Island Def Jam Lays Off Staff, Cuts Ultragrrrl’s Label Loose
In addition to the rumors of layoffs at Sony BMG, another major label has started to shed personnel, with Island Def Jam letting people go on Friday; among the rumored departures are executive vice president of promotion Greg Thompson and A & R honchos Paul Pontius and Rob Stevenson. Island Def Jam has also severed its ties with Stolen Transmission, the “incubator” label that was run by Sarah “Ultragrrrl” Lewitinn, who addressed the situation in an upbeat post on AbsolutePunk.net:
Thanks everyone for all your kind words and support (save for the person above who still doesnt know the difference between there, their, and they’re). It really means a lot to me to hear you all say such nice things about the artists on Stolen Transmission.
Stolen Transmission started IN MY BEDROOM as an indie label putting out hand made cds of bands that me and Rob believed in. We werent funded back then, and we were really happy. We did everything because of how much we loved music. Now that I’ve had my experience with Island/Def Jam, I know how to actually run a label, and I helped set up 9 amazing releases from Permanent ME, the Oohlas, Monty Are I, Bright Light Fever, the Horrors, Schoolyard Heroes, PlayRadioPlay!, Innerpartysystem, and the Photo Atlas. I’m so fucking proud that my label went from me and a bunch of interns sitting in my bedroom smoking and watching degrassi and eating guac i had just made to me sitting in meetings once a week with JayZ and now it’ll just go back to being run from my apartment again. We plan on continuing with Stolen Transmission and are really excited to be returning to our indie roots.
I’m also glad to say that the Stolen Transmission party is coincedently starting in a new venue tonight! That means no more Angels & Kings, and now we’re going to the Hanger Bar (3rd street btw B and C), which is also more aligned with the vibe the party hand when the label was run out of my bedroom. This is all very very exciting for me.
Anyway, thanks for all your love and support. Stolen Transmission is not over, we’re just super duper indie again and now Absolutepunk can stop using the island def jam logo like we asked them to two years ago :P.
Now, we’ve certainly given Ultra her fair share of guff in this space before. But given the increasingly dire situation in the business, I have to say hats off to her for at least showing a little spunk in the face of what looks to be even rougher times for her chosen line of work (and from what I hear, those Fuse talking head gigs don’t exactly pay well, either). Anyway, I have a sinking feeling that we’ll probably have more layoff-related posts as the clock ticks toward holiday-party time–gotta save on those catering bills, after all!–so stay tuned.