Arista Shakeup Picks Up Steam

By | March 10, 2004 at 12:00 AM

Arista Records, home to such acts as OutKast, Dido and Avril Lavigne, is in the process of being restructured, sources said Tuesday.

Many Arista artists are being moved to Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG) corporate siblings Jive Records, RCA Records and J Records, sources said. Layoffs are expected, though some positions will be redeployed to other parts of BMG. Arista will, however, remain a label complete with some artists, an A&R team, marketing and promotions staff, sources said.

A spokesman for closely held BMG declined to comment on the moves at Arista but in a statement said: “BMG is in the process of evaluating the labels and staff in North America. We will announce any decisions or changes at the appropriate time.”

Arista Records and J Records founder Clive Davis, who was named chairman and CEO of BMG North America last month, is orchestrating the North American changes. In an earlier interview, Davis said of Arista, “It’s the label that I founded and named, and it is vital.”

Under the new North American structure, Arista, J Records, RCA and Jive are being moved under one umbrella. Consolidation is mainly occurring in administrative and back-office functions.

Arista Records president and CEO Antonio “L.A.” Reid exited his post in January and has since been named the head of Island Def Jam Music Group.

Other Arista artists include Sarah McLachlan, Pink, Whitney Houston, Kenny G and Carlos Santana.