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Music Industry Moves: Justin Tranter Signs With Range Media Partners, Influence Media Acquires Select Julia Michael Copyrights

Justin Tranter
Christopher Patey

Songwriter/producer Justin Tranter, whose credits include such smashes as Justin Bieber’s diamond-certified “Sorry,” Selena Gomez’s “Bad Liar” and DNCE’s “Cake by the Ocean” among many others, has signed with Range Media Partners. Tranter is one of the top songwriters of the past 15 years, with more than 50 million single sales and 40 billion streams on Spotify and YouTube, along with Grammy and Golden Globe nominations and two consecutive “Songwriter of the Year” titles at the BMI Pop Awards. Tranter will be represented by Michele Harrison with Byron Wetzel from the company’s film and TV division; Tranter has several film and TV projects in development, including a musical titled “Wild” that will be directed by Diane Paulus, written by V (formerly Eve Ensler) and starring Idina Menzel.

+ Tranter’s longtime collaborator Julia Michaels has partnered with Influence Media Partners on an acquisition deal that includes a portfolio of select copyrights from her catalog both as a solo artist and an in-demand songwriter. Highlights include Michaels’ publishing stake in her own hits like “Issues,” “I Miss You,” “Carry Me” and “Friends,” as well as songs performed by Selena Gomez (“Bad Liar,” “Hands To Myself”), Justin Bieber (“Sorry”), Ed Sheeran (“Dive”), Janelle Monae (“Make Me Feel”), Hailee Steinfeld (“Love Myself”), P!nk (“Barbies”). Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition is the second from Influence Media’s female-focused music fund with Municipal Employees’ Retirement System, which carries an initial value of up to $100 million in investable capital; their first joint acquisition, of select copyrights by songwriter Ali Tamposi, was announced in April.

+ Live Nation has unveiled details for the November 2021 opening of a new 5,000-capacity live music venue in Houston called the Terminal. Housed in the city’s latest major downtown development project Post Houston, the venue will be a key anchor in the transformation of the historic former Barbara Jordan Post Office into a hub for culture, food, shopping and recreation, according to the announcement. The venue was designed by the firm OMA, led by partner Jason Long. The Terminal’s show schedule is expected to be announced in July.

Wednesday, May 12

Manuel Abud has been named CEO of the Latin Recording Academy, effective Aug. 1, the Board of Trustees announced on Wednesday. Outgoing President/CEO Gabriel Abaroa, Jr. will become President Emeritus, a senior advisory role that will include working on assigned strategic projects while assisting the new CEO in the transition.

“As Chairman of the Board of Trustees, which actively oversees the growth and social impact of this great organization, I am delighted to have led a succession plan that was designed with professionalism, respect, love and consistency,” said Eduardo Hütt. “Several candidates were considered to replace Gabriel’s unique leadership style, and we agreed that Manuel Abud meets the established criteria, excelling in ways that guarantee our organization the leadership required to accomplish its goals over the next decade. The plan was carefully executed, and Manuel was groomed over an extended period.”

“Leading The Latin Recording Academy has been a very significant part of my professional career and a great foundation for my future endeavors,” said Abaroa. “We achieved tremendous progress and growth over the past two decades. I’m eager to transition to a new role that won’t be as time consuming and certain that Manuel will take us boldly into our next chapter.”

“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead The Latin Recording Academy,” said Abud. “Before coming here in 2019, I had long admired the organization’s excellence, and I look forward to building on its rich heritage of supporting and honoring Latin music and ushering in a new era of growth and impact.”

While COO of the Latin Academy, Abud successfully led a major reorganization, maximizing efficiencies and taking a fast leap to digital content development. Before coming to The Latin Recording Academy, Abud was CEO of Azteca América where he implemented a full-scale turnaround of the network and spearheaded its November 2017 acquisition by HC2 Holdings, Inc. Before Azteca, he spent 14 years at NBCUniversal where he held a wide range of leadership positions, including president of the Telemundo Station Group and president of Telemundo Cable where he founded mun2. Previously he was president of CBS Telenoticias.

+ Gloria Estefan will host the 43 rd annual Kennedy Center Honors, where Debbie Allen, Joan Baez, Garth Brooks, Midori, and Dick Van Dyke will be recognized for lifetime artistic achievement. The show, which airs Sunday, June 6 on CBS at 8 p.m. ET/PT, will mark the second time Estefan has hosted the special; she received a Kennedy Center Honors in 2017. “After the challenging events of the past year, who better to bring us all together, help us take a collective deep breath, and celebrate the amazing artistry of our superstar slate of Kennedy Center Honorees than Gloria Estefan,” said CBS EVP Jack Sussman

+ Sony Music Publishing UK has signed hit songwriter, producer Ben Jackson-Cook to a worldwide deal. Jackson-Cook co-wrote and co-produced Rag’n’Bone Man’s U.K. top 5 album “Life by Misadventure,”  and has also worked with Mike Elizondo, Natalie Hemby, Allen Shamblin & Mike Reid, Wendy Melvoin, Daru Jones, and more.