Kent Klavens has been appointed senior vice president, Business and Legal Affairs, Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG).
Klavens will report directly to David Kokakis, SVP, head of Business & Legal Affairs/Business Development, UMPG, and will be based in the company’s worldwide headquarters in Santa Monica, California.
In this new role, Klavens’ primary responsibilities will include contract negotiations in North America for new and existing songwriter signings as well as copyright infringement, sampling infringement, piracy and litigation in North America. Klavens will be working closely with the company’s Nashville offices and the Nashville songwriting and legal community on new and existing songwriter signings.
Kokakis said of the appointment: “Kent is a consummate business and legal affairs executive. We are fortunate to have someone with his breadth of experience and passion for music publishing on our team. It is my pleasure to welcome him to the UMPG family.”
Klavens commented: “I’m honoured to join a company with the distinguished history of Universal Music Publishing Group, privileged for the opportunity to work with music industry legends Zach Horowitz and Evan Lamberg [President of UMPG North America] and enthusiastic about being part of the great legal team put together by David Kokakis.
Klavens previously served as SVP and General Counsel of Famous Music, a division of Viacom and affiliate of Paramount Pictures until it was sold to Sony/ATV Music Publishing in 2007. With Famous Music for seventeen years, he was responsible for all major agreements, as well as copyright and other legal issues, including exclusive deals with worldwide hit songwriters, producers and artists including Shakira, Eminem, Akon, Linda Perry, Bjork, Busta Rhymes, Boyz II Men, POD, Jet, Irv Gotti and Modest Mouse (as well as dozens of Latin and country music songwriters).
Klavens also oversaw catalogue purchases, sub publishing agreements, audit settlements, litigation supervision, licenses and many legal matters involving Paramount's 75-year film and TV music catalogue, MTV, Nickelodeon, CBS and production music library Extreme Music.
He is also a former board member and officer of the LA Chapter of the Recording Academy (formerly NARAS), a present member and former board member of the California Copyright Conference and a long-time member of the Los Angeles Copyright Society. He was at one time Chairman of the National Academy of Songwriters, which was merged into the Songwriters Guild of America in the 1990s.