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30.03.12MusicWeek 5


Ex-Island MD in at Crown as new- look firm launches its A&R fund



ne-time Island Records MD Marc Marot has joined Jessie J’s artist

management home Crown as it launches a seven-figure fund to invest in new talent. Marot’s arrival comes as the

company, formerly known as Crown Music Management, redevelops into Crown Talent & Media Group (CTMG) in what marks an expansion of its operations from purely artist management. The change follows a decision

by Crown founder and CEO Mark Hargreaves and his colleague Sarah Stennett to go their separate ways after a decade working at the company with artists including Jessie J, Ellie Goulding, Sugababes and Gabriella Cilmi. Marot joins as group

chairman at the new-look Crown having spent the last three years as CEO of the entertainment division of sports group SEG, a company whose roster includes music acts such as the Noisettes and Billy Ocean.

He previously worked for 18

years at Island, including running the publishing businesses Island Music Publishing and Blue Mountain before becoming MD of the record division then leaving in 2000 to set up his own company Terra Firma Management with a

roster including Paul Oakenfold, Richard Ashcroft and Yusuf Islam. The company was sold to SEG in 2008. Marot begins at Crown as it

New look: The rebranded Crown will continue to represent successful acts

including Jessie J and Ellie Goulding

rolls out a seven-figure A&R fund, which is being financed through the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and overseen by Manchester- based chartered accountancy firm and tax advisors White and Company. Female pop

group The Scarletz, managed by Crown’s David Quirk, are the first act to sign up

Fabric’s Geoff Muncey joins PIAS

PIAS has recruited Geoff Muncey (left) as general manager of

PIAS Recordings. Muncey, who previously ran

Fabric Recordings for over a decade, will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the recordings division in the UK - including A&R, budgets, administration and branding for both the Play It Again Sam and Different labels. He is set to oversee a period

of rapid growth and investment in the recordings division of PIAS and will be charged with

“It’s an exciting time at [PIAS]

as we grow the label roster and this appointment emphasises

our commitment and ambition towards the artists we are proud to work with” PETER THOMPSON, PIAS

managing a cohesive strategy in regards to the development of both the labels and their artists. Peter Thompson, managing

director PIAS UK, said: “I’ve known Geoff for a long time thanks to our relationship with Fabric and it’s fantastic that he has agreed to join PIAS as we develop the label side of our activities. It’s an exciting time at PIAS as we continue to grow the label roster and this appointment, along with a number of soon-to-be- announced signings, emphasises our commitment and ambition towards the artists we are proud to work with.”

to the A&R fund in a joint- venture limited liability partnership. This provides money to be invested in the act as well as paying the likes of artist advances. Marot said this way of

funding new talent allowed acts a period to develop to a point where they could possibly be “upstreamed” to a record company. “The trouble is there are

fewer labels, fewer A&Rs, smaller budgets and a more risk- averse atmosphere, so the advantage [of doing it this way] is that we can take the risk on certain types of artists that labels normally wouldn’t go near and incubate them,” he added. Moving at the same time as

Marot from SEG to Crown are Claire Freeman, who runs the

film, TV, music and specialisation department, and artist manager Alex Martin who is looking after a number of development acts previously worked out of SEG. Crown CEO Mark

Hargreaves said: “I see the creation of CTMG as an ambitious venture yet a very natural development from the company’s roots in popular talent management. “Marc’s experience and

energy made him the perfect candidate for the group chairman job. My own role will be at the helm guiding CTMG towards its end goals, but I also want to remain close to my artists and in particular will be focusing on the amazing career of Jessie J.”

BBC Four cutbacks won’t kill new music shows

BBC Four is expected to reduce its original UK drama and science programming output in the coming months – but music is likely to benefit from the cull. The channel is facing BBC-

wide cuts, with the Corporation last year confirming that BBC Four faces a projected £5.2 million fall in content budget to £54.3m by 2016/17. That’s a dip of 9.6% of its total content investment per annum. As a result BBC Four is

expected to play a more complementary role to BBC Two, but an increase in

programming in areas such as live music – in classical and pop, arts and culture – is likely to occur, some of which would transfer from BBC Two to BBC Four. “BBC Four will continue its

commitment to original music programmes, both documentary and performance, and a number of new ideas are under discussion,” a spokesperson confirmed to Music Week. Recent widely-lauded BBC

Four music productions have included The Joy Of Disco, as well as the station’s popular ‘Britannia’ series.

Crowning glory: Marc Marot (left) and The Scarletz (right), the first act to sign up to Crown’s A&R fund

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