Everyone in the business by now knows that Sony Music’s septuagenarian CEO Doug Morris has to surround himself with his former colleagues as a security blanket. L.A. Reid, Nick Gatfield and Morris doppelgänger Mel Lewinter were the first in the door at Sony with everyone surmising that Sylvia Rhone would soon be joining them. It didn’t happen immediately, but now a new Rhone rumor has popped up. Hits Magazine is reporting “former Universal Motown topper Sylvia Rhone [will] rejoin Doug Morris in a label joint venture soon after the first of the year.”
My sources, however, say that yes, Sylvia will be joining Morris at Sony, but not in a joint venture label. Instead Morris will place her in the old Tony Martell position as head of the associated label group where she will have her own staff and not have to rely on the Epic or Columbia staff. There she will license and sign production deals in competition with Epic and Columbia, which absolutely makes no sense. In essence, this position is being created simply in order to give Sylvia a job. According to one former Rhone associate, “this is really ridiculous because Sylvia’s just not qualified. Whatever success she’s ever had has always been with joint-ventures as her ears have always been highly suspect and her marketing budgets go through the roof. ” Another long-time Rhone associate quoted her as once having said, “I should get one of those email machines.” Or was it Doug who said that?
As with her colleague, reality TV star and part-time Epic Records chairman L.A. Reid, Sylvia is known for her big spending. Lavish Parisian shopping trips, private jets and Bentley limos have always been de rigeur for the free-spending label princess. Vegas oddsmakers are now taking bets on whether or not Sylvia will consent to ride in a regular Lincoln Town Car. This could easily turn into one of the more entertaining conflicts of the new year.