White Collar Criminals

WARNER MUSIC GROUP SHUTTING DOWN ROADRUNNER’S EUROPEAN OFFICES

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Roadrunner

Update #2, 6:30 pm: According to Billboard (by way of Metal Injection), Roadrunner CEO Cees Wessels is parting with the label as well. 36 employees total were let go today — 16 from the U.S. office. So this isn’t just having an impact on the label’s international offices. The trade further reports that “Internationally, Roadrunner’s staff will continue to carry out some label functions, such as marketing, promo and publicity. Other responsibilities, principally support functions, will be carried out by Warner Music teams.”

Update, 2:21 pm: Roadrunner Canada is gone now, too. 

According to Lambgoat, Warner Music Group — who acquired a majority stake in Roadrunner Records in 2007  and have 100% owned the label since late 2010 — is shutting down the legendary metal imprint’s European offices “in a cost cutting move.”

Unlike Vince, who I’d normally to prefer to cover such an event (he’s on an airplane as I type this), my pre-MetalSucks career wasn’t in the record industry… so I can’t really tell you what this means for artists signed the label’s European division (which in some cases includes bands signed to other labels for distribution in other territories, such as Lamb of God). WMG’s European offices may be able to handle to the work load on their own, for all I know, continuing to utilize RR basically as a brand and nothing more (the equivalent in the movie business being something like New Line Cinema, which is now basically just a few people in an office at Warner Bros. ). Or it could mean that a bunch of bands are now free agents. What it most certainly does mean, obviously, is that some very distraught Europeans are now gonna be looking for employment elsewhere. And at least one well-known Roadrunner artist is pissed about it:

Funny enough, the label was actually founded in the Netherlands, as “Roadracer Records,” importing American metal releases to Europe.

-AR

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