Hip-hop Mogul Lyor Cohen to Head Warner Music Group
That's the intriguing headline in an Associated Press story here which says Cohen has been "lured" away from Island Def Jam Music Group to head Edgar Bronfman Jr's recently acquired Warner Music Group.
"The move reunites Cohen with Bronfman, who led a group of investors that purchased Warner Music Group in November for $2.6 billion," it says. "The pair worked together when Bronfman was head of the Universal media conglomerate, until Bronfman sold all of those music, film, TV and theme-park assets to the French company Vivendi in 2000."
Cohen was apparently able to avoid the fate of other prominent label heads who have fallen victim to the changing times, such as Tommy Mottola, ousted from atop Sony Music, and Antonio "L.A." Reid, who was let go by Arista, states the report.
Bronfman recently bought Warner Music Group to form one of the world's largest music companies. As of last November, Warner had approximately 18% of overall market share, while Universal had about 28%, says Nielsen SoundScan.
"But," adds the AP story, "the deal could eventually cost Island Def Jam millions; last year, independent label TVT records won a $132 million judgment, later reduced to $53 million, against the record company and Cohen in a dispute over previously recorded music by Ja Rule. The verdict has been appealed. Bronfman said he was not concerned about the case when he decided to pursue Cohen.
"Cohen has also seen disappointments of late at Island. He signed Mariah Carey after her disastrous union with Virgin Records, but her album with Cohen had only moderate success. Ja Rule's recent album was a flop. And Jay-Z, whose own sales have fallen off a bit, has declared his recently released 'The Black Album' to be his last."