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Music Industry Moves: Range Media Partners Hires Lisa Wolfe as Senior VP Operations, Sam Drake as Director of A&R and Publishing

Sam Drake Lisa Wolfe
Courtesy of Range Media Partners

Range Media Partners has hired Lisa Wolfe as senior vice president of operations and Sam Drake joins as director of A&R and publishing.

With more than 30 years of experience in the music industry, Wolfe begins her new role following stints at Columbia Records and Modest! Management. At Columbia, where she was VP of promotion and marketing, Wolfe oversaw high-profile campaigns, industry advertising and chart and airplay strategy for acts such as Destiny’s Child, Beyoncé and Mariah Carey. At Modest!, she worked closely with One Direction, 5 Seconds of Summer, Anthony Ramos and Little Mix.

Prior to her role with Range, Drake spent seven years in A&R at Sony Music Publishing. There she signed New Zealand-based artist Benee, whose single “Supalonely” went viral on TikTok at the start of the pandemic. She has also worked closely with Jon Bellion, who has written and produced for the likes of Selena Gomez, Katy Perry, Camila Cabello and Miley Cyrus.

“Lisa Wolfe is an outstanding all-around executive with vast experience in the music business. We couldn’t feel more privileged to have her join our company as the SVP of Operations to help continue to make sure that our communication and services are as finely tuned as can be. Her knowledge of promotion, artist development and global touring has been invaluable to our younger executives and artists alike,” says Range co-founder and managing partner Matt Graham.

He continues, “Sam Drake is an outstanding publishing executive who came to us with a real desire to broaden her skills and become not just a great A&R and publisher, but a highly skilled manager capable of overseeing all aspects of a writer/producer’s career.”

+ Daddy Yankee will be receiving the 2022 Legend Award during the 35th Annual Hispanic Heritage Awards hosted by the Hispanic Heritage Foundation. He will be recognized alongside honorees Los Lobos, Marvel Studios’ Victoria Alonso, with additional recipients to be announced.

“The Hispanic Heritage Foundation is thrilled to honor Daddy Yankee with the Legend Award which is so deserved because of his trailblazing in a form of music that has impacted the world,” said Jose Antonio Tijerino, president and CEO of HHF. “Simply put, Daddy Yankee is a game-changer. We also are honoring his service to our community through his work with his foundation Daddy’s House and working with organizations supporting those in need in Puerto Rico and beyond.”

Previous HHA winners across the last 35 years include Rita Moreno, Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Gloria Estefan, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Martin Sheen, Ricky Martin, Rubén Blades, Fania All-Stars, José Feliciano, Los Tigres Del Norte, Anthony Quinn, Juanes, Diego Luna, Juan Luis Guerra, and recent winners include Carlos Santana, Linda Ronstadt, Bad Bunny, Ivy Queen, Zoe Saldana, Residente, Selena Gomez and more.

The 35th Annual Hispanic Heritage Awards will air Friday, Sept. 30 on PBS stations and stream on pbs.org and the PBS Video app.

Wednesday, Aug. 10

Verve Label Group has announced the promotions of Jamie Krents, to president of Verve, Impulse! and Verve Forecast Records; and executive VP Dawn Olejar to GM, Verve Label Group. Both report to Dickon Stainer, president and CEO of Universal Classics and Jazz and Verve Label Group, and work from the New York office.

A division of Universal Music Group (UMG), Verve was the big story at the 2022 Grammy Awards, where its artist Jon Batiste won album of the year — in addition to four other categories — and new signing Arooj Aftab was nominated for best new artist and took home a trophy for best global performance.

Verve is home to such artists as Ella Fitzgerald, John Coltrane and Diana Krall and houses the sub-labels Decca, Impulse! And Verve Forecast, among others.

+ Dalia Ganz has joined Warner Records as senior VP of digital marketing, where she will work to create and implement online experiences and campaigns for the label’s roster. She reports to Tom Corson, Warner Records co-chairman and COO, and will be based at the label’s LA headquarters.

Ganz comes to Warner Records following 17 years with the Walt Disney Company, where she most recently served as VP of social media, digital marketing and synergy for Freeform.

“Dalia is a widely respected expert and bold innovator in the digital space who knows how to adapt in a constantly changing landscape and isn’t afraid to break the mold to try something new,” said Corson. “She’ll inject a fresh perspective into our marketing strategy and help us deliver unique, memorable campaigns that amplify our artists’ voices and resonate with fans.”

Tuesday, Aug. 9

+ Island Records has promoted Steven Rowen to senior vice president, head of international marketing. In his new role, Rowen will continue to oversee global marketing across the Island roster which includes Shawn Mendes, Demi Lovato, the Killers, Lauren Spencer Smith and more.

“Steven is one of the most knowledgeable and experienced executives in the global marketing field,” said Mike Alexander, general manager of Island Records. “His creativity and strategy have been at the forefront of Island’s biggest breakthrough stories over the last decade and we are confident he will continue to make enormous strides as Island moves into its next historic chapter.”

Rowen began his career in music at Universal Music Group in 2008, as a coordinator in the artist develop­ment department of the former Island Def Jam Music Group (IDJ). He then joined the international department in 2012 and was eventually promoted to VP of international marketing. In 2021, he officially started working solely for Island as head of international marketing.

“Thank you to Justin, Imran, and Mike for the opportunity to lead our global marketing efforts for the new era of Island Records.” Rowen said. “I’m excited to continue building our incredible roster around the world.”

Rowen will be based in New York and report directly to Alexander.

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Steven Rowen (left); Luke Armitage Courtesy Island/Capitol

+ Luke Armitage has been promoted to senior VP of Astralwerks where he will oversee global marketing and daily operations for the label and its overseas brands, including Astralwerks Asia.

Astralwerks President Toby Andrews, to whom Armitage reports, said: “Luke has been integral to the growth and success of Astralwerks since he joined in 2018, leading numerous game-changing campaigns and expertly guiding our team. His forward-thinking approach to international and domestic marketing as a combined discipline has really taken the label to the next level, and I’m so thankful to have him growing into this new role as we look into the years ahead.”

Armitage assumes his new role after four years as VP of marketing for Astralwerks, during which he oversaw the label’s domestic and international marketing efforts. During this period, Armitage worked on a variety of projects, including Marshmello and Bastille’s “Happier” and the Grammy-nominated “Piece Of Your Heart,” from Meduza.

Other artists Armitage has worked closely with during his time at Astralwerks include Alesso, Martin Garrix, the Avalanches, Jax Jones, Jonas Blue and Alison Wonderland. He also worked in partnership with Netflix on the soundtrack to the film, “He’s All That,” which marked the acting debut of Addison Rae.

Armitage is based in Hollywood within Capitol Music Group’s Capitol Tower.

+ ASCAP has upped Deepak Mohite to chief technology officer (CTO), reporting jointly to ASCAP chief executive officer Elizabeth Matthews and to ASCAP executive VP and chief operating officer Brian Roberts.

Mohite joined the company in 2018 as VP of infrastructure and platform services engineering, and in 2019, he was promoted to SVP, software engineering, architecture and quality assurance. During his time in that role, Mohite led ASCAP’s engineering teams in product delivery and strategy planning for software that supported ASCAP’s web and mobile applications.

“Deepak has been responsible for major tech initiatives at ASCAP that have ensured we are the best-in-class music rights management platform for music creators and licensees. The innovations he has implemented have helped us build a fast, flexible and efficient technology infrastructure that has streamlined our operations, made us more agile and set us up to continue to innovate for the future,” said Matthews.

Roberts added: “Deepak’s expertise in emerging technologies will ensure that ASCAP’s technology infrastructure is always evolving along with the businesses we serve. His strategic vision and guidance have helped to drive key technology enhancements at ASCAP, from the migration of our data platforms to the cloud, to critical enhancements to our cybersecurity and data protection, to building software that supports our web and mobile applications.”

Mohite previously held senior technology roles at Tower Research Capital and The New York Times. He holds two master’s degrees and multiple product and technology certifications from MIT.

+ Columbia Records has promoted Betsy Whitney to VP of marketing, as announced by Erika Alfredson and Jay Schumer, both EVP, marketing at the company.

Most recently, Whitney held the position of senior director of marketing where she led campaigns for artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Hozier, Leon Bridges, Haim, Arcade Fire, Barbra Streisand and John Mayer.

She will continue to report to Alfredson and Schumer, who in a joint statement said, “In the many roles that Betsy has held at Columbia, she has consistently been an incredible resource, leading successful campaigns for some of the label’s most storied artists. Betsy brings passion, drive, and creativity to everything she does. We are proud of her growth and leadership, and we are excited to see her continue to bring exciting campaigns to life across the roster.”

Whitney began her career as an intern at NME and in 2008, started at Columbia in New York City as a coordinator in the marketing division. She spent eight years in digital marketing before re-joining the marketing team in Los Angeles.

+ Gilad Woltsovitch has joined Revelator in the company’s climb to elevate its Web3 development team. Revelator powers the organization and tracking of music in both Web2 and Web3.

“By making the ecosystem more decentralized and open, we will benefit the entire supply chain. We are thrilled that Gilad will join us in this endeavor,” said Revelator founder and CEO Bruno Guez.

+ The Beggars Group of Labels has promoted Andy Larsen to head of sales and Steve Glauber moves into the newly created role of head of U.S. operations.

Glauber, who joined the company in 2009 as a warehouse worker, will oversee several departments including sales and production, in addition to several aspects of U.S. facilities. He previously served as the U.S. director of digital operations.

Larsen will now oversee the sales team and work closely with distributor Redeye. She has been with the company since 2016 when she joined from the Rough Trade shop. She moves from her previous post as director of sales.

+ Big Machine Music (BMM), a subsidiary of HYBE America, has signed singer-songwriter Anna Vaus to an exclusive songwriting agreement.

A graduate of Belmont University, Vaus was the first-ever recipient of the Miranda Lambert Women’s Creator Fund. She joins BMM’s growing roster of artists which includes Brett Young, Ryan Hurd, Laura Veltz, Matt Dragstrem, Jessie Jo Dillon, Brandy Clark and more.

“We have admired Anna’s unique songwriting from afar for years and are so excited for the opportunity to work together directly,” said BMM general manager Mike Molinar.

“Songwriting is such a foundational part of my artistry and I’m thrilled to get to work with the Big Machine Music team,” Vaus shared. “I’m incredibly excited to have Mike, Tim [Hunze] and Lizzy [Rector] and rest of the team alongside me as I continue to grow as a songwriter.”