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Ashley Newton named president of UMG's Capitol Music Group

Universal Music Group is bringing in another veteran executive to help grow its Capitol label division. 

Former Columbia Records executive Ashley Newton has been named president of Capitol Music Group, which comprises Capitol Records, Motown Records, Blue Note Records and others, the company said Monday. 

His appointment to the new position takes effect immediately. 

Newton, who has served as president at Sony Music-owned Columbia since 2010, will also spearhead creative and special projects for Universal Music Group. Those will include film and television projects, the company said. 

He will report directly to Capitol Music chief Steve Barnett and Universal Music Chairman and CEO  Lucian Grainge. 

Universal acquired Capitol as part of its purchase of EMI's recorded music arm in 2012. Capitol had long benefited from a legacy of recording artists including the Beatles, Beach Boys and Frank Sinatra. But it struggled for years, along with other companies, as digital music crushed album sales. 

Universal Music has been working since around 2013 to revive the collection of labels housed at the Capitol Records Tower in Hollywood. In 2014, it was the No. 2 label group in terms of market share, with 8% of U.S. recorded music sales that year. 

Newton's hiring comes several years after Barnett joined Capitol Music in late 2012. Capitol's artist roster includes hit-makers such as British singer-songwriter Sam Smith, Australian boy band 5 Seconds of Summer and American singer Katy Perry

Universal Music Group is owned by the Paris-based conglomerate Vivendi S.A. 

Follow Ryan Faughnder on Twitter for more entertainment business coverage: @rfaughnder

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