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BMG ‘Doubles Down’ on U.S. Music Operations

BMG, the largest global music company outside the three majors, has announced it is “doubling down” on its U.S. operations via increased investment and a pair of major promotions directed by Thomas Coesfeld (pictured above), who became CEO last July.

BMG Nashville President Jon Loba will become president of Frontline Recordings, North America, and Thomas Scherer, previously head of publishing and recordings in Los Angeles and New York will become head of global recorded catalog, while retaining North American responsibilities for publishing, North America. Along with CFO Joe Gillen, they will comprise BMG’s North American leadership.

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Coesfeld said, “We are making good on our promise to double down on our U.S. operation with a distinctive new approach: An integrated frontline operation spanning the whole of North America plus a global catalog business steered from Los Angeles. BMG is stepping up. This is an integral part of our new strategy to deliver for artists and songwriters and go for growth.”

The move is the latest in several months of restructuring for the Berlin-based company, announced by Coesfeld last October as former CEO Hartwig Masuch transitioned out of his longtime role, which he had held since BMG relaunched its music division in 2008. The global company, which says the U.S. comprises more than 50% of its revenue, recently brought its digital distribution in-house and is moving physical distribution to Universal from longtime partner Warner/ADA.

In recent years BMG has seen great success with catalog and established artists such as Kylie Minogue, whose latest BMG album, “Tension,” is up for a Grammy next week; Lenny Kravitz; and Jennifer Lopez, whose debut for the label, “This Is Me… Now,” is out Feb. 14. However, under Loba its Nashville division has nurtured newer artists like Jelly Roll and Lainey Wilson, who are each up for two Grammys and scored for the six of the 12 awards presented at the CMA Awards. BMG also boasts one of the major global publishing companies.

Loba joined BMG in 2017 when the company acquired Nashville-based BBR Music Group, which includes Jason Aldean, Dustin Lynch, Blanco Brown and Parmalee. In 2023 BMG attained its first Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 single with Aldean’s controversial hit “Try That in a Small Town.”

Scherer joined BMG in 2008, moving to Los Angeles as EVP global writer services in 2014. In 2016 he took on BMG’s U.S. music publishing business before rising to president of repertoire & marketing for Los Angeles and New York, responsible for publishing, frontline recordings and production music. Under Scherer the has signed or re-signed songwriters including Diane Warren, Bebe Rexha, the George Harrison catalog, Pitbull and Ringo Starr; artists including Lopez, 5 Seconds of Summer, Spiritbox and Nickelback; and secured 48 acquisitions, including Mötley Crüe and Paul Simon.

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