Executive Turntable: Sony Hall Knows Jack; LOCASH Label Staffs Up; Buchalter Bets on Nashville

It’s time for another spin around the Executive Turntable, Billboard’s comprehensive(ish) compendium of promotions, hirings, exits and firings — and all things in between — across music. We also have a weekly interview series spotlighting a single executive, if that’s your thing.

Sony Hall, a tech-forward concert venue in midtown Manhattan, introduced a new booking team made up of senior talent buyer Jack McFadden, talent buyer Alli Vega and junior talent buyer Niko Murray. McFadden’s career arc spans three cities — Chicago, NYC and Austin — and several venues and festivals (Union Hall, Austin City Limits and others) where he helped book early shows for an indie rock murders’ row including The National, The Walkmen, St. Vincent, Fleet Foxes and Vampire Weekend, among others. No slouch, Vega spent years booking D.C. venues Songbyrd and DC9 before making the move to NYC, where she joined the team at Bowery Presents. Murray, meanwhile, hails from NYU and has already cultivated experience at the Cara Lewis Group and Sony Music. Blue Note Entertainment Group operates Sony Hall, which officially opened in 2018 but began life in 1938 as the legendary Diamond Horseshoe nightclub. The venue, which retains much of its original design and decor while incorporating the latest Sony technology, is located inside the historic Paramount Hotel.

“This is an exciting moment for Sony Hall and Blue Note Entertainment Group as we strengthen and bolster our booking program, further introducing this iconic New York City venue to the live music industry,” said BNEG president Steven Bensusan. “Jack, Alli and Niko each have different and diverse backgrounds within the industry to complement and enrich our talent buying team.”

Related

Country Publishers Quarterly: Warner Chappell on ‘Fire’ While BMG Jumps Into Third

05/23/2024

Meanwhile…

Loeb & Loeb hired Monika Tashman in the firm’s Nashville office, as partner in the Entertainment department. Tashman joins Loeb & Loeb from Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP. Her expertise includes representing music talent in genres ranging from rock, pop, reggae, bachata and metalcore, as well as representing labels, entertainment-focused businesses and music production companies. She’ll also continue her New York-based practice out of Loeb’s Nashville office. –Jessica Nicholson

Galaxy Label Group, founded by country duo LOCASH, solidified its promotions team with the hiring of four. Joining the label, a partnership with Studio2Bee Entertainment with distribution by BBR Music Group/BMG Nashville, are Kerry Wolfe as vp of promotion, Cheryl Broz as the head of national field promotion, Kristen Brust to handle national promotion strategies, and John Lessard — who is LOCASH’s tour manager — lending his expertise on GLG’s promotion and touring work. All new hires are effective immediately. LOCASH, comprised of Preston Brust and Chris Lucas, is Galaxy’s first signed act.

BMI promoted Gabriella Natali to senior manager of media relations, an elevated role in which she’ll continue to spearhead PR efforts across most music genres (we’re talking pop, rock, hip-hop, gospel, classical, jazz and others). Natali is based out of BMI’s NYC headquarters and reports directly to Jodie Thomas, the PRO’s executive director of corporate communications and media relations. In addition to working on messaging for numerous marquee events, including BMI’s various award shows, songwriter showcases and dedicated stages at festivals like Lollapalooza and SXSW, Natali works with Thomas on PR efforts for BMI’s licensing and industry relations departments. Prior to joining BMI in April 2022 as a media relations manager, Natali spent two years as a publicist at boutique agency Big Picture Media, also in New York.

Lucy Pullin and Virgil Thomas joined UTA as agents in its music crossover division, which works with clients on projects that expand their careers to other mediums. Pullin, previously of ie: entertainment ltd, will be based out of the London office and Thomas, an Endeavor alum, is in Los Angeles. Recent wins by the crossover division include Post Malone’s dip into acting (Road House

) and comic book writing, and Recording Academy chief Harvey Mason jr.’s behind-the-scenes work on biopics about Bob Marley and Michael Jackson.

NASHVILLE NOTES: Opry Entertainment Group promoted Anna Lemme to marketing manager for the Grand Ole Opry. In the new role, the Massachusetts native will plan marketing and promotional strategies to continue growing the Grand Ole Opry brand. Lemme has been with the company for five years, most recently serving as an artist & label strategy manager for Opry Entertainment Group … Leadership Music communications and events administrator Lindsay Doheney will leave the post on May 28 to join her husband in a job-related relocation. The organization is seeking a replacement for Doheney … Group Projects welcomed Emma Kiefer as director of A&R, working closely with co-founders Anthony Manker and Cooper Anstett on publishing and management business. She most recently served as A&R manager at Boom Music Group.

Buchalter beefed up its presence in Nashville, adding eight attorneys to its office in Music City — “a vibrant and dynamic legal market,” said Adam Bass, the firm’s president and CEO. Joining Buchalter are Lauren Spahn, Jay Bowen and Lauren Kilgore, from Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley and Norton, along with Rebekah Shulman, Jim Zumwalt, Jacob Clabo, Aaron Steinberg and John Baxter. The Laurens are regulars in Billboard‘s annual list of top music lawyers, and both handle a wide swath of legal and business transactional matters for artists, publishers, writers, labels and more. Shulman, Steinberg, Clabo and Baxter specialize in intellectual property issues, while Bowen’s experience is in high-stakes litigation. Finally Zumwalt represents entertainment clients on a variety of matters. “Jay, Lauren, and Lauren, along with their teams bring a wealth of experience, expertise, and dedication to our firm,” said Bass. “Together, we are poised to make a significant impact in Nashville’s legal landscape and beyond.”

Dom Wallace is the new label and marketing manager at Mahogany, where he’ll oversee release strategy for its label Mahogany Records and its flagship video channel, Mahogany Sessions. His appointment coincides with the launch of Mahogany Songs, the company’s new digital distribution and services platform. Wallace was most recently a senior editor at Spotify, where he helped launch several taste-making playlists, including “Our Generation” and “Fresh Finds UK & IE.”

GAME TIME: Cross-industry veteran Kimberly Knoller is the new chief marketing officer at Earn Alliance, where she’ll spearhead the platform’s mission to connect gamers to games, building fandoms and engaging communities. For the last 14 years, Knoller has built out her own music and tech marketing agency The Knoller Group, where she’s worked with artists, creators, record labels and other companies on brand and monetization-boosting strategies. In the aughts, Knoller put in three years at Warner Records, where she did trailblazing work as vp of direct to fan marketing, e-commerce and innovation. She has also held senior roles at unPaired and PIXELYNX … Metaverse studio Karta, which creates in-game experiential marketing across Fortnite, Roblox and other games, hired Morgan Evans as its new fashion and beauty director, and Sarah Richards as art director.

ICYMI:

Jared Cotter
Jared Cotter was promoted to partner at Range Music, where he manages Paul Russell (“Lil Boo Thing”) and co-manages Shaboozey (“A Bar Song (Tipsy)”) … Jason Miller is leaving operational responsibilities at ELA, the joint venture he launched with CTS Eventim in 2021 … and Tekno joined Mr. Eazi’s independent music company emPawa Africa as an investor and a partner.
Last Week’s Turntable: Texas Official Joins Big Loud

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