BMG Spins Clive Davis To Top Of Its Music World...
New York Daily News]
BMG spins Clive Davis to top of its
By PHYLLIS FURMAN
DAILY NEWS BUSINESS WRITER
Clive Davis is having the last laugh.
Four years after BMG booted him from Arista, the legendary hit-maker who now
runs RCA Group soared back to the top of the charts yesterday when he was
named chairman of all of BMG North America.
That means Davis, the fabled music exec who launched superstars Whitney
Houston, Barry Manilow and Alicia Keys, will now be in charge of two other
major labels, Arista - the label he founded - and Jive, as well as RCA.
"This is very emotional," Davis told the Daily News. "It reflects what the
music business really should be all about - creativity."
Music insiders have been expecting Davis' promotion ever since BMG ousted
L.A. Reid from Arista three weeks ago.
Reid, who succeeded Davis at Arista, had big hits, but his heavy spending
saddled the company with $100 million in losses last year. He's now the
leading contender to replace music honcho Lyor Cohen at the helm of
Universal Music's Island Def Jam.
But over at RCA, Davis and his partner Charles Goldstuck pumped out mega
record sales from the likes of Keys, "American Idol" Ruben Studdard, Rod
Stewart, and Dave Matthews. And they also churned out $40 million in
profits, music sources said.
"In this environment you have to have hits coupled with bottom-line
performance," Goldstuck, who was named president of BMG North America
yesterday, told The News.
RCA currently boasts four of the top 25 records in the country and last year
boosted its market share by 65%.
When Davis hosts his glitzy pre-Grammy party at the Beverly Hills Hotel on
Saturday, he'll be toasting 20 Grammy nominations.
But there won't be much celebrating among the employees at BMG, who are
bracing for layoffs as Davis and Goldstuck now look to consolidate their
three New York-based labels.
Davis and Goldstuck are taking over as BMG gets set to merge with rival Sony
Music. Yesterday, execs at the music giant denied the duo's promotion was
connected to the merger, which must still meet regulatory approval.
But an exec close to BMG said, "This is all about shoring up before the
Originally published on February 3, 2004
3 FEBRUARY 2004