HITS Daily Double

IB on Whalley, Dungan

TOWERING FIGURE? UMG executives and staffers are asking who’s circulating those persistent rumors about Tom Whalley getting the top job at Capitol Records, writes our industry insider I.B. Bad in his latest column. When word spread around Universal about Whalley’s purported status as label head in waiting, the most often-heard reaction was “rubbish.” Others pointed out that such a move on Universal’s part would be premature, in that UMG is prohibited from making changes within EMI until the deal gets regulatory approval. How interesting, then, that EMI U.K. promotion chief Manish Arora, who has delivered massively for the company, has been hired for the same post by Joe Munns, the head of Universal label Polydor (and the son of onetime EMI Vice Chairman David Munns). Additionally, the word around Music Row is that UMG is already close to finalizing a deal with super-hot EMI Nashville topper Mike Dungan. One interested observer notes how little we’re hearing about Dungan relative to all the noise around the Whalley brouhaha. (1/30a)