Executive Turntable: Moves at RFD-TV, BMG Production Music, The Orchard, Linus Entertainment & More
Rory Feek is RFD-TV's new chief creative officer. Feek is also adapting his blog into a television series for the network. This Life I Live will premiere January 2020.
"Being a much larger part of RFD-TV is an incredible opportunity for me. I'm someone who, with my wife, has seen first-hand how having an authentic show on RFD can change your life, your business and inspire others. This new role gives me the opportunity to help others experience the same thing," Feek said in a statement.
Feek will oversee a great deal of the network's creative department and programming from its Nashville Music Row offices, but a large part of the production will be located in a new studio and sound stage facility in Columbia, Tennessee.
BMG Production Music has appointed John Clifford to head its worldwide production music business. Based in London, Clifford will report to BMG CFO Maximilian Dressendoerfer. Clifford joined BMGPM in 2017 as managing director U.K. and senior vp global sales, marketing & repertoire. Since then the company has more than doubled both revenues and EBITDA to become the fourth biggest player in the production music business worldwide.
“Production music is one of our most dynamic segments of business,” said Dressendoerfer in a statement. “John Clifford has made a significant contribution to this growth and I am delighted to congratulate him on his expanded role.”
“In many ways BMG Production Music has followed the same growth trajectory as the core BMG business, first of all defining a unique market positioning and then growing swiftly by acquisition," said Clifford. The emphasis now is on organic growth and service delivery, but we do so now as a global player.”
Rory Felton has launched artist management and record company, Feltone, with a newly signed worldwide distribution deal with The Orchard on Sept. 5. Feltone provides full label, digital distrbution and artist management services.
"Seeing the same drive in Rory when he brought the new Feltone label to life for us was inspiring," said Alan Becker, senior vp product development at The Orchard, in a statement. "The label’s music cannot be contained by genre or border which will be an excellent fit for The Orchard’s global reach and capabilities."
Cat Bird is the new director of marketing and business development at Linus Entertainment starting Sept. 16, 2019. Bird has been the proprietor of CatBird.ca for 12 years, facilitating funding for artists in the music, film and digital arts sector as an independent grant writer and consultant.
Bird's previous experience is varied: she's worked as a booking agent, record label owner, publicist, festival sponsorship coordinator and artist manager. Bird served 10 years as the sponsorship and trade show coordinator for the NXNE Music Festival, launched the US bookings department of Paquin Entertainment Agency and was executive director for the Songwriters Association of Canada.
"Very happy to welcome Cat to our organization in a senior management role," said the company's president Geoff Kulawick in a press release. "She will be a key member of our fantastic team as we grow our business, expand into more international markets, and promote our artists in new and innovative ways."
Re:Sound Music Licensing Company's president Ian MacKay is departing. MacKay will be leaving the organization at the end of this year, MacKay and the company announced Sept. 9. MacKay served as president of Re:Sound since 2009.
“I am very proud of all that I and the team have accomplished at Re:Sound over the last decade,” MacKay said in a statement. “I am leaving the organisation in great hands, with a seasoned and passionate senior management team."
“The Board is very proud to highlight that MacKay’s tenure at Re:Sound has been marked by aggressive revenue growth, expansion in revenue sources, and cost reductions through efficiencies, and wishes to thank him for all his hard work over the years," noted Anthony Ariganello, chair of the board of Re:Sound.
Cindy James has been appointed head of commercial marketing for Caroline — the independent distribution and services division of Capitol Music Group (CMG). The announcement was made Sept. 10 by Caroline’s executive vp Matt Sawin, to whom James reports. In this newly created position, James is charged with leading Caroline’s commercial, artist marketing and commercial operations teams. She will work closely with Caroline’s artist and label partners and teams within Capitol Music Group to develop, navigate and execute strategic campaigns for their releases. James will be based in the Capitol Tower in Hollywood.
“Having Cindy join the Caroline team is a game-changer!" said Sawin in a statement. "Her level of marketplace expertise, gravitas in the industry, and team leadership will put the ever-growing Caroline commercial team, and all of our artist and label partners, in an even better position to win.”
“I am incredibly excited to be joining Capitol Music Group and the Caroline family working under the leadership of Steve Barnett, Jacqueline Saturn and Matt Sawin — executive leaders whom I’ve admired for a long time," said James. "Caroline’s reputation precedes itself, and the team is one of the strongest in the industry. I’m looking forward to delivering great results with them for our artists and label partners.”
Nick Vaerewyck was named senior vp programming and business operations at NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, on Sept. 10. Vaerewyck will oversee programming, marketing, sales, and communications for the Long Island venue in his new role.
Vaerewyck was hired to the position of senior director of programming ahead of Nassau Coliseum’s reopening in 2017 and was later promoted to vp in 2018.
“Nick has done an incredible job curating a diverse calendar of programming that really caters to Long Island,” said Brett Yormark, CEO of BSE Global in a press release. “I am confident he will excel in his new role at the venue, while also taking full advantage of the benefits afforded to Nassau Coliseum by a great partnership with Barclays Center.”
Shawn "J Chris" Christopher returned to Savannah, Georgia, as the newly appointed marketing and promotions director at Cumulus Media Savannah beginning Aug. 12, 2019. Christopher will oversee marketing and promotions for six radio stations; WEAS – E93 (Urban), WJCL – KIX96[COUNTRY], WJLG – 900AM The Ticket(Sports), WTYB – Magic 103.9 (Urban AC), WIXV – I95 (Rock) and WBMQ 630AM (Talk).
"This is such an awesome full-circle moment for me," stated Christopher in a press release. "I’m so excited not only to be back in my hometown, the lovely city of Savannah but also to be at the company that got my professional career started! It’s an honor to continue the great success of marketing and promotions with Cumulus Savannah."
Eric Mastel, vp and market manager for Cumulus Media Savannah added: "We are excited to have 'J Chris' back on board the team here at Cumulus Savannah. With his many years of experience with radio in Savannah and other markets, and his many connections here and the surrounding area, he’s going to be a massive asset to our cluster.”
Glassnote Records announces Lakiesha ‘Kiesh’ Herman as head of digital and social media starting this week. She will work out of the company's New York office and will take charge globally on digital marketing and online strategy with a focus on creative, interactive and fan engagement marketing campaigns.
Kiesh was previously a creative director for Wyclef Jean and content producer at Columbia Records working across a roster of artists including Solange, King Princess and Lil Nas X. She was recently named on Billboard’s Inaugural Pride List.
“We are so excited for Kiesh to be joining the Glassnote family," said Ryan Payne, Glassnote's head of marketing & branding, in a press release. "She adds a new creative mind to the team and her experience in developing online communities for artists and brands speaks for itself.”
The Digital Media Association (DiMA) announced Sept. 11 that Sally Rose Larson will be joining the company as vp government relations. Her first day will be Sept. 23. Larson was one of the Capitol Hill staffers who led efforts to pass the landmark Music Modernization Act (MMA).
“We are thrilled that Sally Rose is joining us, especially at such a momentous time for the entire music industry. Her tireless work on the MMA played a critical role in building the foundation for the next era of music policy,” said Garrett Levin, CEO of DiMA, in a statement.
As deputy chief of staff for Congressman Doug Collins, Larson oversaw Washington office operations, including developing and implementing his legislative and policy agenda, managing staff, coordinating with the district office, developing strategic messaging plans, and serving as key political advisor.