HITS Daily Double
Management is already pushing for a self-release, a path likely to end in a disaster and the inevitable spawning of various solo careers—not to mention the unceremonious dumping of current management.


The Latest, Loudest Whisperings Zipping
Around the Music Biz Right Now

Here’s what people in the music biz are talking about around whatever passes for the office water cooler these days. Alternate title: Best of Rumor Mill...

The latest rumors out of Santa Monica have Interscope Geffen A&M EVP Larry Jackson transitioning out of his current day-to-day responsibilities in order to join Jimmy Iovine in a high-level position at Apple involving the recently announced Beats Music deal.

Mere weeks after signing on with them, Selena Gomez has fired Direct Management’s Martin Kirkup and Steve Jensen, according to those close to the action. Her new handler is Aleen Kesheshian of Brillstein Grey, a heavyweight in the film-and-TV sector; among her longtime clients are Jennifer Aniston, Natalie Portman, Mark Ruffalo, Zoe Saldana and Laura Linney. Gomez has also cleaned the slate on the agency side, where she is said to have jettisoned CAA’s Christian Carrino and taken her talents to Sara Newkirk at WME (Bruno Mars). Gomez is presently working on a couple of new tracks for a greatest hits collection that will be her final release under her current Disney deal, after which she’ll be a free agent. Summing up, Gomez has changed managers, agents and labels—and lest we forget, her parents were her managers until she "fired" them. As the saying goes, it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind, but should her new manager and agent be nervous…?

There’s more to the story. Katy Perry signed off on bringing Selena Gomez to Direct Management’s Martin Kirkup and Steve Jensen, insiders reveal. Some say Katy received a piece of the action for granting her royal blessing. (The megastar also just launched her label, Metamorphosis Music; its first release, an EP by singer/songwriter Ferras, debuted last week with around 2k.) Direct, meanwhile, has a whispering campaign that they fired Selena after Katy and her day-to-day manager, Bradford Cobb, changed their minds. It’s a classic example of a big act and day-to-day rep calling the shots for a management company’s entire business. This same scenario has played out time and time again in the volatile management world. But given how big Katy is now—not to mention the size of those commission checks—how could they argue with her?

Direct Management
’s Martin Kirkup haswritten in to take issue with our recent item regarding Selena Gomez and Katy Perry (see above). “Your story is false in all respects,” Kirkupasserts, “and since other outlets have repeated your story focusing on anallegation which is very damaging to Katy Perry—that she is responsible foranother artist getting fired, which is categorically untrue—we believe HITS hasa responsibility to disavow this malicious rumor as quickly as possible.”Kirkup further notes that “[Perry’s day-to-day manager] Bradford Cobb isa full and equal partner with Steve [Jensen] and me at Direct Management Group, and the threeof us make major decisions together.” As for parting ways with Gomez, Kirkupwrites, “a young woman looking for new management asked us to manage her sixweeks ago. Our advice to her was to take some time off, travel abroad, thinkthrough what she wanted for her life and for her career—since she has a lot ofoptions in music, film and television—and when she returned from this trip,we’d all talk. That’s exactly what happened. We found we really just didn’thave the same views or strategy about her career and agreed not to move forwardtogether. As her lawyers can confirm, we never discussed or signed a contract,nor did we ever act on her behalf. I know it’s a lot more boring than the verycolorfully offensive version you printed. Sorry for that!” In a related story,Perry instructed Kirkup, Cobb and Jensen to jump higher next time.

What major American rock band—a former stadium act whose career has been spiraling southward for the last several cycles—is seeing its manager continually throw the band’s label under the bus over said progressive decline? The act’s previous big-option payment was drastically reduced before the release of its most recent album; look for an unproductive negotiation during the course of the next LP option and, eventually, free agency for the band, when the label deems the deal untenable. Management is already pushing for a self-release, a path likely to end in a disaster and the inevitable spawning of various solo careers—not to mention the unceremonious dumping of current management, leaving in their wake the proverbial empty chair…

A&R star Aaron Bay-Schuck, 32, has decided to leave Atlantic in order to rejoin his former colleague John Janick at Interscope, as Jimmy Iovine’s heir apparent continues to put his stamp on the company. The well-liked and highly regarded creative exec will officially join the company in October, around the time when Janick assumes the title of Chairman/CEO, and will presumably take a high-ranking position on Janick’s staff. The 32-year-old Bay-Schuck signed Bruno Mars and A&R’d both his albums while Janick was heading Mars’ then-label, New Elektra. The hire represents yet another feather in the cap of the 36-year-old Janick. Bay-Schuck is repped by attorney Aaron Rosenberg. Along with Bruno Mars, Bay-Schuck also worked with Flo Rida (co-writing the hit "Right Round"), Cee Lo Green, B.o.B, Travie McCoy, Plies and Tank, among others…

Michael Green’s company The Collective is said to be deep in the hole after defaulting on a nearly $2 million buyout payment to former partners Sam Maydew and Jeff Golenberg. According to a source, much of the bleeding has stemmed from losses incurred by the Collective Digital Studio, headed by Reza Izad and Dan Weinstein, which attempted to derive revenue from creating and pushing content on YouTube, in the manner of the more successful Maker (recently bought by Disney for elephant bucks) and Fullscreen

Finally, remember our much-debated blind item from earlier this month about a superstar act whose discontent with management had led to meetings with other reps behind their current manager’s back? To recap: The existing manager got wind of it and sent tampering notices to the other suitors. The act began openly telling people at their label and pubco they were a "free agent," while the manager denied this. Insiders say the situation has now been resolved, with the manager agreeing to a smaller commission and the status quo restored for the time being. Many observers were surprised the manager would agree to the reduced percentage, given the firm’s large roster of important acts.