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The Neal Agency Moves Into Publishing, Signs Palmer Anthony in Partnership With WCM

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Nashville-based booking outfit The Neal Agency, known for a roster that includes artists Morgan Wallen and Bailey Zimmerman, has launched a music publishing division, Billboard can reveal.

The Neal Agency’s head of business development, Ryan Beuschel, will spearhead the new division. Beuschel joined The Neal Agency earlier this year following stints at Warner Chappell Nashville (as vp of A&R/strategy and ASCAP.

The new division’s first signing is singer-songwriter Palmer Anthony via a co-publishing venture with Warner Chappell Music (WCM). Anthony previously signed with The Neal Agency for booking.

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“The ultimate goal for the company is to be truly a place to develop artists,” Neal tells Billboard. “Obviously, a big part of that is on the road, but [also] being able to have a hand in the creative process. … As the music industry continues to evolve, we have the opportunity to help create and build artists from the ground up.”

Beuschel says, “I think Palmer is a great example of being the first person that we did this with because he was signing to the agency, and then shopping around and looking into publishing deals. At one point, he mentioned, ‘It would be amazing if we could work together,’ and we knew each other before he signed with The Neal Agency. He had been touring in Texas and was writing some really compelling stuff alone and with co-writers. I felt like it was a great opportunity for The Neal Agency to have creative direction and touring strategy inside the same building, communicating with each other back and forth to push his career as far and as fast as we can.”

“Working with Ryan, with his background at ASCAP and Warner Chappell, this partnership makes a lot of sense,” adds Warner Chappell Music Nashville president/CEO Ben Vaughn. “I met Palmer because of [Beuschel and Neal] and it’s been really cool to watch Palmer starting to network through the town and co-writing. It’s great to build this new thing out with them.”

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Anthony grew up primarily in northern California and went on to play baseball at the University of California, Santa Barbara, before pursuing songwriting. After graduation, he moved to Fort Worth, Texas, and immersed himself in the Texas music scene, opening for artists including Riley Green, Chase Rice and Randall King.

The Neal Agency agent Haley Teske was responsible for bringing Anthony’s talent to the attention of the company in the first place, leading to his initial signing for booking.

“I saw him at [Nashville music event] Whiskey Jam and I could tell he was a hard worker, and [I] just kept in touch until the time was right,” says Teske.

“I’ll say it was a best-case scenario for me, too,” Anthony says, “because Haley was a supporter very early in the whole scene and the fact that all these pieces kind of fell into place, with Ryan at The Neal Agency and Ben at Warner Chappell. It was a perfect scenario for me to keep it kind of in-house for publishing and booking.”

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Neal launched The Neal Agency in 2022, following his departure from WME. The company’s initial roster included Wallen, ERNEST, Riley Green, HARDY, Seaforth, John Morgan, Chase Rice. and Ashland Craft. It has since grown to include Zimmerman, CCM/country artist Anne Wilson, Ella Langley and lifestyle brands Stevenson Ranch and Whiskey Jam.

Neal says passion — not an allegiance to a certain genre — will continue to drive new signings.

“Me, personally, I listen to a lot of alt-rock. I grew up on Southern hip-hop, Project Pat,” he says, noting that the agency also works with rapper mike for booking. “So we’ve grown to understand that, having to forge relationships with promoters and festivals that we didn’t before, is that there are no barriers for us as a company. It’s about passion, not genre, for myself and all of our agents and staff.”

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