BMI layoffs announced following scrapped sale plans
About a week after ending its pursuit of a billion-plus sale, Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) announced a series of layoffs.
Team members were recently notified of the unfortunate news via email, although at the time of writing none of the professionals involved appear to have publicly commented on the matter. Likewise, the performing rights organization itself has yet to address the subject with a statement on its website.
However, the message BMI President and CEO Mike O’Neill sent to employees cites the current “uncertain economic times” and the desire to stay ahead of the competitive curve as contributing factors. to the decision. Also taking into account the vacancies that will remain unfilled, the move will reach approximately 10% of the entity’s workforce.
“We learned some important lessons during the pandemic about how we could operate more efficiently,” reads part of the email the seemingly nonprofit IMC sent to staff. “Unlike many other companies, we made a concerted effort to maintain headcount as COVID took hold, the right move for us at that time. As we emerged from the pandemic, it became clear that there were areas in our workforce that needed adjustment.
According Billboardtwo of the roughly 30 people affected by the development are BMG veteran Alex Flores (who joined BMI as SVP of Creative four years ago) and former Warner Chappell executive Ann Sweeney (who signed with BMI as SVP of International and Global Policy in early 2015).
As mentioned, it doesn’t appear that any of the former BMI employees have addressed the subject publicly, but Sweeney’s LinkedIn profile has been updated to reflect the change.
As well as following a failed effort by BMI (assisted by Goldman Sachs) to find a buyer, the cuts come on the heels of a record-breaking 2021 financial year for the PRO.
BMI specifically disclosed north of $1 billion in domestic revenue (and some $1.41 billion in total revenue) for the first time, and distributions for the 12-month period would have increased by $102 million year-over-year. annual to reach $1.34 billion. “In a year marked by incredible challenges, the power of music is stronger than ever,” O’Neill said in revealing the financials. “BMI was once again able to demonstrate record growth, both in revenue and with the largest royalty distributions in our history.”
For reference, ASCAP (which, like BMI, is subject to a consent decree) identified $1.335 billion in revenue in 2021, and the Radio Music Licensing Committee in June named the two PROs in a petition.