HITS Daily Double
With the failure of so many other previous presidential pairings, Lewinter and Morris have given Lipman and Rhone their own sandboxes to
play in.


Sylvia Rhone and Monte Lipman to Run Their Own Dedicated Labels Under Mel Lewinter
Mercury’s Ed Eckstine and Mike Bone, Virgin’s Phil Q and Nancy Berry or Roy Lott and Matt Serletic, Geffen’s Jordan Schur and Polly Anthony, IDJ’s Lyor Cohen and Jim Caparro. These are just a few of the shotgun label-head marriages that proved to work better on paper than in reality.

Now add Universal Motown Records Group’s combo of Monte Lipman and Sylvia Rhone to the list.

With the failure of so many other presidential pairings at labels over the years, UMRG Chairman Mel Lewinter and shrewd UMG boss Doug Morris have now acted to give Lipman and Rhone their own sandboxes to play in.

UMRG is being split in two, with Lipman and Rhone named toppers of a pair of full-service label in Universal Republic and Universal Motown, respectively. Both will continue to report to Lewinter.

The labels will each have their own dedicated promotion, A&R, marketing and publicity staffs, which will soon be expanded, while they will share sales and back-office functions. The expressed rationale for the move is to broaden the labels’ artist development activities, as well as expanding their presence in the artist community and marketplace.

The creation of a Universal Republic will allow Lipman to head up his own label, one with a distinctively rock flavor, with a roster including Jack Johnson, Damian Marley, Godsmack, 3 Doors Down, Hinder and 10 Years, all acts he was directly involved in bringing to the label and/or breaking, plus the recently signed Prince.

Rhone will inherit the R&B and rap sectors of the roster as head of Universal Motown, including Nelly, Stevie Wonder, India.Arie and Chamillionaire, as well as labels such as Steve Rifkind’s SRC (Akon, David Banner, Remy Ma and Pharoahe Monch), Cash Money and Barry Hankerson’s Blackground (Toni Braxton).