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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 March, 2004, 16:21 GMT
Warner Music cuts workforce 20%
Madonna's American Life cover
Madonna is part of the Warner music stable
Warner Music Group is to lay off one fifth of its 5,000 global workforce and consolidate the business divisions of its Elektra and Atlantic Group labels.

It comes a day after Edgar Bronfman Jr closed a deal to buy the company, and hits business, finance and sales staff.

And Elektra CEO Sylvia Rhone, Atlantic Group CEO Val Azzoli, and Atlantic Records president Ron Shapiro will go.

The deal to sell Warner Music for $2.6bn (1.5bn) to the Bronfman-led group was agreed by Time Warner in November.

Mr Bronfman said in a statement the "painful changes" were needed to help Warner Music remain competitive in a "rapidly evolving marketplace".

Most of the jobs are expected to go within the space of a month.

But a Warner spokesman in London said there were no more details about how many jobs would go in each of the 50 countries where the music group operates.

'Talented artists'

"These significant steps to streamline Warner Music Group's operations are essential to the future success of the company and to the expanding, ongoing opportunities for its people," Mr Bronfman said.

He said the company was beginning anew "from a position of strength" and thanked the executives who are leaving the group.

"I look forward to working closely with the talented, dedicated and professional group of employees and artists at Warner Music Group as we work together to create the world's most dynamic independent music company."

Among those artists are Madonna, Linkin Park, Josh Groban, Jaheim, Faith Hill, Cher, Red Hot Chili Peppers, REM and Eric Clapton.

And among the labels that make up the group are Atlantic, Elektra, Lava, Maverick, Nonesuch, Reprise, Rhino, Sire, Warner Bros. and Word.

Mr Bronfman and his backers won control of Warner Music Group when UK music firm EMI pulled out of the bidding.




SEE ALSO:
Media mogul snaps up Warner Music
24 Nov 03  |  Business
Mixing up the music industry
19 Nov 03  |  Business


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