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LA Reid to head up revamped Epic Records for Sony

By | Published on Thursday 16 June 2011

LA Reid

As expected, former Island Def Jam Chairman LA Reid is heading in the general direction of Sony Music where, according to the Hollywood Reporter, he will become Chairman of a revamped Epic Label Group.

Reid announced his was leaving his job at Universal’s Island Def Jam in March, officially so he could dedicate himself fully to his new role as judge on ‘X-Factor: USA’. Though – with his former Universal boss Doug Morris also heading to Sony, plus Sony’s co-ownership of all things ‘X’ – it was widely assumed an executive role at Sony Music would follow in due course.

Reid will take over Epic following Amanda Ghost’s brief time in charge there. It’s generally accepted that the British singer-songwriter’s year overseeing Epic, which ended late last year, was not especially successful, with few big commercial successes aside for from the mega-sales of the Michael Jackson catalogue, caused, of course, by him dying and not any clever management on Ghost’s part.

The Epic Group that Reid will lead will be bigger though, taking in much of the old Jive labels too, previously headed up by Barry Weiss who, of course, moved to Universal last December and is now leading Island Def Jam.

That fact will mean that the LaFace label, which Reid originally co-founded in 1989, will fall back under his leadership, and that he will be reunited with some of the artists he helped launch back in his days running LaFace and later Arista (originally a BMG label, and subsequently part of Sony), including Usher and Pink.

The creation of the newly expanded Epic will see Weiss’s former Sony division, the RCA/Jive Group, split up, and the exact distribution of artists to the new Sony units isn’t clear. It’s also not yet been announced which Sony label will handle the winners of the new ‘X:USA’ franchise, though with Reid judging on the show many now expect them to sign to Epic.

Although there has been no official confirmation, it is thought that Reid will arrive at Sony in early July, a few days after former Universal boss Doug Morris takes over as Sony Music CEO.

Epic UK, of course, is not directly linked to the US label of the same name, though it too is under new leadership, with the management of London-based indie Phonogenic now heading up the Sony imprint because – as is the fashion – its former boss Nick Raphael has leaped over to Universal UK where he is resurrecting the London Records brand.