Troy Tomlinson Ditches Sony/ATV to Lead UMPG Nashville Will Taylor Swift Follow Him?

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Photo Credit: itsjustme812/ CC by 4.0

Troy Tomlinson is ditching his home since 2002 at Sony/ATV Nashville for Universal Music Publishing Group Nashville. He has been named UMPG Nashville’s first chairman/CEO.

Tomlinson’s appointment will take effect on July 15th, and he will report to UMPG chairman/CEO Jody Gerson. Tomlinson will also join UMPG’s global senior management team and will be responsible for all of UMPG’s Nashville operations.

Industry rumors have suggested Tomlinson was in line to head up UMPG Nashville, despite renegotiation talks reported last week.

Tomlinson’s departure from Sony/ATV makes him the third high-level executive to leave the company. Former co-president Rick Krim and Guy Moot exited in March and April respectively.

Tomlinson oversaw the songwriting careers of many artists, including Taylor Swift. Swift continues to be Sony/ATV’s most prominent songwriter, and speculation suggests she may exit after her music publishing contract expires.

Taylor Swift signed a massive deal with Universal’s Republic Records last fall, leaving her long-time label Big Machine Records. Swift’s move away from country music may explain some of that, but her ties to Nashville’s publishing scene are very tight.

Tomlinson’s move coincides with the departure of Kent Earls from the company. Earls headed up the Nashville division as EVP and General Manager since 2012.

Tomlinson is credited with steering the careers of Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Luke Bryan, Darius Rucker, and Thomas Rhett. He also helped guide the careers of songwriters such as Josh Osborne, Chris DeStefano, Jon Nite, Jaren Johnston, Lindsay Rimes, Luke Laird, and Jim Beavers.