Front Line Taps Fair, Palmese

Front Line Management has retained longtime record label execs Ron Fair and Richard Palmese to provide consultancies aimed at “creating and developing viable strategies to meet the needs of artists in today’s ever-changing music industry,” the company announced April 2.

Both consultancies will be based at the offices of Azoff Music and Front Line Management, and work closely with CEO Irving Azoff and the Front Line team to expand artist promotion, marketing and A&R services.

Fair, former president of A&M Records, has 30 years under his belt as an in-demand A&R exec and record producer, discovering Christina Aguilera and working with artists including The Black Eyed Peas, Fergie, The Pussycat Dolls, Mary J. Blige and others.

Palmese, a former president of MCA Records, started his career as a disc jockey in St. Louis before joining Clive Davis at newly formed Arista in 1975. In addition to topping MCA Records from 1990-95, Palmese served as executive VP of promotion for RCA Music Group, including J, RCA and Arista labels. He’s also had a hand in the career development of artists including Aguilera, Barry Manilow, Whitney Houston, Elton John, Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys, Dave Matthews Band, B.B. King, Usher, Rod Stewart, Maroon 5, Foo Fighters and others.

“When proven industry superstars such as Richard and Ron are available, I know I need to have them joining the Front Line team,” Azoff said. “Our artists and managers have just hit the lottery.”

The recruitment of Fair and Palmese marks a new direction for Front Line and the industry in general, marking a shift in artist development functions from the recorded music to the live entertainment side of the business equation.

“Teaming up with Irving Azoff is a spectacular new beginning for me,” Fair said. “I look forward to working closely with Irving, Richard Palmese and Front Line’s incomparable roster of managers and artists. We will also focus on discovering, nurturing and developing a new generation of superstars and hit music-intensive branded entertainment.”
Palmese is no less effusive in his praise of Azoff and Fair.

“I am thrilled to be working with Irving and the Front Line team, and we’re ready to blaze new trails with Front Line’s talented artists and mangers,” Palmese said. “Working with Ron Fair is an added bonus, and I am confident that together we will create winning strategies across all musical platforms.”