Executive Turntable: Big Machine & Hard 8 Launch Record Label; Hipgnosis Global Song Management Head Exits

LJ Stoll was named GM/vp of A&R at The Hard Working Record Company, a new Nashville-based record label from Big Machine Label Group (BMLG) and management company Hard 8 Working Group. The venture was struck between BMLG president/CEO/founder Scott Borchetta and Hard 8 co-founders Dirk Hemsath and Rich Egan, along with partners David Conway and Mike Bachta. “Rich and I had been toying with the idea of starting a label again, since that’s the world we both came from,” said Hemsath in a statement. “We had been working closely with Scott and Big Machine on the artist Kidd G and Scott mentioned he wanted to start a more pop-leaning imprint and that’s the world we’ve been in heavily for the last few years, most recently building pop star Tate McRae.”


Hipgnosis Songs Fund global head of song management Nick Jarjour exited his role at the company “as I embark on an exciting new chapter in my journey,” the executive wrote on LinkedIn. “During my tenure at Hipgnosis, I had the honor of working alongside a visionary leader and mentor, Merck Mercuriadis who has achieved remarkable feats for songwriters and revolutionized the music industry for future generations,” he continued. Jarjour will continue serving as CEO of his label, publishing and creative agency JarjourCo.

Andrew Spence was promoted to general counsel at Sony Music Publishing UK, where he will oversee business and legal affairs strategies and initiatives on behalf of the company and its roster while also offering guidance and counsel on its legal and operational matters. The London-based executive will continue reporting to Sony Music Publishing UK president/co-managing director, UK/senior vp of international David Ventura and UK co-managing director Tim Major. He was previously head of legal and business affairs.


Edith Bo was named head of A&R at Rostrum Records, where she will oversee the overall direction of A&R strategy and develop strategic branding partnerships, working closely with Rostrum’s marketing team. Bo joins the company from SoundCloud, where she served as senior manager of publishing. She can be reached at

Rob Segal joined The Feldman Agency (TFA) as partner/president of TFA Inc. Segal previously founded his own agency, Segal Communications, which became one of Canada’s largest promotional and licensing agencies, with clients including Sony, Ford, Marvel, HP and Dreamworks. In his new role, he will lead the agency in fostering new business, driving marketing campaigns and elevating its brand presence. Based at the company’s Toronto office, he can be reached at


Frederik Boutahar was named vp of A&R at Columbia Records Germany, Switzerland & Austria (GSA), which he will lead alongside vp Alexandra Falken. Boutahar will report to Sony Music Entertainment GSA CEO Patrick Mushatsi-Kareba. He joins the company from TwoSides, where he served as MD. He can be reached at

Sebastian Mair joined digital rights management company Muserk as head of business development APAC. He will oversee the company’s business throughout the Asia-Pacific region. Based in Tokyo, Mair developed a relationship with Muserk via his company Music Solutions, which develops brand partnerships and VIP packages for artists touring Asia. He can be reached at


Metal label Nuclear Blast Records restructured its A&R department, promoting Nathan Barley Phillips and Shawn Keith to head of A&R, Europe and head of A&R, North America, respectively. Elsewhere, Tommy Jones was promoted to label manager, North America, which includes A&R responsibilities for Nuclear Blast’s existing roster in the region. A&R Jens Prueter was also named to the newly created role of head of catalogue/senior A&R. The label was acquired by Believe in 2018. Keith can be reached at

Jen Hubbard was appointed to the newly created role of director of sync A&R at Concord Music Publishing, where she will develop and manage Concord’s U.S. songwriter roster for the purpose of synch activity. She will serve as the bridge between the company’s A&R and synch teams. Based in Nashville, Hubbard reports to senior vp of A&R Brad Kennard with support from vp of publishing sync Kourtney Kirkpatrick and executive vp of global sync Brooke Primont. Hubbard previously served as director of A&R.


Avery King, formerly director of publicity at Elicity PR, formed her own public relations firm, King Publicity. She brings her longtime clients Carter Faith, Aaron Watson, Austin Burke and Anna Rose to the new operation. King can be reached at

Steve Eckerson was named GM at ASM Global’s San Diego-based venue Pechanga Arena. He joins from Mechanics Bank Arena, Theater and Convention Center, where he’s served as GM since 2016. Eckerson succeeds Steve Tadlock in the role. He can be reached at


UTA announced the promotions of several staffers in its music division. Sean Hendrie was elevated to agent while Jack Benson, Eli Hanavan, Maria Kanatous, Elie Low, Cassie Trimble and Sydney Wilke were upped to coordinators.

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