HITS Daily Double
"The remarkable combination of talents we've assembled represents one of the best and most creative teams of business executives in the industry."
——Jim Caparro, CEO WEA.


Distributor Culls Group of Execs to Redefine How Music is Sold and Marketed
WEA on Thursday officially appointed a new executive team as part of the company's restructuring plan first announced in December 2002.

The executive team will be responsible for developing and implementing new WEA strategies designed to address the evolving recorded music market and better serve its U.S. retail customers, label partners and their artists, the company said.

"The remarkable combination of talents we've assembled represents one of the best and most creative teams of business executives in the industry," said WEA CEO Jim Caparro. "Their energy and ideas will enable us to transform WEA from its traditional role as a physical music-distribution company into a powerful marketing force for both physical and digital product, serving both traditional and non-traditional customers."

John Esposito, president of WEA, added: "Each of the executives on our new team brings a unique set of skills to the table. Some are proven leaders from within our organization; others come from elsewhere in the music industry, bringing years of experience to their new assignments; and still others come to us from entertainment-related industries, where they've developed specific areas of expertise relevant to their new WEA responsibilities. We're very proud to welcome each of these executives to WEA."

The new WEA executives are: John Madison, Senior VP, Sales; Rose Polidoro, Senior VP, Marketing; Michael Cohen, VP, Marketing; Helen Little, VP, R&B Marketing; Adam Mirabella, VP, Lifestyle Sales; Ron Phillips, VP, Catalog Sales; and Ron Spaulding, VP, Sales.

Based in New York, Madison and Polidoro, whose roles in sales and marketing are being redefined, will report directly to Esposito.

"In John and Rose, we're fortunate to have found two executives ideally suited to helping redefine WEA's mission," said Esposito. "John is a tremendous leader, and with successful careers in several businesses including recorded music and radio, he brings to WEA a rare understanding of the music business from multiple perspectives. Likewise Rose's rich portfolio in film and entertainment marketing and her thorough understanding of online business models equip her to bring a fresh and vital perspective to our sales and marketing effort."

With more than 25 years of experience in the music and radio industries, Madison most recently served as CEO of Click Radio. From 1997 to 2001, he served as Senior VP of regional operations for AM/FM, overseeing operations in multiple major U.S. markets for what was then the nation's largest radio broadcast company. Before joining AM/FM, Madison was Exec VP at PolyGram, where he managed the company's regional and branch operations, and reported to Caparro.

Polidoro joined AOL Time Warner in 1999 as Exec VP, national promotion film & TV at New Line Cinema. During her tenure, she developed comprehensive programs for many films including The Lord of the Rings. In 2002, Polidoro was named to the newly created position of Senior VP, Promotional Marketing, for AOL. In this capacity, she built several successful cornerstone programs for the company, including Back To School and AOL Holidays. Prior to her years at AOLTW, Polidoro was the Senior VP, Marketing & Promotion, for Radio City Prods. She also spent 13 years in radio including Metromedia's WNEW-AM and FM, and ran an executive consulting business with clients that included VH1 and Disney.

WEA’s new approach to sales will be to address the evolving customer base. Sales VPs Spaulding, Phillips and Mirabella join the team that reports to Madison. They too will be based in New York.

"With these three executives, we're fortunate to have professionals whose unique skills will enable them to oversee vitally important areas of the business including traditional, catalog and the non-traditional customer base. Ron Spaulding's track record says it all: a veteran sales executive with an unsurpassed ability to market releases from multiple genres. With the creation of a lifestyle sales team headed by Adam, simply put, we'll be able to bring the music to the consumers, wherever they are. With a revitalized recognition of the importance of catalog marketing, Ron Phillips will implement an expanded commitment to generating sales for the music that is the legacy of our extraordinary artists and labels," said Esposito.

Spaulding joined WMG in 2000 as Senior VP sales for Elektra Entertainment Group overseeing all sales and retail marketing programs for artists including Missy Elliott, Staind, Metallica, Tweet and Phish among others. He also created the retail marketing and merchandising department at the company.

Phillips was formerly senior manager, music and video for Amazon.com, where he was responsible for all purchasing and inventory management for the music/video division. From 1991 to 2000, he was Senior VP Purchasing and Independent Distribution for Valley Media.

Mirabella first joined WMG in 1995 as national director of sales for Atlantic and has since served in a variety of management positions at the label, most recently as VP, sales/online retail development. During his Atlantic career, he developed marketing and promotional programs for such online retail partners as Amazon.com, WalMart.com and Towerrecords.com, among others.

WEA’s new music marketing team will talk directly to the consumer. Reporting to Polidoro and overseeing a range of marketing teams are VP’s Cohen and Little. Both executives will be based in New York.

"The new marketing department will employ an array of resources that range from merchandising, college reps and event promotions that create greater consumer visibility of releases from both developing and established artists. The aggressive non-traditional approaches to marketing that Michael and Helen bring to their new responsibilities will serve us well as WEA raises its profile in the marketplace. Each of them has a thorough understanding of the inherent challenges of today's industry, and we look forward to their expanding the traditional tools of marketing with fresh and innovative ideas," said Esposito.

Cohen began his WMG career in 1999, when he was named VP, Commercial Marketing. Since then, he has focused on creating WMG's TV marketing compilation division and developing the multi-platinum Totally Hits compilation series in partnership with BMG.

Little comes to WEA from Dangerous Entertainment Group, where she was Co-Chairman of the management and consulting company. From 2001 to 2002, she was the President of U.S. operations for RuffNation Records , where she oversaw all aspects of the label including marketing, promotion and A&R.