Industry Roundup

Warner Music Group rebounds: WMG announced Thursday August 19 that it was near completion of a major corporate restructuring, a move expected to save as much as $250 million annually. WMG had originally projected savings of $60 million per year. Earlier this year, the company was acquired by an investment consortium led by Edgar Bronfman, Jr., scion of the Seagram family of Montreal and former chief of Universal Music.

Bronfman described the new WMG as a "lean and flexible music company." WMG has shed approximately 1000 jobs, including several top executive positions since being spun off by Time Warner in March. Bronfman's consortium has "merged the Atlantic and Elektra labels, consolidated and streamlined certain overhead operations, lowered variable costs, and significantly reduced and focused our artist roster, all the while maintaining strong cash flow," he stated.

The restructuring enabled WMG to post operating profits of $21 million for the first six months of the fiscal year, compared with a loss of $36 million during the same period the previous year. For the second quarter, ended May 31, WMG showed a profit of $16 million, compared with a loss of $3 million for the same period in 2003. The bottom line improved even though revenue dropped 10% year-over-year to $717 million, with recorded music revenue down 14% to $591 million. Second-quarter music publishing revenue, however, rose 11% to $129 million.

Sony BMG shedding workers: Newly merged entity Sony BMG has begun cutting as many as 10,000 employees. "First to go are early retirees or voluntary severance-grabbers; those who don't take this offer are told the next one won't be quite so favorable," according to Musical America.

New sales chief for Genesis: Seattle-based Genesis Advanced Technologies, manufacturer of audiophile loudspeaker systems, has announced the appointment of Brian Tucker to the position of national sales director. Tucker was the consulting sales manager for the old Genesis Technologies from 2000 to 2001. Genesis Advanced Technologies is the latest incarnation of the company founded by Arnie Nudell, originator of the legendary Infinity IRS speaker system.

Tucker has over 40 years of sales experience in the audio industry, having represented BGW, Tannoy Pro, B&O, KEF, Quad, Woodside, Studer Pro, ReVox consumer, and Richard Gray's Power Company. He is concurrently managing director for ReVox USA. Genesis managing director Leonard Koh said his company was "very pleased to have someone with as much experience as Brian on our team . . . We will be relying on his detailed knowledge of the marketplace to guide Genesis. Brian understands our philosophy of limited distribution through passionate dealers." Tucker is also an audio hobbyist, being both a collector of pop music and a recordist of pipe organs throughout the world.

New HQ for Cerwin-Vega/KRK: Cerwin-Vega and KRK announced August 18 that they have moved their corporate headquarters to a new "world-class" facility in Chatsworth, CA. The companies were formerly based in nearby Simi Valley. The new address for both Cerwin-Vega and KRK is 9340 De Soto Avenue, Chatsworth, CA 91311. The new headquarters will house the companies' sales, marketing, customer support, purchasing, and engineering groups, according to the announcement.

Cerwin-Vega/KRK general manager Domenic Buonincontri described the move as "a seamless transition, designed to expand the companies' capabilities in customer service, and to strengthen our creative and operational disciplines." Concurrently with the move to the new facility, Cerwin-Vega announced the appointment of audio industry veteran Derek Covin to the newly created position of director of customer support. Covin joined the company as its sales administration manager for both the Cerwin-Vega and KRK divisions in 2003. Before joining Cerwin-Vega and KRK, Derek Covin managed the sales administration team for QSC for several years. Cerwin-Vega and KRK are divisions of corporate parent The Stanton Group, based in Hollywood, FL.

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