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By Billboard

UMPG Nashville Exec VP/GM Kent Earls to depart

Troy Tomlinson, who has served as Sony/ATV Nashville’s president/CEO since 2005, has been named Universal Music Publishing Group Nashville’s first chairman/CEO.

Tomlinson, whose appointment takes effect July 15, will report to UMPG chairman/CEO Jody Gerson. He will join UMPG’s global senior management team with responsibility for the entirety of UMPG’s Nashville operations, including providing leadership to UMPG’s Tennessee-based royalty operations and Christian division.

"Troy’s track record in Nashville is the stuff of legend. He is simply one of the best and most successful creative executives the Nashville publishing community has ever seen," Gerson said in a statement. "And having worked closely with him during my time at Sony, I know firsthand of his ability to take a promising songwriter with a song and turn them into a career artist. I’m thrilled to have him join UMPG’s senior management team and accelerate our transformation into the most progressive and effective partner to songwriters anywhere."

"I’m so excited to join Jody and her exceptional team at UMPG," Tomlinson said in a statement. "For me, this is the right time and UMPG is the right place to channel my energy and passion to build something entirely new and dynamic for Nashville’s songwriting community. I’ve long admired Jody even before I had the opportunity to work with her at Sony, and to see what she’s achieved at Universal and the culture she’s created in just the few years since she joined is nothing short of inspiring. To be able to work with her again and contribute to UMPG’s incredible momentum is exciting to say the least."

Kent Earls, who as executive vp/gm, has been running UMPG Nashville since 2012, is leaving the company. In a statement provided to Billboard, he said, "The past 21-plus years at UMPG Nashville have been truly incredible. I'm very proud of our many accomplishments while at the helm. We had multiple Grammy wins, writer and song of the year accolades, countless No. 1 singles, but the true joy was signing, developing and furthering the careers of incredibly talented songwriters like Luke Laird, Rivers Rutherford, Chase McGill, Lori Mckenna, Natalie Hemby, Shane McAnally, Andrew Dorff and songwriter-artists like Sam Hunt, Keith Urban, Kane Brown, Chris Young, Maren Morris and so many more. I am also so proud of the staff we assembled in my time there...I love the Nashville music industry and community and am excited to see what the future holds."

Tomlinson’s announcement comes two months after Jon Platt replaced Marty Bandier as Sony/ATV’s chairman/CEO. Tomlinson becomes the third high level executive to leave in recent months, following former Sony/ATV president of worldwide creative Guy Moot, who replaced Platt as CEO at Warner Chappell Music in April, and former Sony/ATV co-president Rick Krim, who left in March.

Under Tomlinson, who joined Sony/ATV Nashville in 2002, the company was BMI’s publisher of the year for 16 consecutive years.

During his tenure he oversaw the songwriting careers of artists including Taylor Swift,Kenny Chesney, Miranda Lambert,Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Darius Rucker, Kelsea Ballerini, Blake Shelton and Thomas Rhett, as well as guided the careers of songwriters Josh Osborne, Chris DeStefano, Ross Copperman, Jon Nite, Jaren Johnston, Lindsay Rimes, Jim Beavers and Luke Laird.

Sir Lucian Grainge, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group said, "When it comes to identifying great songs, songwriters and artists, Troy is one of Nashville’s finest. I’m looking forward to him joining us at this pivotal time as we continue to build a home for songwriters like no other, one focused on long term careers and creating global opportunities."

Sony/ATV Nashville has been the No. 2 country publisher in Billboard's Top 10 Country Airplay rankings for nine consecutive quarters. Universal Music Publishing Group Nashville has been ranked No. 4 for the last four quarters.


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