HITS Daily Double
Shockingly, the present pop and rock A&R executive population now stands at about 25% of the weasel count back in the mid-`90s.


The Continuing Downsizing of A&R Is an Industry-wide Phenomenon
By Rodel Delfin

We wish we could say “holiday trimmings,” but that’s far from the case. Unfortunately, we’re referring to the downsizing that has plagued the major label music biz in the past few weeks. As we have been reporting, layoffs in A&R departments at Geffen, Columbia and last week at Island have significantly reduced staffs in A&R and marketing. In addition, the number of mid-level A&R executives has decreased dramatically in the past couple of years, as executives with Director or Sr. Director titles seem to have taken most of the layoff hits. A few senior executives and a handful of scouts now make up most major label A&R departments. However, the pink slips that were recently issued do make way for some new positions. And based on our count, the present pop and rock A&R executive population presently tallies around 90-100, which is roughly the same figure that we counted last year due to increased A&R hirings in 2005. But it’s still a far cry from the 400-plus weasel count back in the mid-`90s. Acts still need to be signed, records still need to be made and hit songs are desired more than ever, so for those of you still in the game, be vocal and step up to the plate. We’re counting on you… A major buzz is building around Aussie indie rock act The Mercy Arms. Are stateside labels making the 17-hour flight Down Under?… Lots of talk out there concerning Shiny Toy Guns, with sold-out shows, radio airplay on L.A.’s KROQ and Indie 103.1 and numerous label offers. Is the ink dry? And have you seen their MySpace stats? Very impressive… Meanwhile, there’s similar excitement for Mickey Avalon, who once again sold out the Roxy last week… Speaking of MySpace, there are a couple of unsigned singer/songwriters based in Northern Cali who are posting some big stats on their pages. Word on the street from our spies up North is that they are selling out shows, and the fans are for real. Are your scouts on it?… Buzz act Open Air Stereo will be playing the Roxy in Tinseltown this Saturday (7/1) at 7:15p.m. And Canadian singer/songwriter Mandi Perkins will be BMI’s Pick of the Month for July. She’ll be performing at the Viper Room Wednesday, July 12, at 9:00 p.m… On the pub tip, Dimensional Music Publishing VP Ronda Call recently signed the Grammy-winning, R&B producer duo Tim Kelly and Bob Robinson to an exclusive worldwide co-publishing and administration deal. The Atlanta-based duo have worked with such acts as Sisqo, TLC, Madonna, J.Lo, the Isley Brothers and Destiny’s Child, among others, and have more than 170 million units in sales on the projects that they produced. That’s a lot of shiny discs… BUZZIN’: Andrew Fiegenbaum, Ali Buttars, Daniel Schulman, Tim Devine, Brian Wittmer, Kenny Salcido, Joel Mark, Eric Hunter, Jaha Johnson, Patrick Reynolds, Joey Arbagy, Ben Lazar, Mike Symonds, Steve Greenberg, Lee Dannay, Tom Lee, Nick Casinelli and Ben SimoneHit me up: [email protected]

Buzz Gigs:
Thurs., June 29, 8:45 p.m., The Cat Club, L.A.
JOE PURDY Thurs., June 29, 10 p.m., Cutting Room, N.Y.