Geffen Cuts Begin, Sizable Staff Reductions Emerge

Geffen Records has now triggered a significant staff reduction, an expected development.

Just last week, an inside source to Digital Music News projected layoffs in the 8-10 person range, though estimates varied on Thursday.  Elsewhere, Billboard pointed to a total headcount reduction of roughly 15 across both Geffen and Interscope Records, and the layoffs of publicists Jim Merlis and Jycorri Robinson.

The dial-down raises questions about the future of Geffen, a division of Universal Music Group that could be relegated to a more symbolic role.  The move comes as part of a broader Universal downsizing, one that has also caused ruptures at Island Def Jam.   A smattering of other divisions are also being affected, and more cuts are expected by year-end.  The reports come alongside a significant cutback at Sony BMG, and a major downturn in recorded music sales.