HITS Daily Double


Corporate Moves To Be Chronicled In Mournful Ballad Backed By Steel Guitars
Continuing its operational restructuring despite continual talk of a possible merger with BMG, EMI said Wednesday (1/24) it will combine its country music labels.

The move, slated for Feb. 12, will see Virgin Nashville folded into Capitol Nashville to be headed by Capitol's country music president Mike Dungan. EMI's other Nashville-based labels, Sparrow Label Group, Forefront Records and EMI Gospel, which are housed within the EMI Christian Music Group, will not be affected by the move.

Virgin Nashville's artist roster, which includes Chris Cagle, Clay Davidson, Tom Mabe, Roy D. Mercer and River Road, will join Capitol Nashville, which already includes Garth Brooks, Keith Urban, Deana Carter, Trace Adkins, Steve Wariner, Jason Aldean, Susan Ashton, Rodney Carrington, Chris LeDoux, Mindy McCready, Cyndi Thomson and Tim Wilson, the company said.

As part of the restructuring, Scott Hendricks, President of Virgin Nashville, will be leaving the company. Virgin's country operations were established 2 years ago for Hendricks.

The fate of the rest of Virgin's staff is unclear, but EMI said it would be exploring ways to relocate the remaining staff of 16 to its other Nashville labels.

In other Music City news, MTV Networks has cut 125 Nashville-based employees, 35% of its work force in the city. Most of the cuts were at The National Network, whose primary operations will be relocated to New York but some came from Country.com. TNN sister network Country Music Television was largely unaffected.