White Collar Criminals

Roadrunner President Jonas Nachsin Resigns After Twenty Years at Label, More Layoffs on the Way

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Roadrunner

UPDATE, 2:23pm EST: More layoffs have been announced in addition to Nachsin’s resignation. Details below.

Original Post:

After 12 years as President of Roadrunner Records and 20 years with the company, Jonas “Korn III” Nachsin is stepping down from Roadrunner Records.

The news comes from Billboard, who obtained a copy of Nachsin’s exit letter sent to the label’s employees. It reads in part:

“I am so proud of what we have accomplished to showcase Roadrunner as not only a ‘record company’ but as a lifestyle and cultural beacon for fans around the globe,” Nachsin wrote. “The chemistry of groundbreaking artists worked by a world-class group of truly committed employees has made Roadrunner a name with no equal over the years. That will continue.” He closed by thanking “the great team here much success as they move forward into a new chapter for Roadrunner.

Atlantic Records co-chairmen Craig Kallman and Julie Greenwald — whose parent company, Warner Music, now owns Roadrunner in full, and whose staff handles much of Roadrunner’s “back office” day to day operations — issued a statement of their own, demonstrating a remarkable and laughable ignorance of Roadrunner’s heritage (“breaking talent” Stone Sour in the same sentence as “superstars” Slipknot? RUFKM???):

“For two decades, Jonas has been a passionate champion of Roadrunner’s incredible roster of artists and helped forge the unique identity of one of the world’s great labels,” the memo reads in part. “Everyone who has worked with Jonas — including artists, managers, the Roadrunner team and the wider Warner Music family — have all been touched by his commitment and leadership. He has been instrumental in the careers of so many extraordinary artists, from superstars including Nickelback and Slipknot to breaking talents Young the Giant and Stone Sour. We will all miss Jonas and wish him the best in his next endeavor.”

The news of Nachsin’s resignation follows the departure of label founder Cees Wessels and a hefty round of layoffs earlier this year, including the shuttering of their European offices. No word yet as to who will replace Nachsin.

We also have it on good authority from an anonymous source that more layoffs have been announced, as more of the label’s functions are transferred over to Warner and Atlantic staff. Our source tells us that the whole creative department, PR, most of legal, and what was left of the finance staff (after April’s layoffs) have all been told to pack up.

What this means for the future of Roadrunner we can only surmise. The label already lost its identity when longtime A&R guru Monte Conner was let go during the last round of layoffs and fellow master A&R man Mike Gitter was given the pink slip three years ago. As if the widespread success of bands like Nickelback and Theory of a Deadsuck didn’t previously hammer their reputation into the ground. Where exactly is the metal, or even hard rock, compass of this label pointing these days?

I feel bad for Gojira, the real losers here. To some extent it doesn’t matter what label they’re on — the band’s talents sell themselves — but it must suck to feel like you just hopped on board a sinking ship.

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