BMG is reshuffling its deck in North America as the independent music powerhouse “doubles down” on its commitment to the world’s biggest music market.
Leading the changes is Jon Loba, who rises from BMG Nashville president to become president Frontline Recordings, North America. Moving forward, Loba is responsible for BMG’s entire North American frontline records business across Nashville, Los Angeles, New York and Canada.
The realignment continues with new duties for Thomas Scherer, until now running publishing and recordings activities in Los Angeles and New York. Scherer is named as head of global recorded catalog, while retaining responsibility for publishing, North America.
Now, Loba, Scherer and CFO Joe Gillen form BMG’s North American leadership triumvirate.
“We are making good on our promise to double down on our U.S. operation with a distinctive new approach,” comments BMG CEO Thomas Coesfeld, that is, an integrated frontline operation “spanning the whole of North America plus a global catalog business steered from Los Angeles.”
BMG, he continues, “is stepping up. This is an integral part of our new strategy to deliver for artists and songwriters and go for growth.”
Loba, who joined BMG in 2017, when the company acquired Nashville-based BBR Music Group, is rewarded for delivering BMG its first No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with Jason Aldean’s “Try That In A Small Town,” and achieving success with Jelly Roll.
Loba, explains Coesfeld, is “the ideal person to take responsibility for our L.A.-based recordings business” as the group evolves in the streaming era.
A company stalwart, Scherer joined BMG in 2008, moving to L.A. as executive vp of global writer services in 2014, and enjoying several promotions thereafter.
“He is the ideal person to lead our new streaming-first global catalog operation based in Los Angeles, while also retaining oversight of our important U.S. music publishing business, the backbone of BMG’s U.S. operation,” Coesfeld says of Scherer. “With Thomas at the helm of our Global Catalog Recorded organization, BMG will step up its investments in catalog.”
The changes, announced today (Jan. 25), come six months after Coesfeld was appointed as CEO, succeeding the retiring CEO Hartwig Masuch.
Coesfeld’s “energetic and strategic approach to the business has been very inspirational for all of us, because that’s the way our Nashville team runs,” comments Loba in a statement. “I’m looking so forward to working even closer with our staff throughout North America and as important, helping bring the visions of our amazing artists to life.”
Following his promotion to the top job in July, Coesfeld wasted no time in reshaping the company to maximize growth and capture opportunities. Among the changes announced to staff last November, a new global catalog team based in Los Angeles; a “recalibration” of its presence in continental Europe in line with the new local-global emphasis, which will involve focusing on “functional centers of excellence within Europe,” as well as aggregation of budgets and expertise; a further acceleration of its investments in tech and its myBMG system for artists; and the clarification of roles and structures that the company says will make it “more accountable to its artist and songwriter clients.”
The changes didn’t end there. BMG ended its distribution agreement with the Warner Music Group’s ADA and brought its digital distribution in-house, while striking a deal with the Universal Music Group for its physical distribution; formed direct deals with Spotify and Apple Music; and “a number of existing positions” were made redundant – with some 40 staffers let go, Billboard reported.
“We are changing the way we do things,” Coesfeld said in a statement at the time. “We will combine creative intuition with data-driven insights to deliver the best service for our clients and customers.”
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