Wednesday, July 20th, 2011 at 2:54 pm
Just more updates on the guys who pimped the stockholders of Warner Music Group. The HR Department at Goldman Sachs legitimately needs to hire these guys for godsake. Your boys Edgar Bronfman Jr. & Lyor Cohen making millions selling a company that they drove into the ground. Warner Music Group hasn’t had a profitable quarter in years, and these guys get rewarded with millions of dollars. Roger Friedman of Showbiz 411 just sons these guys and proves how lackluster their tenure has been:
According to Yahoo! Finance, Cohen sold 871,102 shares of WMG stock on June 15th at $8.19 per share. The total value of the sale is listed at $7,134,325. Not bad for days’ work. Bronfman has been even busier. He made eight stock transactions from the end of May through the middle of June. All were indirect stock sales. The total value comes to just over $17,000,000.
Cohen and Bronfman’s run at WMG has been underwhelming, as everyone knows. At one point Bronfman lost $30 million on luxury concerts in the Hamptons that nothing to do with anything. WMG has done almost nothing to break new acts and has had few hits during the pair’s rein. Their highlights were Cee Lo Green/Gnarls Barkley and Bruno Mars. This week WMG has its usual minor stake in the pop charts, with just four albums in the top 50-three from their country division and one from Atlantic Records. They also jettisoned both Madonna and Nickelback, two name recording artists. Madonna’s Maverick Records, which had its success with Alanis Morissette, is long gone. Paul Simon took his catalog and split.
Albums from groups like REM, Josh Groban and others were released this year and then fell into the abyss. REM spent three weeks on the charts this spring with a new album that got great reviews and then vanished. Groban did slightly better, but was a disappointment considering his previous Christmas album literally paid Bronfman’s bills in the prior season.
The Bronfman-Cohen WMG legacy does, however, include the fine music renderings of Paris Hilton. They were also going to start a label with gossipeuse Perez Hilton. Neither venture amounted to much.
I’m told that Blavatnik – who has never wanted to merge with EMI or to buy that label- will eventually take the company private, which means all actual information will disappear. WMG now lives on its catalog, mostly Atlantic Records’ history, through their Rhino Records division. In the end this really comes to very little money for the artists. But Bronfman is a billionaire thanks to his family and the sale of Seagram’s. Cohen is reportedly selling one mansion on the upper east side for over $20 million, and is building an estate in the Hamptons. The money from that stock sale will come in handy.