Bruce Springsteen may have a $100 million record deal at Sony Music but the person he trusted most is gone.
Tracy Nurse, a 30 year veteran of the company, has been purged as part of a blood bath that’s taken place in the last few days. Nurse, I am told, is leaving to start her own consultancy firm.
Also gone is Yvette Noel-Schure, VP of publicity, and her remaining publicist, Andre Morris. “There’s no one left in urban pr,” says a source.
Schure is starting her own company, from which she will handle all of Beyonce‘s marketing needs. “She was Beyonce,” says a source. Schure also handled Maxwell and John Legend, among others.
All told, at least 20 key talented, highly skilled people are gone in this lay off, from international marketing people like Dave Toomey to Craig Logan, a longtime fixture in the UK office of Sony who was also trusted by the remaining artists. Sade, one of Sony’s few best sellers, was a Logan disciple.
The layoffs and departures reflect Sony Music’s dire straits. Their only hits include Sade, a new hybrid group called Broken Bells, and Susan Boyle from Britain’s “American Idol.” And while Boyle has sold an astounding number of CDs, it’s unclear how much of that revenue Sony will get since she’s owned by the American Idol/Simon Cowell/19 Entertainment mega structure.
Sony doesn’t have a lot to look forward to release wise right now except perhaps an upcoming soundtrack from the “Glee” TV show. There’s also an “Iron Man 2” soundtrack in the offing that will be essentially a compilation of recordings by AC/DC, a group which has worked with Sony’s Rick Rubin.
“All these great people fired, and look who still has a job,” says an insider. “Rick Rubin.” Rubin, a controversial figure, runs from Sony Music from his home because he doesn’t like to work in an office. Nevertheless, he made Sony leave their offices and rent the very expensive former CAA office in Beverly Hills. Rubin is also known for making hits for other labels, not Columbia or Epic. His most recent successes was for Metallica on rival Atlantic Records.