×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

In Wake of L.A. Reid’s Sony Music Ouster, Epic Records PR Head Laura Swanson Exits (EXCLUSIVE)

A week to the day after news broke that Epic Records chairman and CEO Antonio “L.A.” Reid would be departing Sony Music, his longtime associate, EVP of media & strategic development Laura Swanson, has left the building as well, Variety has learned.

A highly regarded publicity and media strategy veteran, Swanson had worked alongside Reid since the year 2000 when he was running Arista Records. The two would reunite at Island Def Jam, where Reid was named chairman and CEO in 2004 and again at Epic Records, where Swanson would restructure the PR department starting in 2015. She, along with more than a dozen Epic staffers, would also make the move from New York to Los Angeles, following Reid’s lead in early 2015.

It is believed that as result of being a Reid “loyalist,” Sony Music let Swanson go. Reid was being investigated internally after a former female assistant accused him of improper behavior and sexual harassment. In the hours after his departure was revealed, staff at Epic Records posted an image on Instagram declaring their love for their former boss. They were made to remove it, per Sony brass, say insiders.

Swanson was previously head of publicity for A&M Records, where she worked with Soundgarden, Blues Traveler, and Sheryl Crow; VP of publicity at Interscope Records; and an SVP at IDJ, where she and Reid counted such successful signings as Rihanna, Justin Bieber, and Mariah Carey, whose “The Emancipation of Mimi” was a multiplatinum smash for the singer in 2005.

At Epic, Swanson helped usher in a successful five-year run for the label, as hip-hop acts like Travis Scott, Future, and DJ Khaled each notched No. 1 albums. She also supervised campaigns for Meghan Trainor, Fifth Harmony, and the rollout for the soon-to-be released solo project from Camila Cabello.

Word from inside Sony is that CEO Rob Stringer had no choice but to let Reid go, and ultimately, “did the right thing,” says a source. Another insider says Swanson’s axing is likely “the first of many” still to come.

Currently, Epic Records president Sylvia Rhone is handling the day-to-day running of the label until a new CEO can be found.

Reid is represented by attorney Joel Katz of Greenberg Traurig; Swanson by Aaron Rosenberg of Myman Greenspan Fineman Fox Rosenberg & Light.

More Music

  • Ariana GrandeBillboard's 13th Annual Women in

    Ariana Grande Announces Tracklist for 'Thank U, Next'

    Ariana Grande has provided material for a thousand memes with the release of the tracklist for her fifth studio album, “Thank U, Next.” According to an Instagram post, the tracklist for the upcoming album, to be released February 8, is as follows: Imagine Needy NASA Bloodline Fake Smile Bad Idea Make Up Ghostin In My [...]

  • DJ Snake Ozuna Selena Gomez Cardi

    Hitmaker of the Month: How Geffen's Neil Jacobson Took 'Taki Taki' to the Finish Line

    DJ Snake’s bilingual banger, “Taki, Taki,” is the latest reggaeton track to become a bona fide pop hit thanks to an alignment of stars (Selena Gomez, Ozuna and Cardi B) and the guidance of Geffen Records president Neil Jacobson. “There’s somewhat of an inexact science to making collaborative records like this,” says Jacobson, the veteran A&R [...]

  • Chris Brown rape allegation

    Chris Brown Released From Custody With No Charges Filed

    Chris Brown has been released from custody in Paris with no charges filed after being detained on rape accusations, a rep for the singer tells Variety, citing an Associated Press report. Brown and two other people, who were not identified but reports said were Brown’s bodyguard and a friend, were released at around 10 p.m. [...]

  • Bob PittmanVariety Entertainment Summit at CES,

    iHeartMedia Bankruptcy Plan Approved, CEO Bob Pittman's Contract Renewed

    A U.S. court has approved the bankruptcy plan of iHeartMedia, the biggest radio broadcaster in the U.S., which will shave down its crushing debt load and separate iHeartMedia from Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings. The company said chairman and CEO Bob Pittman and Rich Bressler, president, COO and CFO, have extended their contracts by four years. [...]

  • Elton John and Mark Ronson

    Elton John to 'Shallow' Songwriter Mark Ronson: 'You're Going to Win the Oscar'

    Elton John is willing to bet that Mark Ronson will win the Oscar for Best Original Song for “Shallow” from “A Star Is Born.” The nominations were announced this morning. The legendary performer spoke to Ronson on the latest episode of his radio show “Elton John’s Rocket Hour” on Apple Music’s Beats 1.  “You’re having a [...]

  • Andrea Ganis Promoted to President of

    Atlantic Records Elevates Andrea Ganis to President of Promotion

    Andrea Ganis has been promoted to the newly created position of president of promotion for Atlantic Records, it was announced today by Atlantic Chairman & COO Julie Greenwald and Chairman & CEO Craig Kallman. In her new role, she will continue to oversee all promotion activities for Atlantic and its subsidiary labels while serving on [...]

  • Gustavo Dudamel Walk of Fame Honor

    Gustavo Dudamel, Hollywood Bowl’s Biggest Star, Gets One of His Own Down the Hill

    Perusing conductor Gustavo Dudamel’s recent and upcoming schedule is enough to make anyone feel like a serious underperformer. In the past 12 months, Dudamel has guided the Los Angeles Philharmonic through half of its 100th season; made his debut with the Metropolitan Opera in New York; started an ongoing lecture/seminar series at Princeton University; toured [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content