×

5 Music Executives Primed for TV — and the Label President Who Got Bumped From ‘Boy Band’

With news on Wednesday that the new ABC show “Boy Band” had enlisted Timbaland, the veteran music producer who has worked with Justin Timberlake, Missy Elliott and Aaliyah, to round out a judging panel that includes Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter and Spice Girls’ Emma Bunton, comes word that another high-ranking music executive was in line for the gig.

According to sources, Republic Records Group president Charlie Walk, whose 25-plus-year career as a promotion executive and later a label head, includes No. 1 hits by Shakira, The Weeknd, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj, had been offered the third seat at the table (Rita Ora hosts the show, which launches June 22 and awards the five winning performers a recording contract with Hollywood Records), but Republic parent company Universal Music Group quashed the idea. The reason: Walk already “has a day-job,” according to an insider.

He wouldn’t be the first to run into such an issue. Back in 2013, hitmaker Dr. Luke was in final negotiations to join “American Idol,” until then-Sony Music head Doug Morris said no way. At the time, and before his contentious court battle with Kesha over allegations of harrassment, Luke had just negotiated a lucrative contract for his label and few at the company were keen on having his time split between making records and critiquing pop star hopefuls who would ultimately be recording for a competitor.

Former Epic Records chairman Antonio “L.A.” Reid did get the OK from Sony to judge “The X Factor,” but even he — again, prior to more recent allegations of inappropriate conduct — admitted in subsequent interviews that the demands of the show distracted him from his chief executive role at the label. You could, however, say Reid happened upon the right formula: tender a three-season run on television, then take your most promising grads — the girls of Fifth Harmony — and make them a bonafide success story.

All of this got us thinking about which other executives would be prime candidates for TV — after all, there may be an opening for one on the soon-to-be-rebooted “American Idol.”

  1. Scooter Braun: Not only one of the most consistently successful independent managers (SB Projects clients include Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Kanye West, and Usher, among others), at 35, Braun is also among the youngest and boasts the largest social media following (4.1 million followers on Twitter alone) of any music executive currently working. Those credentials should be enough, but throw in Bieber’s impressive run — he’s currently featured on two of the top songs in the U.S., Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” and DJ Khaled’s “I’m the One” — and Braun easily ties Simon Cowell’s teen-launching track record. In fact, some may recall that Bieber outsold Cowell act One Direction in a hotly contested first week battle back in  Nov. 2015. But even beyond the Biebs, his success rate in breaking new acts is unparalleled — or at least hasn’t been seen by an upstart manager in many years. In a word, Braun is a no-brainer.
  2. Julie Greenwald: A New Yorker with sass and brass, and the co-chairman and chief operating officer of Atlantic Records, possibly in that order, Greenwald can take credit for launching such superstar acts as Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran. Her pedigree includes hip-hop too, having worked with some of the genre’s most important rappers, chief among them: Jay Z. She’s also the person currently guiding the recording career of the mother of all singing competition winners: Kelly Clarkson, who signed with Atlantic last year. Attitude and smarts: a winning combination.
  3. Chris Anokute: An A&R wiz whose resume includes stints at Capitol, where he worked with Katy Perry, Island Def Jam, and his current home, Epic Records, where he steers the Fifth Harmony ship, Anokute can be credited — or cursed for — the smash hit “Work From Home.” At 34 and with a nearly encyclopedic knowledge of pop and R&B history, the always animated Anokute has ears beyond his years.
  4. Dina LaPolt: An attorney who represents Aersomith’s Steven Tyler, Deadmau5, and Britney Spears, LaPolt is often described as a no-nonsense badass and she wears the badge well. Her championing of songwriter rights has taken the lawyer from corporate boardrooms to Capitol Hill — and she hasn’t gone quietly to either — while her understanding of arena-sized acts in multiple genres has grown her independent firm exponentially. But ultimately, music’s TV face needs personality, which LaPolt has in spades.
  5. Ty Stiklorius: The definition of a multi-hyphenate business woman, Stiklorius is John Legend’s longtime manager and also represents Alicia Keys, Ciara, and Lindsey Stirling. Currently running her own shop, Friends at Work, she had previously been partnered with Troy Carter — now a top executive at Spotify — at a time when he was managing the likes of Lady Gaga and Meghan Trainor. But it’s in stepping out on her own as a film and TV producer, with EP credits on the Oscar-winning “La La Land” and the gone-too-soon series “Underground,” that Stiklorius has proven to be a real force in the industry, with no telling where she’ll go from here.

More Music

  • Marc Byers

    Execs from Motown, Live Nation, Recording Academy Set to Speak at Culture Creators' Inaugural C2 Summit

    Culture Creators, the organization which recognizes minorities in film, television, music and fashion, is holding its first-ever C2 Summit on Oct. 21 in Washington D.C. Its mission: to engage, mentor, and provide recruitment opportunities to students of color attending historically black colleges and universities. Students were selected from an application process and will participate in [...]

  • Rami Dawod SESAC

    SESAC Toasts Rami Dawod as Pop Songwriter of the Year

    Camila Cabello’s “Never Be The Same” and “Electricity” by Mark Ronson and Silk City featuring Dua Lipa are just a few of the co-writing credits celebrated during an October 16 dinner at Nobu Malibu hosted by SESAC in honor of Rami Dawod. Named Pop Songwriter of the Year by the performance rights organization, Dawod is [...]

  • Luis Fonsi Erika Ender Latin Grammys

    The Second Latin Explosion: How 'Despacito' Ushered in a New Generation of Stars

    Music is an ever-evolving art, and for the Latin Recording Academy, that’s meant riding multiple waves of attention. The most recent arrived with the stratospheric success of “Despacito,” which kicked off a second Latin Explosion with full force in 2017. The Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee hit, later featuring verses by Justin Bieber, made Latin [...]

  • Ricky Martin Celia Cruz Gloria Estefan

    From Idea to Legacy: Latin Grammy Awards Mark 20 Years of Global Recognition

    The idea of creating a separate organization to honor the diversity of Latin music was a discussion that took place for years before it actually happened, but an event driven by one of pop music’s most important crossover artists solidified it. During the 41st Grammy Awards ceremony, a young Ricky Martin was scheduled to perform [...]

  • Taron Egerton Elton John Rocketman Live

    Elton John and Taron Egerton Duet at 'Rocketman' Awards Season Event at the Greek Theatre

    “Rocketman” has officially launched into awards season. Paramount hosted a screening of the film with a live-performance of the score by the Hollywood Symphony Orchestra and a headlining performance by Elton John and the film’s star Taron Egerton. John and Egerton — who is in contention for best actor for his portrayal of the singer [...]

  • BTS 'Good Morning America' TV show,

    BTS Show Love for Lauv and Their Army of Fans in Video for Reworked 'Make It Right'

    Early Friday morning (Oct. 18), BTS gave fans a taste of what their upcoming “comeback” (Korean pop terminology for new music) may be like with a reworked version of “Make It Right.” The Korean boy band collaborated with the American singer-songwriter Lauv, who starts the soulful ballad off with a verse in English. Advocates for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content