Danny Goldberg, the former chairman of Time Warner Inc.'s Warner Bros.
Records has been named head of Mercury Records. Goldberg was ousted last
August from Warner Bros. not long after Michael Fuchs was put in charge of
the Warner Music Group. Goldberg will succeed Ed Eckstine, who will remain at
Polygram, the parent company of Mercury Records, and may get his own custom
label within the corporation. Goldberg--no relation to ATN's editor--has not
made any comments to date about his new position. However, Polygram president
and chief executive officer Alain Levy told reporters that he was "extremely
excited" about it.
Goldberg began his career in the music biz as a rock journalist, writing for
such publications as Circus and Rock Scene. He handled press
for Led Zeppelin's Swan Song Records in the '70s.
Goldberg is probably best known for his artist management firm, Gold Mountain
which has managed the careers of such acts as Nirvana, the Beastie Boys and
Bonnie Raitt. He acted as Kurt Cobain's confidante, father figure, and
manager, and was instrumental in getting him into rehab, before his untimely
and unfortunate death last year.
After leaving management, Goldberg signed on at Time Warner's Atlantic
Records in 1992 as senior vice-president. He helped re-vitalize that label,
ending up as company president, and was named Warner Bros. Records chairman
last November. By all accounts Polygram hopes that Goldberg can work some of
his wizardry on the ailing Mercury Records, which has been limping behind
PolyGram's success at its Island, A&M, and Motown labels. Currently Mercury's
best showing is with old school acts such as Def Leppard and Bon Jovi.
According to data issued by SoundScan, which monitors album sales at most
U.S. record stores, PolyGram's overall market share was 14.33 percent, to
which Mercury contributed 2.14 percentage points.
Goldberg is expected to do his best to breath new life into Mercury.