'A dynamic time': Clay Hunnicutt joins Big Machine as GM

Clay Hunnicutt

The shake-up at Big Machine Label Group is continuing, with the appointment of Clay Hunnicutt as general manager of the Big Machine Records imprint.

With the label now owned by Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings after a $300 million deal with BMLG president/CEO Scott Borchetta, Borchetta is subtly reshaping the company. Last month he appointed Jimmy Harnen president/CEO of Big Machine Label Group Records.

Hunnicutt is a well-known figure on Music Row, having previously served as president and partner at Nashville indie Big Loud, as well as spending more than two decades in radio at Clear Channel and iHeart Media. He succeeds Jim Weatherson who will remain at BMR during the transition and then act as a consultant.

“Scott Borchetta and I have talked about working together for years and it’s exciting that we were finally able to put it together, especially during such a dynamic time for Big Machine,” said Hunnicutt. “There’s an amazing team already in place and I can’t wait to jump in and see where we can take the Big Machine artists together.”

“I have worked with Clay Hunnicutt throughout my career on the radio side and record side,” Borchetta said. “He is a consummate professional with a tireless work ethic and boundless creativity. He is the perfect complement to our executive team and I’m sure he will turn great results.

“I also want to thank Jim Weatherson who has been attached to the BMLG in one way or another since our inception," he added. "He helped to launch the ground-breaking Nash Icon label and then led Big Machine through a very successful leadership transition. Jim came to me a year ago to discuss his exit strategy and the timing of this announcement dovetails perfectly for what Jim wants to do. His DNA is imprinted at the label group.”

BMLG’s biggest artist, of course, was Taylor Swift, who departed the label for a ground-breaking deal at Universal’s Republic Records, although her catalogue remains with Big Machine. She has heavily criticised the deal with Ithaca, describing it as “my worst-case scenario”, while Borchetta hit back.

* To read Music Week’s exclusive interview with Scooter Braun about Ariana Grande’s pop empire, see the current print edition of Music Week, available now, or click here. To read our interview with Scott Borchetta about the future of Big Machine, click here. To subscribe to Music Week and never miss a vital music biz story, click here.

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