Edgar Bronfman's Music Biz Legacy

Although (Edgar) Bronfman has received mixed reviews throughout his career, his achievements are significant.

He deserves credit for bringing in Doug Morris to run UMG after he’d been unceremoniously pushed out of WMG.

As for Bronfman’s run with WMG, not only did he sell the company for more than he paid for it, he also more than doubled his investors’ money—during one of the most difficult periods in music-business history and a deep economic trough, making WMG one of the most successful leveraged buyouts of the time.

During the same period, EMI—a similar company that had also been acquired by private equity—was mismanaged into bankruptcy by Guy Hands’ Terra Firma. And while WMG increased in value and marketshare, EMI was sold for scraps.

In the negative column, he incomprehensibly chose Lyor Cohen to head up WMG, stunting the growth of the music group. Bronfman’s legacy may be tarnished, but his role in the creation of UMG and the rebuilding of WMG can’t be denied.

Building the perfect beast, Hits Daily Double


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