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Milgrim New President of Capitol Records

October 25, 1989|STEVE HOCHMAN

Hale Milgrim, who oversaw marketing for a wide range of recording artists, including Metallica, 10,000 Maniacs, Tracy Chapman and Anita Baker, while with Electra Entertainment, has been named president of Capitol Records.

Milgrim, 41, resigned last week as senior vice president-marketing for Elektra Entertainment, a position he held since 1987. Milgrim, currently based in New York, will be moving to the Los Angeles area.

From 1984 to 1987 Milgrim served as Elektra's vice president, creative services and from 1977 to 1984 as Warner Bros. Records' director of merchandising, following a stint as marketing coordinator for the Warner/Elektra/Atlantic group in San Francisco.

Termed a "people person" by one former Elektra executive, Milgrim faces the challenge of bringing Capitol out of the doldrums it has been in for several years. Some observers feel that Milgrim's first priority will be to trim a lot of fat from Capitol's artist roster, with special attention to revitalizing its black music and mainstream rock standing.

Milgrim, who describes himself as a "music junkie," said Tuesday that his first few months at Capitol will largely be taken up by getting to know the staff and artists, but that at this stage he sees the key to sparking Capitol as "breaking newer acts."

"(I'll be) putting a lot more priority on the newer acts, as well as, of course, trying to take the older established acts like Tina Turner and Paul McCartney to a new level."

That issue was addressed by Capitol-EMI Music Inc. President and Chief Executive Joe Smith when he called for and received the resignation of David Berman, Milgrim's predecessor, in September. Capitol-EMI turned a profit in North America in 1988 for the first time in several years, and as of April 1 was 35% ahead of sales and profits projections. However, Smith spoke in an interview with The Times of an urgency to give Capitol back the credibility it had lost in its lean years.

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