Shake-Up Seen at Sony Music

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Times Staff Writer

Sony Music is expected to announce shortly a shake-up at two of its largest labels that will include the departure of the head of its Columbia Records unit.

The changes were confirmed by three company executives.

They said Will Botwin would be replaced at Columbia by Steve Barnett, who would move over from Sony’s Epic Records label.

Charlie Walk, executive vice president of creative marketing and promotion at Columbia, would head Epic.


Columbia’s deteriorating sales have been a major reason Sony Music’s market share has dropped from 15.4% in June to 14.8% last month.

Sony Music is part of Sony BMG Music Entertainment, a company that Japanese electronics giant Sony Corp. co-owns with German media conglomerate Bertelsmann.

Also as part of the shake-up, Michele Anthony is being promoted to president and chief operating officer of Sony Music Label Group U.S., reporting directly to Don Ienner, head of Sony Music U.S. operations.

Botwin, a former talent manager, was named chairman of Columbia in February after serving as president of the label since 2002. He did not return calls.