As head of the titan Nashville division, Gaston will work under Jon Platt, Sony/ATV’s chairman/CEO.
“The Sony/ATV Nashville catalog is the undisputed greatest collection of country music on the planet,” Gaston said in a statement. “As a music lover, I am in awe of the legacy of the songs and the songwriters… past, present and future… and I look forward to working with this amazing team and roster.”
The line of succession was quickly set in place last summer when longtime president/CEO Troy Tomlinson departed in June to move to Universal Music Publishing Group Nashville as its new chairman/CEO.
“Rusty is one of music’s most influential executives today,” Platt said in a statement, “and his success in developing game-changing opportunities for songwriters makes him the perfect leader to step into this important role at Sony/ATV. I’m excited to work alongside Rusty and our Nashville team on nurturing the next generation of music’s hitmakers.”
Sony/ATV used the belated public unveiling of Gaston’s role to also announce that the company has acquired THIS Music, the publishing company Gaston co-founded with songwriters Connie Harrington and Tim Nichols. The THIS Music roster includes Ben Hayslip, who’s been named ASCAP’s songwriter of the year twice, and Emily Weisband, whose successes extend outside country to include hits from BTS and Halsey. The company’s songs won best Christian song Grammys as well as ASCAP and BMI songs of the year in the country field.
Before co-founding THIS Music, he spent five years as the general manager of Song Garden Music, producer Byron Gallimore’s publishing company.
Sony/ATV Nashville’s writers have included including Taylor Swift, Eric Church, Thomas Rhett, Miranda Lambert, Kelsea Ballerini, Kenny Chesney, Darius Rucker, Jon Pardi, Brett Eldredge, Bobby Braddock, Josh Osborne, Ross Copperman, Tom Douglas and Luke Laird.