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  Industry Profile




Industry Profile: Kathy Spanberger

— By Larry LeBlanc (CelebrityAccess MediaWire)

This week In the Hot Seat with Larry LeBlanc: Kathy Spanberger, president and Chief Operating Officer, Anglo American Region, peermusic.

With 30 offices in 26 countries, and a catalog over a quarter of a million titles, peermusic is a music publishing titan.

Under its president/COO Kathy Spanbergeróresponsible for operations in the U.S., Canada, and Australiaópeermusic over the past decade has morphed from being a conservativeósome might say, stodgyódecade old music publishing institution into a vibrant independent publishing powerhouse entrusted with some of the most valued catalogs in all of music publishing.

Founded by Ralph S. Peer in 1928, peermusic also represents a formidable genre-jumping cross section of contemporary artists, producers and songwriters, including: Neil Thrasher, Dan James, David Foster, Chayanne, Traci Hale, Vicky McGehee, ChocQuibTown, Gloria Trevi, Anahi, Victor Manuelle, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Uno, Adam Argyle, Dead Sara, TYRESE, Family of the Year, Black Violin, Rachel Farley, Horoscopos de Durango, Wyshmaster, Richard Harris, Sarah McLachlan (Canada only), The Tragically Hip, Kathleen Edwards, Simon Wilcox, and Electric Empire from Australia.

Born in New York, Spanberger moved to Los Angeles with her family at the age of 11. Her father Andrew Spanberger was West Coast advertising director for Billboard magazine. She joined peermusic in Los Angeles as a secretary in 1979 after receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in economics at UCLA.

Afterwards, she served as managing director of peermusicís Australian operations.

Next, Spanberger returned home as peermusicís GM for the U.S. She became VP peermusic's U.S. companies a short time thereafter. She was named senior VP of peermusic's U.S. operations in 1993, supervising the staffs at peermusic's New York, Los Angeles and Nashville offices, and overseeing the activities of peermusic's U.S. Latin music division, including the opening of a new Miami office.

In 1995, Spanberger was named Chief Operating Officer of peermusic North America, which added the territory of Canada to her slate of responsibilities. In 2000, she was named president.

During her tenure, Spanbergeróbased in Los Angelesóhas greatly expanded peermusic's global reach with a bevy of pivotal deals. peermusic now controls the catalogs of David Foster, Hoagy Carmichael, Malaco Music, Larball Music, Song Corp., and Ventura Music, the latter being the home to some of the biggest Latin pop hits of the '80s and '90s.

What do you think is the perception of peermusic is in the entertainment industry?

That it is a highly respected company. I think people understand what we do, and how we do it; that we are in it (business) for the long haul. I donít do rent-a-song deals with very few exceptions. Those short-term, huge advance (deals) without any long-term retention. I canít say that I absolutely donít do them. If the Rolling Stones walked in tomorrow, Iíd probably do a deal.

There are still people in the music industry unsure of what peermusic does.

(Laughing) Like all we do is Latin music. I think that that some people donít know because Iím much more comfortable, as are some of the senior executives, being out of the spotlight. Iím not raising the flag of, ďLook at what I have done lately.Ē Or, ďLook at what weíve done lately.Ē So Iím not sure how people really understand the successes that we are having. Sometimes thatís important; and sometimes it isnít.

One thing still striking to me after all these years is that I still donít think people understand how big the company is worldwide. We have our own offices in probably every major city around the world. We are internationally-placed and are expert in all of the areas. People are still, ďWow, really?Ē

The company hasnít either been able to overcome that underdog perception or hasnít bothered trying to change it.

I think we have a philosophy toward publicity in which we really have to have something to say. So when we have something to say, itís not empty or fluff. Now being an independent company seems to be even cooler than it used to be. Perhaps, we will have to leverage that coolness a bit more.

Well, in the late Ď80s, peermusic was widely known for being the only American publisher concentrating on Latin musicówith a bilingual staffówhen deals were being made on a song-by-song basis.

Itís a great market with spectacular music and Iím proud to be a leader of all that but the English (speaking) market has been very good to us as well. Sometimes, Iíd like to get the message out a little bit more. Weíve had a lot of success. The heritage is very much a huge part of the organization; and the heritage here is country and Latin.

We now have successes in pretty much all genres of music; whether itís country, Latin or pop or classical. We have a wonderful contemporary classical music catalog. So itís a diverse catalog, and that makes it fun (to work). Jason Aldean just won top performance of the year at the CMT awards for our song ďTattoos On This Town,Ē written by Neil Thrasher. We also control the majority of the #1 Latin album in the country ďJuanes: MTV UnpluggedĒ (by Colombian rock star Juanes); and we recently won for the Most Performed Pop Song of the Year at this year's BMI Awards.

[Ester Dean enjoyed an especially big night at BMIís 60th annual Pop Awards on May 15, 2012, held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, as "Firework" clinched BMI Pop Song of the Year honors for her, and co-writer Sandy Vee, as well as publishers Dat Damn Dean Music and peermusic III, Ltd.]

What young writers are peermusic working with?

We are working with Family of the Year, which has a new video (ďDiversityĒ) on Nettwerk. We have been working with them for a while. Great, great artists. Weíre working with Dead Sara that we have signed with (L.A.-based music supervisor) PJ Bloom. They are phenomenal artists, and creators. Iím very excited about them. We did a joint venture publishing deal with PJ. Heís a huge fan of the band. Weíre also working with Black Violin. Arenít they fabulous? They were working with Juan Cristobal, the engineer who works in our studio in Miami. He found out about them, and they had never signed a publishing deal. The music is just fabulous. In the country market, we are working with a new artist Rachel Farley. She has just landed the opening slot for the Jason Aldean tour this year. Thatís a great thing. Sheís an amazing young woman of 17, and sings incredibly.

In the Latin field, weíre working with a new artist on Warner Brothers called PeŮa. A very, very interesting artist that we are excited about as well.

You have been with peermusic for your entire career.

My entire full-time career in the music business.

You began there as a secretary in 1979. Were you a good secretary?

Oh yeah. I tell young people today, ďIf you canít nail the job that you were hired for donít expect to get promoted.Ē You have to be really good for what you are hired for, and then you go on from there.

So, what was your typing speed?

85 (words per minute).

peermusic was quite small at the time.

It was very small. Their main office was in New York. In L.A. there were only four people, including Ralph Peer (chairman/CEO Ralph Peer II whose father formed the company in 1928). Heís the one who hired me to be his secretary. He was then vice president of the firm. (Producer/songwriter) Marti Sharron was working for us then. She went on to co-write "Jump (For My Love" a #3 Billboard Hot 100 hit for the Pointer Sisters in 1984) and some other big songs (including "Own the Night," recorded by Chaka Khan; and "If I Could," recorded by Ray Charles, Barbra Streisand, and Celine Dion, among others.). At one time Holly Green was working for us in New York. Sheís the one that got ďWalk Like An EgyptianĒ cut by the Bangles. It was very successful for us.

Did peermusic then have a lot offices abroad like now?

The core offices are pretty much the same as they were. We have a few more now. Ralph was very aggressive about the Asian market and, of course, we have some of our representation now in Eastern Europe.

Was serving as managing director in Australia for the company an eye-opener for you?

It was great personally and professionally. They had so many local clubs, and they had so many great bands like Men At Work and INXS performing original music. So, it was a great time to be there. I was in my late 20s, and it really gave me a great perspective of the importance of the U.S. market for the international offices. The U.S. market still is today the place for any writer in the world to be successful in. It is also very important for us to have success here to export.

Were you sent you to Australia to gain international experience?

It was two-fold. Ralph was just starting to take over running the organization, and he wanted someone to go there and revamp the operation. Someone that knew him, and knew how he wanted things run. He felt that I was the person for the job and offered it to me.

When you returned to the U.S., you then oversaw the international operations of peermusic.

I did. Mostly doing sub-publishing international deals, and new artist/writer deals. I learned from the best. I had amazing mentors in the firm.

Obviously, Ralph Peer has been a major figure in your career.

I have worked with Ralph for my entire career. There couldnít be a better mentor than that. Then there was Mario Conti (then head of peermusicís U.S. offices and its international department) and Max Okun, and Arthur Fishbein, our attorneys in-house when I started. I have to say that thereís not a lot about publishing that I donít know.

I also had the advantage of having to read contracts, and really getting to know them. I negotiated (deals) but sometimes I had to type contracts up. Nobody in their 20s is going to know what the hell Iím talking about if they read this. It was the cut-and-paste days. You cut out and pasted, photocopied, and typed up the contract. Boy did I learn. I really, really learned publishing that way. I was a really good typist, but I really did learn that way.

It must be a challenge running affiliates in all these different countries. Probably more so than ever.

Yes, I would agree.

Traditionally, music publishers have balanced working their catalogs while nurturing new writers. In recent times, publishers have had to grow their businesses by acquisitions, and moving further into foreign markets.

The main thing that you have to do is to make sure that your catalog has material that people need in this (new) marketplace. And, if there is a gap in the type of music that we publish, we will look at acquiring it. For instance, we donít have a great classic rock and roll music catalog. I would love to find a great classic rock and roll catalog. That would probably mean more to us than, maybe, other (catalogs) because we absolutely need that in order to service every request of the users today, particularly in sync (the TV/film synch licensing market). That seems to be a very important area (for music publishers). So how we view acquisitions is if it is a strategic thing for the organization, and it fills an area in the catalog that we donít have. Also very important to us is our international market. There are some catalogs that travel better than others. The ones that travel would probably mean more to us economically as well.

You sound like a gambler trying to fill out a straight flush.

When opportunities come to my desk, however they come, I kind of know which ones that we should go after and ones that we shouldnít. But, I donít make a decision in a vacuum. It is made with the people (here) that have to work the catalog once we have it. We have discussions, ďAlright, if we owned this material, what can you bring me?Ē Thatís a very important part of the process.

Would David Fosterís catalog be one that travels well internationally?

Oh yes. We are very proud of that. Heís an extraordinary talent; someone who has been making hit music for decades; and heís still at the top of his game. So, it was an easy decision for us to buy his catalog when he wanted to sell it.

[In 2011, peermusic, acquired the majority of David Fosterís body of work as a songwriter. The deal encompassed more than 500 songs including such hits as ďI Have Nothing,Ē ďSt. Elmoís Fire,Ē ďHard To Say Iím Sorry,Ē and ďGlory Of Love.Ē The new agreement also included exclusive publishing representation for Fosterís future works.]

Why do songwriters like David want to sell their catalogs?

I donít think David would have sold it if he didnít get the price that he felt that it was worth. It was just a timing issue. It just seemed to dovetail with some other changes that he was making in his life, including switching labels at the time. So, I think that it was all just a matter of timing, and testing the market; and we rose to the challenge of the test.

So many big-name songwriters hold onto their publishing; and if thereís illness or a death, their family often doesnít know how to administer their catalog.

Absolutely. That has happened, and you will see that. In Davidís case, it wasnít that. Just to give ourselves a pat on the back, I think that he was very happy that he sold his catalog to us because he knows we will take care of it. We also have a relationship with the family; with all of his daughters. The legacy was important to him as well, I think. It was a good fit all around. It wasnít an easy decision for him. Thatís his life work. It was easier because he sold it to a company that would take good care of it.

peermusic branched out into Southern gospel by buying a stake in the Malaco Music catalog in 2007. You had nothing like it in your catalog.

Exactly. The first thing that I look at when there is a catalog for sale are the songs. I know that it sounds stupid, but I donít look at the numbers first. I look at what songs they are selling. Then we have a creative analysis of the songs. We think, "How much do we really love this music creatively as well domestically and on a world-wide basis." Not only what do we think we can do with the songs, but how classic, how valuable, and how important are they to us creatively. Then we look at the numbers. That seems to have worked for us. If we do have a catalog that weíre passionate about creatively, it makes the negotiation of the deal a lot easier.

Financial figures reflect what has been going on with the catalog; not the catalogís potential.

Yes, and acquisitions obviously, they are based on what you feel that the steady income is, but how you can grow it (the catalog). You have to look at it realistically; especially in a challenging marketplace. But, we do have a long-term view. And when you have a long-term view, and you run the company in a long term manner, you can look at that a lot differently.

The other thing too with all of these acquisitions weíre talking about here is that we had personal relationships with all of the people; and with all of the companies that we dealt with. So that makes a difference. Writerís share, for instance. If they donít want to sell the writerís share (of the publishing) that makes a huge difference to the people selling the catalog because thereís an ongoing relationship (with the publisher); a trust, there.

If it's just a pure bidding war where it just goes to the highest bidder, thatís where itís easy to make mistakes because it gets crazy for all of the wrong reasons.

With shrinking music sales in recent years, thereís been lessened revenues for everyone in music.

It has become difficult on both sides, creatively and administratively. Creatively, for obvious reasons: less product, less opportunities to work your writers or producers and less opportunities for releases. The changes, and the reductions at the labels have very much affected what we do on a creative level; and how we do it. Itís a smaller market than what it was. Smaller markets mean more competition. You constantly have to rethink and re-focus how you are going to work with your creative staff.

Itís a smaller music market with more music readily available.

The access for music, and the access for artists and musicians to the general publicóanybody to the general publicóhas grown. When I first started working in music publishing, we never dealt at all with the general public. We were always working through third parties. Now we are sometimes thrust in the situation of, instead of being just a B to B business, it's B to Cóbusiness to consumeróin terms of doing some marketing and promotion or (overseeing) digital rights and any kinds of issues like that. Thatís a learning curve, and you have to be careful that you donít do something that you arenít very good at.

Like being a record company as well?

Well, itís very, very hard selling music. That hasnít changed; and itís harder now making money from music. The revenue streams are smaller. Some of the costs have come down but the marketing and promotion costs are still there. Those expenses make the difference between writing a song; and anybody hearing your song.

While several publishing companies have started their own labels, including Sony/ATV's Hickory Records, and Notting Hill Music Group's Transmission Recordings, music publishers have only tipped their toes into the label pond at this point.

Yeah, and the fact is that itís coming about because publishers are doing more and more development. We are paying for more and more of the pieces of the (career development) pie. Sometimes our advances are higher than a record companyís; if they (the artist) even gets an advance at all. Then you want a little more control not only to (access) the different income streams but because your investment is higher.

Following downsizing, major labels jettisoned certain services, as songwriters began to want more than synchronization and writer collaboration opportunities from music publishers. Some songwriters now push their publishers for marketing plans, and brand marketing.

Contractually?

A hot new songwriter may want you to finance a master recording or finance a production deal. Since they canít get backing from the labels, they are looking for alternatives.

Thatís very true, and the deals reflect that whether you are paying advances or putting together funds to pay for masters or marketing and promotion or whatever may be needed to develop that writer or artistís talent. The key question is where does all of the cash come from these days.

A music publisher used to walk a songwriter/artist to a label to find that money. Labels had all of the money.

Yes. That is one of the things that people havenít really realized; that record companies paid for a lot of things that were behind the scenes; and now that cash isnít there. So where does it come from, because everything still costs money to produce or to promote or to direct or whatever. It still all costs money and thereís overhead and the question is where is that coming from. Whoís going to be paying for that?

Publishers primarily paid for publishing demos back in the day.

Yeah, but in the old days we could make money from album cuts too. If you take into account the album cut market having diminished so much, the (music publishing) market shrinks even more. Everybody and their brother are trying to get the single. Thatís the other shrinking in the marketplace.

The unbundling of the album by Napster, iTunes and Spotify led to the music industry being downsized from a dollars business to a dime business.

Yes. That was the first wave of difficulty and, of course, (TV and film) sync money is dropping because of competition; and the market strength that the users have. So on the creative side itís challenging on one hand; and on the other hand, thereís a lot of great music out there, and you get to find it really easily; and get excited about it. But the parameters as to how you work with somebody or when you work with them, you have to look things a little differently today too.

Without a song being a single from an album, what revenue can be generated?

Thatís another thing that has changed so much on the business administrative end. Itís a growing area with a lot of question marks. So, itís very hard to budget when you are notÖ"okay, if I have this many streams or this many views, how much money is this going to earn me?" This is an industry still coming to terms-and will be over the next few yearsówith what that really means. Hopefully, there will be good news. But administratively for publishers, it is hard to budget because we donít know what its (uses of music are) worth. We used to know what a unit was worth if you sold X amount of records or you could even figure out performances pretty easily. But we donít know what the income streams are going to mean for the new ways that music is being distributed yet. That is something that will show itself in the next few years.

[According to National Music Publishers Assn., music publishing revenue in the U.S. derives 36% of its income from mechanical licensing, 30% from performance licensing, 28% from synchronization licensing and 6% from other.

According to sources, the most important challenge facing publishers and songwriters is to get proper compensation from new media for music usage. "Look at Pandora,Ē National Music Publishers Assn. president/CEO David Israelite exclaimed to Billboardís Ed Christman (June 12, 2012). ďRecord labels get $14 in revenue for every $1 that publishers get. That can't continue. For the future, we have to fight harder to get our fair share of the revenue pie."]

In the past, you have suggested that 360 degree deals should be looked at by music publishers. Considering that music publishers are in the risk business due to advances and overhead, why not do 360 deals?

Well, we do and the learning process has been interesting. I think that itís only fair to have a 360 deal, if you have 360 (type) personnel that know what to do with a 360 deal.

Thatís the dilemma facing labels and music publishers alike.

Yes. When you have a 360 deal, you have to know about management, video production, touring, publishing, record production and so on. It sounds great, but itís really hard to do. It means you have to pay for everything.

Third parties are being brought in some cases to bolster services.

Exactly, because if you are taking or owning a piece of everything, then you really owe the creative (artist or songwriter) to properly manage and to have the knowledge to properly do all that. If itís just a land grab for money, thatís not inherently fair, is it? If we are going to do that, I have to feel like we know what we are doing to take those responsibilities on. Thatís a big business decision. Thatís a strategic business decision as to where you put your overhead costs; and to what kind of personnel are needed to do that.

In most cases, music publishers seek ownership or control of copyrights. Kobalt Music Group now offers significant advances, but doesnít seek ownership. There may be a business there; but it isnít traditional music publishing.

They are certainly a company that people are talking about and, maybe, have changed the way the way we all look at some deals. You have to decide where you fit; and what you are going to do. You canít be all things to all people. Kobalt has a different business model than what we do. But I also know, they are not going to be around for long. Thatís not a long term business andÖ

Itís certainly a quick turnover style business.

Yeah, itís a quick turnover business. Time will tell what will happen there. I donít bad mouth competition. The fact is that it (Kobalt) serves its purpose for a lot of its clients. Some clients are happy with it; and some clients arenít. Any client can say the same thing about any firm. But it remains to be seen if they do their job well; and how long they will be around; and how long they can sustain that model economically.

[Among the artist/songwriters that have signed administration deals with Kobalt Music Group are: Pearl Jam, TiŽsto, Kid Cudi, LMFAO, DJ Shadow, Neil Finn, Joss Stone, Lukasz "Dr. Luke" Gottwald, Max Martin, Kelly Clarkson, Skrillex, Bon Iver, Trent Reznor, Toby Keith, Vince Gill, Herbie Hancock, and Rufus Wainwright.

As with traditional music publishers, Kobalt Music Group represents its clients' copyrights, and collects royalties for uses around the world.

Under most traditional publishing deals, music publishers control the full publisher's share of 50% of songs or, at least, act as co-publishers. By contrast, Kobalt charges 5%-15% of revenue for its administration services, and offers short term administration deals under which creators receive smaller advances against royalties collected.]

Kobalt is basically in the drive-in admin business.

Yeah, thatís a good term. Administration isnít as easy as everybody makes it out to be, and itís getting more complex; not less complex. So itís a very important decision who handles administration. (Poor) administration on one of a creatorís most valuable assetsóbeing their copyrightsócan devalue their most valuable asset very quickly.

With a recent settlement between the music industry trade associations for labels, music publishers and digital music providers, the Copyright Royalty Board is expected to maintain the mechanical rate structure concluded in 2008 while creating new rate formulas for five new digital business models.

I will tell you an interesting experience Iíve had already. It is sort of indicative of how itís going to go; which is a very positive thing. I had a meeting about a new mobile application for music. It was a very good conversation because they felt and we felt that how they wanted to use music was going to fit into one of the new categories. Boy, it sure made for a more friendly, quick, and open conversation. And, I think that was the intent. I think that this is all very positive for users as well as owners. I am still in awe of all of the people that were able to negotiate this deal. Really that level of complexity with that number of players around the table, it is really an extraordinarily accomplishment.

[The agreement, which must still be approved by the Copyright Royalty Board, maintains a song rate of 9.1 cents for downloads, CDs and other physical formats, 24 cents for ringtones, and the same formulas, with limited changes, used to determine the mechanical rate for different kinds of subscription and free interactive-streaming services. The deal also creates new rate formulas for five new digital business models.]

One key aspect of that deal is the use of a total content cost will allow music publishers to potentially partake in whatever increases occur when music labels negotiate to supply their music to digital music service providers.

Well, I think that was heavily negotiated. Like I said, it's all good now. Weíll see. I think that there are just going to be more opportunities to maybe make this easier for everyone. Time will tell for us becauseÖIím not the only publisher worried a little bit about the accounting and the tracking because itís a little mind-boggling sitting there. Obviously, administration and IT costs could sky rocket if you arenít careful about that. Weíll see. As long as you are flexible and able to adjust, it will be okay. But, I have to say that I think that one meeting I have had so far has been encouraging because of the new deal. So more to come.

The U.S. recording industry has long sought a sound recording performance royalty, while the radio industry has so far beat back every legislative attempt to enact such a royalty. Clear Channel recently became the first radio company to agree to pay the royalty with the Big Machine Label Group comprising of the Big Machine, and Valory imprints.

American broadcasters, of course, continue to argue against a performance right saying they already pay a ďtaxĒ to music publishers.

Are you using the word ďtaxĒ to piss me off? The reality is that it is probably a fair payment for master owners, artists and people involved to get their performance royalties. The issue, of course, for publishers and songwriters is to be sure that (a sound recording performance royalty) doesnít reduce the monies that we now have successfully negotiated for decades for fair compensation for us.

With a sound recording performance royalty, broadcasters would likely seek to split the monies paid to publishers.

Yeah, and the PROs are fighting diligently to make sure that doesnít happen as much as they can. But I donít think that thereís too many people that disagree that it isnít fair in some ways. I think that we are the only major country in the world that doesnít pay this. I would probably anticipate that at some point that it would happen.

["NAB remains steadfastly opposed to a government-mandated performance tax on local radio stations," the National Association of Broadcastersí executive VP of communications Dennis Wharton said in a statement following the Clear Channel/Big Machine announcement. "Beyond our respect for private contracts, we take no position on free-market agreements negotiated between broadcast companies and other businesses."

Recording Academyís CEO/President Neil Portnow countered saying, "After years of public pressure and private negotiations, today's acknowledgment by the country's largest radio broadcaster that artists deserve a performance right is a step in the right direction. But until every broadcaster is paying all creators for their work, we will continue our efforts to secure an industry-wide, legislative solution. Congress has shown a sincere interest in solving this problem, and with Clear Channel's recognition of the terrestrial performance right, continued opposition by the NAB will now ring hollow on Capitol Hill."]

Meanwhile, without a coordinated and seamless licensing environment, Europe remains a highly challenging marketplace for music publishers.

Yeah, because thereís different players in every territory, and there are monopolies in the continent of Europe that control musical rights.

And regional societies there are trying to control their rights too.

Oh yeah. Itís a bit of a fight for survival. I do think local societies serve a great purpose. Historically, they have negotiated some very substantial rates; and we have all benefited from that over the years. On the other hand, they can be very non-transparent; even to their clients. Maybe, that is coming home to roost now because itís not possible in this world to be non-transparent. Transparency is expected on all levels now. Thereís been a cultural change.

You came from a Billboard family. Your father Andrew Spanberger worked at the publication in sales.

I did. In the golden age; in sales in advertising. He was a mad man. Tommy Noonan and my father grew up together. They went to grade school together. Tommy could tell a story better than anyone I know. He got my dad into Billboard.

[Tommy Noonan was a Billboard institution during his 30-plus year tenure with the publication. He also worked at Columbia, Date, Motown, Metromedia, and Polydor labels.]

When Billboard came home, did you go through the publication as a teenager?

Oh yeah. Itís funny, I ended up becoming a publisher because, in hindsight, I was always into music but I was always into songs. I had favorite songs, and artists; but it was mostly the songs that I loved. I always knew that I wanted to work in the music industry.

You did go to college.

Yes, I went to UCLA. I have a degree in economics. It was the only thing at the time that was close to business. They didnít have an undergraduate business degree at the time. They do now.

You grew up in Santa Monica, and Malibu. You were one of those beach bunnies?

I was never a beach bunny. I burn too easily. Iíve got that pale Irish skin. We didnít move to Malibu until my senior year in high school. My brother was a Malibu surfer.

Larry LeBlanc is widely recognized as one of the leading music industry journalists in the world. Before joining CelebrityAccess in 2008 as senior editor, he was the Canadian bureau chief of Billboard from 1991-2007 and Canadian editor of Record World from 1970-89. He was also a co-founder of the late Canadian music trade, The Record. He has been quoted on music industry issues in hundreds of publications including Time, Forbes, and the London Times. He is co-author of the book ďMusic From Far And Wide.Ē


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