Universal Music Group, working to keep Island Def Jam unit Chairman Antonio “L.A.” Reid, has offered to create a jointly owned business with the executive, three people with knowledge of the situation said.
Reid may be able to take several artists from among those he has signed, who include teen pop star Justin Bieber, Rihanna and Usher, the people said. Universal, owned by Vivendi SA (VIV), may name a Def Jam replacement. Reid hasn’t agreed to the plan, said the people, who sought anonymity because the talks are private.
Universal Music Chief Executive Officer Lucian Grainge, who took over in January, proposed the venture to keep a seasoned hand to guide some of the industry’s hottest acts, the people said. Grainge, who will run Universal from Los Angeles, hired Barry Weiss from Sony Music to run East Coast operations, adding a management layer above New York label chiefs who had reported directly to former CEO Doug Morris.
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