable” (feat. Swae Lee) — while new songs by Camila Cabello (“Crying in the Club”) and her former group Fifth Harmony (“Down” [featuring Gucci Mane]) continue to climb.
The New York-based Glassman previously held positions at Island Def Jam, where he led the Top 40 and Hot AC teams, and at Universal Motown, where he was SVP.
Sony Music would not comment.
Update: A well-placed insider asserts that a contractual dispute led to Glassman’s exit, on his own accord. Glassman’s “representative and corporate couldn’t come to terms [on a new contract],” says the source, adding that, “they had been negotiating since November” — predating Reid’s firing, it’s implied.