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COVER STORY : Just Wait Till Next Time: Watch These 3

August 28, 1994|Robert Hilburn and Chuck Philips

It takes more than a presiden cy title to be a player in the record business. The key is making other executives worry about your next move.

Here are three executives who, to borrow an industry phrase, are "bubbling under" the Top 40--executives with the title and clout, but who have yet to cinch their place in the rock royalty in the eyes of other powerbrokers.

* Gary Gersh, 38, president and CEO of Capitol Records: After the brutal regime shift last year at Capitol, Gersh hit pay dirt with Radiohead, Blind Melon and Duran Duran--all acts he inherited from predecessor Hale Milgrim. Everyone has respect for Gersh's instincts as talent scout, but it's too soon to tell what kind of an executive he will turn out to be.

* Al Cafaro, 45, president and CEO of A&M Records: Working in the shadow of industry legend Jerry Moss is no easy task, but Cafaro is moving into the spotlight himself, thanks to pushing Soundgarden to new levels and launching Gin Blossoms and Sheryl Crow.

* Phil Quartararo, 38, president and CEO Virgin Records America: The former promotion man has quietly and aggressively worked a string of hits over the past year including albums by Smashing Pumpkins, Janet Jackson and Enigma. He inherited those acts from his former bosses Jeff Ayeroff and Jordan Harris, so insiders are still trying to judge who deserves the credit.

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