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Neptunes Leave Arista
March 05, 2004

The death knell may or may not have sounded for Arista Records today, no one is really sure and no official statement has yet been released. RWD reported last week that The Neptunes had already left, having called their staff abruptly to announce "We're leaving Arista." (Clipse second album, originally scheduled for a spring release, is now looking shaky following the departure of The Neptunes and subsequently Star Trak). Arista's top boy LA Reid left abruptly in January to head up Def Jam Records. Reid took over from Clive Davis who was ousted from the label to later start J Records, and Clive Davis has since been named chairman and chief executive of Arista's parent, BMG North America this month.

Artists such as Whitney Houston and Pink will move under BMG while urban acts like Outkast and Usher will probably go to Jive. The Neptunes are also rumored to be taking The Clipse to Jive and Rosco P. Coldchain may go to Universal, but less successful Arista could soon find themselves without a deal…

Meanwhile, the Warner Music Group has just announced 1,000 job cuts and a management shuffle. The cuts are equivalent to 20% of Warner Music Group's global work force and will take place over the next month. Sylvia Rhone, chairman of Elektra Records, announced her resignation to her staff by email yesterday.


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