Absent Fathers

London-based EMI Group plans to extend the contracts of Ray Cooper and Ashley Newton, the two executives heading the British music conglomerate's Virgin America label, according to sources familiar with the move.

Some record industry insiders had predicted Cooper and Newton would be forced out in a corporate shake-up that began last month with the ouster of Ken Berry, the chief of EMI's global record division. EMI ranks last among the five major record conglomerates in new releases in the U.S.

Cooper and Newton, formerly the co-managing directors of Virgin's British division, took the reins of the American unit four years ago.

Virgin is home to such acts as Lenny Kravitz, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Mariah Carey.

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