HITS Daily Double


As Steve Cooper prepares to conclude his very successful run as Warner Music Group CEO—and the search committee charged with finding his successor continues to talk to people inside and outside the music business—the rumor mill has been churning out some of most absurd candidates imaginable. Cooper, it should be emphasized, is operating at full capacity, and insiders say he’s far from being considered a lame duck.

Easily the weirdest—and least credible—rumors concern the one and only Lyor Cohen. The notorious windbag, who presided over the absolute nadir of WMG, is apparently telling people he wants back in and is vying for a high-ranking post there—and his mentees Julie Greenwald and Kevin Liles are supportive of his efforts.

You’d be forgiven for thinking this all sounds incredibly far-fetched—remember, under Cohen’s purview, WMG was as cold as ice. Messrs. Blavatnik and Cooper gave him the heave-ho, after which he was banished to the googles, and it took years for the company to recover from his feckless mismanagement.

Hard though it is to take this rumor seriously, it’s the hottest one of the season. The only shred of evidence to support it would be the undying support of Julie and Kevin for their mentor. As for Atlantic’s Craig Kallman, he’s seen it all—from the Doug Morris/Roger Ames/Jason Flom era and onward—and nothing seems to faze him. He just keeps doing his thing.