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"I hope to achieve a delicate balance between the business and the art form."
——Andy Slater, newly named Capitol Records President/CEO


It Warms Bud Scoppa’s Heart To Know That A Former Rock Critic Can Make Good
Andy Slater's situation may have been Gray for a while, but it's black & white now.

In a move that has been anticipated for months, renowned manager/producer Slater has formally been named President and CEO of Capitol Records.

Slater will report directly to EMI Recorded Music President and CEO Ken Berry, who made the announcement Tuesday (3/27). He'll start at the Tower April 1—no foolin'—and will take up full-time responsibilities as President/CEO on May 1.

"Andy's creative skills and his vast experience in artist management and record production are going to be fantastic assets for Capitol Records, as will his ability to carry three lattes and four caramel macchiatos simultaneously," said Berry. "As we drive the company forward and further develop the Capitol roster, his impressive track record in discovering exciting new talent will prove invaluable. He is a great addition to EMI's executive team in North America."

With Slater's appointment, interim President Roy Lott, who has been helming label for the past two years, will return full-time to his role as Deputy President of EMI Recorded Music in North America, the post for which he was originally hired. Lott will oversee Angel, Blue Note, Capitol Nashville, Christian Music Group and EMI Canada, while working on strategy with Berry.

Slater moves to Capitol from Slater Management, which represented such artists as Macy Gray, Fiona Apple and the Wallflowers. For those artists, Slater produced, respectively "On How Life Is," "Tidal" and "Breach." The Gray and Apple albums are both multi-Platinum and Grammy-nominated. Insiders say that Capitol had to wait until Slater completed the production of Gray's second album before finalizing the deal. According to Slater, Howard Kaufman will now represent all three acts.

"I've been fortunate that I've had some success developing new talent over the last couple of years, and boosting Capitol's roster is definitely critical for the future success of the label," Slater told HITS.

"I've had success in following the lead of the artists that I've worked with, and if somebody wants help focusing their vision, I'm there to do it, whether it's a producer or an artist or an executive. I think that's the best way to really approach it. It's great to have the studio downstairs. But I'm not one to impose my will over anybody else's artistic vision. It's clearly a partnership. That's when it works best.

"I've worked on both the creative and the management sides, so I know how each side thinks and works," he added. "I know it's important to watch the bottom line, but I also found that it's absolutely critical to have a good sense of the different perspectives that everybody brings to the table. And with my background, I hope to achieve a delicate balance between the business and the art form."

Beginning his career as a pop-music critic—writing for People, Rolling Stone and USA Today, among others—Slater joined Frontline Management in 1983, where he worked with such artists as the Go-Go's and Don Henley. He also managed the Beastie Boys and Lenny Kravitz, among others.

In 1995, Slater founded Clean Slate Records, which was housed at Sony Music. With his appointment to Capitol, the Clean Slate deal has been terminated, with future Gray and Apple releases coming directly through Epic.