Universal Music UK appointed Sally Davies as managing director of Abbey Road, the legendary recording studio forever linked with iconic albums by The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Kate Bush and more. This is an in-house move for Davies, who arrives after a 10-year run at U-Live, the live promoter within the Vivendi Group and UMUK. As CEO of U-Live, she notably produced the immersive dinner show Mamma Mia the Party! alongside ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus. Prior to U-Live, Davies spent seven years with AEG as assistant GM/director of events of The O2 arena. Since Abbey Road became part of UMG as part of its 2012 acquisition of EMI (the studio was initially called EMI Recording Studios), it has expanded its services beyond recording and mixing. It offers audio mastering, audio restoration, and post-production services, among others. Davies is based in London and will report to UMUK COO David Sharpe.
“I’ve known Sally for a long time so it was an easy decision to appoint her to one of the most important leadership positions in our industry, at the forefront of world class recordings, sound innovation and creative education,” commented David Joseph, chairman and CEO of Universal Music UK. “Sally balances creativity and business strategy exceptionally well and I couldn’t be happier to welcome her back to the Universal Music family.”
Interscope Records appointed Manny Prado vice president of marketing and A&R. In the newly created role, Prado will work alongside executives Nir Seroussi and Jose Cedeño to sign and develop artists for Interscope Miami as well as work closely with its existing roster, according to a press statement. Most recently, Prado served as vp of West Coast operations at Sony Music Latin, where he worked for 20 years. During his tenure at the label, he was a key figure in the careers of Becky G, Carin León and Christian Nodal, among others. “Manny Prado is simply one of the most talented and driven executives working in music,” said Nir Seroussi, executive vice president of Interscope Geffen A&M Records. “We’re thrilled to have him join the team at Interscope Miami as we continue to build a best-in-class platform for Latin artists.” –Griselda Flores
ASCAP hired Tim Daugherty as senior vice president of general licensing. Based in New York City and reporting to head of licensing Stephanie Ruyle, Daugherty will oversee all licensing for brick-and-mortar businesses like bars, hotels and live music venues. Daugherty’s résumé includes five years with Vice Media, where he was most recently svp of revenue and digital operations, and earlier he held roles with Lonely Planet Global and Turner Broadcasting. Ruyle said she was eager to work with her new svp to “respond to the evolving economic and technology landscape for general licensees and to ensure that ASCAP members are fairly compensated for the public performance of their works.”
Verve Label Group hired longtime Spotify executive Michele Santucci as the UMG division’s new vice president of streaming, overseeing strategy and initiatives for the entire VLG family, including Verve Records, Decca Records US, Impulse! and Verve Forecast. Santucci joined Spotify back in 2013 in its label relations department and went on to launch and manage hugely popular franchises like Spotify Singles and the Live at Electric Lady series. Prior to Spotify, she spent six years at Sony Music, where she rose to associate director of digital sales. Dickon Stainer, president and CEO of VLG, said the NYC-based Santucci joined “at the perfect moment to help our artists and their music navigate the many routes to worldwide discovery.”
Porter’s Call, a Franklin, Tennessee-based nonprofit that has provided counseling and support to recording artists since 2001, is changing leadership. Effective May 2024, Porter’s Call founder/executive director Al Andrews will step down from his leadership role. Beth Barcus and Chad Karger will take the helm as co-executive directors. Phil Shay, who joined Porter’s Call in 2022, has been named director of development, while two additional staffers have joined the team: office and hospitality manager Audrey Ragan and porter Jared Farley. –Jessica Nicholson
Influence Media Partners, the music and entertainment investment firm backed by BlackRock and WMG, hired Lisa Licht as their chief marketing advisor, overseeing strategy in the spheres of partnerships, content development and communications. Over the decades, the experienced marketer has held C-suite and senior roles at Live Nation, Yahoo, Hasbro, Fox and Mattel, and owns her own consulting firm (where she advises companies like Build-a-Bear, Cameo and Illumination). Assisting Licht will be Nneka Ani, who has been promoted to head of marketing and will continue to manage corporate communications and develop opportunities around the fund’s portfolio. Additionally, Influence exec Danny Klotz has been named head of underwriting and will manage the company’s pipeline of deals and run the investment team’s catalog models and projections, among other duties. Launched in 2019 and led by Lylette Pizarro, Lynn Hazan, Rene McLean and Jon Jashni, Influence’s fund has invested in catalogs from a diverse slate of artists including Blake Shelton, Tainy, Future and Julia Michaels.
ICYMI: Longtime IFPI chief executive Frances Moore is retiring from the global trade body at year’s end … Four executives were promoted at Interscope Geffen A&M … Andre Perry was elected board president at NIVA … Amazon Music elevated Ryan Redington to general manager … Tencent Music’s chief strategy officer stepped down … and UMG upped Manusha Sarawan to MD of Southern and East Africa.
The Oriel Company welcomed Chrissy Borsellino as senior director of communications and Kelli Wasilauski as the director of operations in Nashville. Borsellino arrives from ADA Worldwide, where she was head of PR and promo, while earlier in her career she notably took the lead in launching a U.S. publicity division at WMA. Wasilauski most recently served as vp of publicity at Adkins Publicity, where she helped grow the company’s roster by double-digits and worked on high-profile campaigns for Billy Ray Cyrus, The Judds and others. The communications agency, launched in early 2021 by veteran publicists Carleen Donovan, Chloë Walsh and Jen Appel, has offices in New York, Los Angeles and Nashville. You can reach the new additions to the Oriel team at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yendi Rodriguez has been promoted to vice president, creative and songwriter services, U.S. Latin at Sony Music Publishing. In her new role, Rodriguez will lead expansion efforts for the U.S. Latin roster with emphasis on career development, talent discovery, creative collaboration and song placements. She will also continue to liaise across the company’s divisions including administration and synch to advance songwriter service efforts. The Miami-based executive will report to Jorge Mejia, president & CEO, Latin America and U.S. Latin, Sony Music Publishing. “Music has always been my passion and it is an honor to be working alongside the best songwriters in the business,” Rodriguez said. According to a press statement, Rodriguez has been key to landing top signings including Keityn, Bizarrap, Nicki Nicole, The Rude Boyz and Jay Wheeler, as well as renewals including Tainy, Camilo and Farruko, among many others. –GF
Sarah Gallagher was promoted to managing director at Modest! Management, home to Olly Murs, JLS and other artists. Gallagher is fast-approaching her 14-year anniversary at the London-based company, where she has overseen a slew of successful campaigns and tours. She reports directly to co-founders Richard Griffiths and Harry Magee. In addition to Sarah’s promotion, Natalie Vassileiou has been elevated to operations director, working alongside Gallagher to manage the day-to-day running of Modest!.
Discogs promoted Anbu Ilango to vp of engineering, Jen Agosta to brand director and Jeffrey Smith to vp of marketing.
Courtney Johanson, who was with public relations company The Greenroom PR for more than a decade, has left the company to join Red Light Management in a management capacity for artists Kip Moore, Caylee Hammack and Tucker Beathard. At The Greenroom PR, Johanson worked on campaigns for clients including Moore, Hammack and Beathard, as well as Brooks & Dunn, Rascal Flatts and Elvie Shane. –JN
Ami Gan has taken her leave as CEO of OnlyFans, the subscription platform popular among adult content creators and the occasional music artist (see: Iggy Azalea, Bhad Bhabie, Bella Thorne and Rubi Rose, among others). Gan, previously chief marketing officer, spent two and a half years in the top job and says that during her tenure the company paid out $10 billion to creators. Replacing her will be Keily Blair, who rises from chief strategy officer. “Spending nearly 3 years at OnlyFans while it echoed throughout the cultural zeitgeist, has been beyond rewarding,” said Gan, who returns to her roots as founder of a marketing firm called Hoxton Projects.
Nashville Bites: Alyssa Ramsey was promoted to manager of label services at Play It Again Entertainment, the label and management company founded by singer-songwriter Dallas Davidson. She’ll oversee label projects and artist development, including A&R and release timelines. Ramsey works with Cade Price to manage rising singer Dylan Marlowe. .. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum hired senior director of education and community engagement Katherine Palmer and director of facilities Ed Schulte. Palmer arrives from the Phoenix-based Musical Instrument Museum, where she was curator of education. Schulte has been the Nashville Zoo director of facilities for the last five years … Newly launched public relations firm King Publicity added Christina Bosch in a publicist role, effective immediately. She was most recently vice president at The Nash News. Bosch can be reached at email@example.com.