New Red Ant Label Hires Industry Veteran


Music industry veteran Al Teller reemerged Thursday at the helm of Red Ant Entertainment, a new independent record label financed to the tune of $100 million by Wasserstein Perella Entertainment Inc.

Teller, who was ousted in the fall as chairman of MCA Music Entertainment, turned down offers from several record and computer online companies before agreeing to run Red Ant.

“It’s a terrific time in history for a well-funded independent company to enter the entertainment business,” said Teller, who has spent his entire 30-year career at major record corporations.


Los Angeles-based Red Ant, which opens for business today, plans to sign domestic and international distribution agreements in the next month and have its first release in the stores by October. Teller said the label will concentrate on signing alternative rock and urban contemporary acts and release no more than 15 albums a year.

Artist manager Randy Phillips is expected to sign on soon as Red Ant president and former MCA executive Randy Miller is also expected to join the label as general manager. Teller was forced out of his MCA job in November after several disagreements with the new Seagrams management, including a decision to hire Phillips.

* Gihan Salem has been promoted to associate director of press and artist development at Elektra Entertainment, a division of Time Warner.

* Judy Price, who has overseen children’s programming at CBS Entertainment since 1983, has been replaced. The network has placed supervision of that area under daytime executive Lucy Johnson, who becomes senior vice president of daytime/children’s programming and special projects.

Johnson has been responsible for CBS’ top-rated daytime lineup for more than seven years, having previously served as an independent producer.