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Who’s News: Big Moves at Henson, Sony, iHeart Media

Sony/ATV Music Publishing Selects New President for Global Digital

Sony looked internally to fill the position of President, Global Digital, promoting Antony Bebawi to the position, reporting directly to Sony/ATV Chairman and CEO Jon Platt.

Throughout his career at Sony/ATV, Antony has spearheaded pivotal digital initiatives and led the negotiation of key deals with the major digital services. Working closely with Sony/ATV’s global administration team and collection society partners, he also has been focused on industry data challenges and the streamlining of digital royalty processing to improve accuracy and transparency as streaming continues to evolve.

“As a leader in the digital music space, Antony has been pivotal in strengthening the presence of our songwriters and their music on a global scale,” said Platt. “I’m proud to promote Antony to this key role, and I’m confident he will continue driving our business forward in the years ahead.”

Antony started his career in publishing when he joined EMI Music Publishing in September 2005 as UK Head of Business Affairs. One of his major accomplishments was implementing the first publisher-led, Pan-European digital licensing initiative outside of the traditional collection society network. The model became and remains the industry solution for licensing digital music services in Europe.

Bebawi became Executive VP of Sony/ATV Digital and Society Relations, International and UK, after Sony acquired EMI Music Publishing in 2007. The veteran executive says he’s excited to move into a leadership role with the company he has served for most of his career.

“I am extremely fortunate to be working with a fantastic team that has a unique combination of national, regional and global expertise and relationships that are all critical for our continued success,” Bebawi said. “I look forward to driving future growth with our digital service partners and, most important of all, ensuring that our songwriters, catalogues and composers share fully in the value that is created by their incredible songs.”

Sidney Clifton Appointed to Key Role at The Jim Henson Company

The producer and show runner for Harriet the Spy and Lena will be heading animation and mixed media at The Jim Henson Company, as its first Senior VP of animation and mixed media.

Starting her new role in January, Clifton will report to Halle Stanford, the president of Henson’s television division. Clifton will oversee the development and production of Henson’s animated and live-action TV content.

iHeartMedia Names Gabe Fleet Executive Vice President of Business Affairs and Chief Music Licensing Counsel

American digital audio giant iHeartMedia moved to strengthen its business development and particularly its licensing strategy with the hiring of Gabe Fleet as Executive VP of Business Affairs and Chief Music Licensing Counsel.

IHeartMedia describes itself as the top audio company in the US, as it reaches more than a quarter of a billion monthly listeners across multiple platforms, in association with more than 850 live broadcast stations in more than 160 markets in the US and Canada.

Fleet’s role will be to lead the company’s Business Affairs team, to focus on strategic deals and relationships with the company’s music and entertainment partners, and to be responsible for business and legal affairs across the company’s divisions, multi-platform assets and tentpole events. In addition, Fleet will spearhead the company’s music licensing strategy, including maintaining and renewing all music industry licenses for iHeartRadio’s digital services and performance licenses through PRO agencies.

“Gabe’s in-depth knowledge, creativity and extensive deal-making experience across a variety of platforms make him a natural fit to lead iHeartMedia’s Business Affairs team,” said Paul McNicol, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of iHeartMedia, Inc. “Our relationship with the music and entertainment industries is an integral part of our business and having Gabe in this essential position will ensure we continue to create unique partnerships and opportunities that will leverage iHeartMedia’s position as the leading audio company in the U.S.”

Fleet has worked in the music and legal industries for over a decade, most recently as a partner at the Greenberg Traurig law firm, where his practice focused on music licensing, original content and branded entertainment creation and distribution across multiple platforms, and various intellectual property, technology and regulatory compliance matters.

Fleet has also worked as a manager for music artists, and is a professional drummer himself.

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