Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Roadrunner Merges With Warner - Announces Layoffs


Update: Billboard has chimed in saying that 36 staff members will lose their jobs, 16 of which are U.S. based. Additionally, founder/CEO Cees Wessels is stepping down. It looks as though the European offices will remain opened, with a reduced staff.

Word leaked over Twitter that Roadrunner Records was doing some reshuffling recently. The label was bought out by Warner Music Group in 2010, and whenever a label or a company is "bought out" or there is a merger, as much positive spin as is put on it, it ultimately results in job loss. Initially, there were some layoffs at Roadrunner, and today the other shoe has dropped. Roadrunner is supposedly closing their UK, Canadian and possibly German offices, at the behest of their parent company, WMG. There are rumors that some people in the U.S. offices have been let go as well. Roadrunner has been pretty quiet about the whole thing.

Metal Blade owner Brian Slagel tweeted the following:

Sad to see the closing of our friends at Roadrunner in Europe and the UK. What happened today to Roadrunner is one of the biggest reasons I never sold to a major. When we started 30 years ago we worked with Roadrunner. They distributed our stuff in Europe and we did their stuff in the USA. Sad day. We always had a great relationship with everyone at Roadrunner from Cees Wessels on down. Great label,sorry to see so many out of work. We always had a great relationship with everyone at Roadrunner from Cees Wessels on down. Great label,sorry to see so many out of work. The music business changes all the time. Please support the bands and labels you like. Thanks!

Earache owner, Digby "Dig" Pearson on the merger:

Sad to see Roadrunner UK/EU close, had many of the best bands and hardest working staffers there. Changed once Warners owned 100%. Some corporate twonk at Warners thinks promoting Machine Head & Opeth can be done just like Linkin Park & Green Day?

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