Brian Wilson has been promoted to chief financial officer and senior vp at Sony Music’s Epic Records. He previously served as vp finance, a role he had held since 2014.
During his eight-year run at the label, Wilson has played a heavy role in the financial analysis, deal-making and budgeting of projects for artists including Camila Cabello, DJ Khaled, Future, Meghan Trainor, Travis Scott and 21 Savage. He will now be responsible for overseeing all label finances and release planning while continuing to lead budgeting for the Epic roster.
Wilson launched his music industry career at BMG, where he began working in the company’s international royalties department in 1998. He has also worked in a number of business units within Sony Music and previously served as director, global finance at the parent company.
“Brian has been an invaluable resource at Epic for nearly a decade,” said Epic Records chairwoman and CEO Sylvia Rhone, to whom Wilson will report. “We have come to trust his instincts not only on issues relating to business and finance, but also in the complex duties involved in running one of the most successful and innovative record labels in the world.”
Ticketed livestream company StageIt has appointed Stephen White as CEO. White succeeds StageIt founder Evan Lowenstein, who will move into the role of executive chairman.
White brings longtime colleague Vadim Brenner to StageIt as chief product officer. The company has also hired Jay Hung as senior vp engineering, Tanner Wyer as vp business development and Nicki Gilbert as senior director of artist relations. Elizabeth Moody, partner and chair of new media practice at law firm Granderson Des Rochers, has been retained as the company’s licensing representative.
White previously served as CEO at the rights administration platform Dubset Media Holdings. Prior to that, he was president at data services company Gracenote. He worked with Brenner at both companies.
The new hires come during an enormous surge in business for StageIt, which claims a 5,000% increase in shows and revenue during the coronavirus pandemic. In a statement announcing the new team members, Lowenstein noted that the company has paid out over $4 million in revenue to performers over the past 90 days.
One of the earliest entrants to the livestreaming space, StageIt was founded in 2009 and launched its first products in 2011.
35-year industry veteran Ted King has joined Madison Square Garden Entertainment as president, creative content and studio productions. He will report to MSG Entertainment executive chairman and CEO James Dolan.
In his new role — which he assumed on June 22 — King will lead MSG Sphere Studios, which develops content for MSG Sphere, a large-scale venue that will offer “fully immersive” experiences by combining technology and “multi-sensory storytelling.” King will oversee a full slate of content for MSG Sphere and other commercial clients, while also collaborating with MSG Sphere construction and MSG Ventures — the team behind MSG Sphere technologies — in developing “tools that facilitate the creative process, helping artists, creators and educators maximize MSG Sphere’s immersive capabilities.”
King will additionally be tasked with designing immersive experiences for MSG Sphere that cover all areas of the venue, including its fully programmable LED exterior and main atrium.
The first MSG Sphere is currently under construction in Las Vegas, while there are also plans to build the first overseas location in London. MSG Entertainment is additionally opening a 48,5000 square-foot space at Burbank Studios in Los Angeles, which will be used by MSG Sphere Studios, MSG Ventures and other MSG Entertainment employees. Among other things, the space will feature a 10,500 square-foot soundstage that is currently being transformed into a full-service studio featuring production, editing, camera testing and recording space.
King has over three decades of experience designing, developing and producing immersive themed entertainment projects worldwide. He most recently served as senior show producer at Paramount Pictures Themed Entertainment, where he led the creative development of shows and attractions for multiple international projects. He simultaneously served as principal of Ted King Entertainment, which he founded in 2009, and as executive producer at Granaroli Design & Entertainment.
Over the course of his career, King’s projects have included the Warner Bros. World Theme Park in Abu Dhabi, where he supervised the development, production and installation of all music and soundtrack content for the park. He has also worked on the creative development and production of attractions including Paramount’s “Star Trek the Experience” in Las Vegas; “The Funtastick World of Hanna Barbera” for Universal Studios Florida; “Jurassic Park, The Ride” for Universal Studios Hollywood; and “Caesar’s Magical Empire” at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. He additionally composed and produced songs for the “EFX” live show at Las Vegas’s MGM Grand and conceived, co-wrote and directed SeaWorld Orlando’s “Mystify” fireworks show.
The law firm of King, Holmes, Paterno & Soriano has promoted Marjorie Garcia to partner, making her one of the few Latina partners specializing in music at a major entertainment law practice.
Garcia, who specializes in music-related talent representation and transactional matters, boasts a roster that includes such Latin music stars as Juanes, J Balvin, Los Tigres del Norte, Gloria Trevi and Pabllo Vittar. During her tenure, she has heavily expanded the firm’s Latin music department.
GESAC, the trade body representing European rights societies, has elected SACEM CEO Jean-Noël Tronc as board president for a two-year term. Tronc succeeds outgoing president José Jorge Letria.
“For authors, composers and music publishers that GESAC is fighting for, the COVID crisis strikes two times: they have lost massive direct revenues with confinement, they will lose major authors’ rights revenues in 2021, because of the delayed impact of 2020 losses for the users of their works, be it shops, media, live concerts, movie theaters, physical sales or exhibitions,” said Tronc in a statement.
He added, “We need to rethink EU priorities and make Culture and creation a vivid priority for the recovery plans and the EU Commission, Parliament and Governments agenda.”
In addition to SACEM, Tronc previously served as chairman and CEO of Canal+ Overseas, CEO of Orange France and as a senior advisor to the French prime minister.
Also elected to the GESAC board were three new vice-presidents: Victor Finn, CEO of Irish authors’ society IMRO; András Szinger, CEO of Hungarian authors’ society Artisjus; and Harald Heker, CEO of German authors’ society GEMA.
The new board will also be comprised of Gaetano Blandini, CEO of SIAE (Italy); Karsten Dyhrberg Nielsen, CEO of STIM (Sweden); Gernot Graninger, CEO of AKM/Austromechana (Austria); José Jorge Letria, CEO of SPA (Portugal) and Carine Libert, CEO of SABAM (Belgium).
Warner Chappell Music has made two new additions to its Latin sync team: Catalina Ibañez Genoni, who joins as sync and A&R manager out of Chile, and Juan Arbelaez, who joins as supervisor sync & licensing in Colombia.
Genoni hails from IberoAmericana Radio Chile, where she worked in communications and strategic marketing for seven years. Arbelaez previously held roles at Colombia’s Downtown Group, where he developed emerging artists in Medellin.
In addition to the new hires, WCM Latin recently promoted Daniela Navarette as sync manager in the company’s Miami office.
Music and entertainment blockchain ecosystem Bitfury Surround has tapped Fabian Alsultany as director of business development, North America. Alsultany will work with Surround’s Berlin-based team to help lay the groundwork for the company’s new approach to music rights management and creativity in the U.S. and Canada.
“Our platform will significantly change the way artists and their teams get paid,” said Alsultany in a release. “The market for music, videos, tickets, stems, digital collectibles and digital assets is receiving a significant upgrade. Bitfury Surround will allow the creative forces in the entertainment industry to maximize revenue and ensure payment distribution in an innovative manner.”
A 25-year veteran of the music industry, Alsultany most recently served as director of business development for blockchain platform RChain Cooperative, where he worked on developing music technologies related to streaming, micropayments and digital identity. He previously worked as vp programming for Wanderlust Festivals, where he was lead business advisor for a Major Lazer concert in Cuba that drew 450,000 attendees. He additionally served as director of A&R at Palm Pictures and founded and produced the 2012 Tadasana Festival of Yoga and Music in Santa Monica. He has also toured and recorded as a DJ and musician.
Ingrooves Music Group has named Haluk Cerahman country manager of Ingrooves Turkey, a move that follows the company’s recent opening of offices in Brazil, Japan and South Korea and increased presence in Australia/New Zealand and the Nordics. Cerahman will work out of Universal Music Group’s offices in Istanbul.
Cerahman hails from Fizy, a digital platform owned by Turkish mobile operator Turkcell, where he served as content manager. He previously worked as a consultant for various digital services firms.