Executive Turntable: H8WG Goes Wild in LA; Atlantic Ups VP of Marketing and Digital


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If it’s Friday that means another spin around the Executive Turntable, Billboard’s comprehensive(ish) compendium of promotions, hirings, exits and firings — and all things in between — across the music industry.

Hard 8 Working Group is now live in La La Land. The Nashville-based music management company promoted Aimee Beren to lead its brand-new Los Angeles office, alongside artist manager Michael Duda. With an office in New York as well, H8WG can now boast of bi-coastal bonafides as it continues to build a client roster that includes hardcore elder statesmen Jawbreaker, hard edged Daughtry and alt-rockers All Time Low, All-American Rejects and Boys Like Girls, among others. The company also recently launched a record label with Big Machine. Both Beren and Duda came most recently from Prodigy Artists Management, where Beren was vp of operations and Duda managed artists. Beren got her start at Three Six Zero, where she worked with deadmau5, R3HAB and others. “Aimee has been an absolute stellar part of the H8WG team which alone more than qualified her for this job, but being from LA and having the desire to move back there just made this work out perfectly for all of us,” said Dirk Hemsath, H8WG co-CEO and co-founder.

Atlantic Records promoted Bianca Ortega to vice president of marketing and digital, effective immediately. Based in LA, Bianca recently celebrated 10 years at Atlantic, where she has worked on key projects including Charlie Puth, BRELAND, Oliver Tree, Barbie The Album and more. Following an internship there, Ortega officially joined the label in September 2013 working supporting roles in marketing and video production before rising the ranks — most recently as senior director of marketing and digital.

Warner Music Nashville executive vp of artist development Shane Tarleton announced his departure from the label, concluding a 13-year run. He plans to unveil his next move in early 2024. Tarleton got his start in music in 1998 in the creative department of RCA Records, where he worked under the wing of vp of creative services Mary Hamilton. After leaving RCA in 2004, he dabbled in writing, artist management and event production before joining WMN in 2010, eventually rising to overseeing marketing, brand sponsorships, digital interactive and creative services for the label.

Dinesh Ratnam has been appointed managing director of Warner Music Malaysia, where he will oversee the company’s operations out of Kuala Lumpur, and will report to Warner Music Asia co-presidents Chris Gobalakrishna and Jonathan Serbin. He joins WMG from VOD streaming service iQiyi, where he served as senior director in the international business department and was country manager for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. Before that, he held key roles at iflix, another prominent VOD service in the region, and tech company the Catcha Group. The WMM roster of local talent includes Adam Lee, Masdo, Janna Nick and Bunga, among others. “With its vibrant diversity and immense talent, the Malaysian music scene serves as a vital hub for cultural exchange and artistic expression,” said Gobalakrishna. “Dinesh’s appointment signifies our dedication to nurturing this thriving ecosystem.”

BrickHouse Entertainment CEO and founder Scott Brickell and SMP Consulting leader Ron Smith have entered a joint partnership, with SMP Consulting operating cohesively under the BrickHouse Entertainment name. Brickell and Smith, along with Chase Swayze, are managing partners in the company, while Kim Davis has been promoted to chief operating officer. Also rounding out the organization are Caleb Gauntt and Jared Johnson. The combined artist roster includes hit CCM group MercyMe (whose “To Not Worship You” is currently in its fifth week atop the Billboard Christian Airplay chart) as well as CAIN, Micah Tyler, Caleb & John, Iveth Luna, Micah Christopher, Christian Paul and Bay Turner. –Jessica Nicholson

Neil Jacobson’s writer-producer management company Hallwood Media promoted Quinn McGinley to general manager of its recording division. In the new role, Chavez will focus on day-to-day operations of Hallwood Recordings, including publishing, distribution and (of course) recordings. McGinley joined Hallwood in October 2020 and was most recently a project coordinator. Jacobson, formerly president of Geffen, described McGinley’s musical instincts “unparalleled” and said his “incredible charm and kindness have won the hearts of everyone he encounters.”

Indie booking agency Sound Talent Group added Steve Kaul as an agent out of its newly established Nashville office. Kaul is a veteran of APA and CAA and brings along a roster of clients including Built to Spill, Vanessa Carlton and Citizen Cope, among others. LA-based STG opened its new Music City outpost in the Berry Hill nabe, with agents Beth Keith, Jonathan Wilson, Kaul and four others. STG co-founder Tim Borror calls Kaul ” one of my favorite people in the business” with “incredible success over the years. We’ve wanted him to be part of what we are doing from the beginning.”

ICYMI: Warner Music Group announced former Google executive Carletta Higginson as its new chief digital officer, replacing outgoing CDO Oana Ruxandra … and Francisco Granados was named svp of A&R at Warner Music Latina.

Venue management company ASM Global elevated Will Beekman to vice president of theater operations and content development. In addition to his current duties as booking director for ASM’s arenas in the Northeast, Beekman will now also be tasked with overseeing the day-to-day operations of the firm’s theater division, with focuses on branding, bookings and wider event planning. Beekman’s previous experience includes a 10-year tour as executive director at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts.

Jess Partridge is the new executive director of the European Music Manager Alliance, or EMMA. She’ll spearhead policy, advocacy, partnerships and day-to-day management of the advocacy organization, which represents over 2,000 music managers across Europe and another 600 worldwide. “Managers and artists are at the heart of this industry and advocating for them, means advocating for a better music ecosystem for all,” said Partridge, who previously had a major part in launching PRS Foundation’s Keychange initiative for gender equality and is founder of the In Stereo music platform. You can reach Partridge at jess@emma.community.

Warner Chappell-backed publishing company Jody Williams Songs promoted Tenasie Courtright to creative manager. The Belmont grad joined the company in December and worked under senior director of creative Nina Jenkins on a roster that includes Vince Gill, Ashley McBride, Driver Williams and Jason Nix, among others. Reach Courtright at tenasie@jodywilliamssongs.co.

Last Week’s Turntable: WMG Flips the Script in Finland

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