UPDATE #2: Via Billboard:

Sources say about half the layoffs are at the company’s distribution arms, Universal Music Group Distribution and Fontana. Also confirmed as being cut: Jim Flammia, VP artist and media relations at Lost Highway Records, and Interscope publicist Jennie Boddy. Sources confirm as many as six staffers under the Verve Music Group banner were let go, including creative services VP Hollis King and publicity VP Regina Joskow. Cuts were also made in product marketing and A&R at Verve.

UPDATE: According to a highly placed source at Universal, the layoffs impacted about 50 people at the following labels: Verve, Interscope, Def Jam and Motown as well as Universal Motown Distribution. No label heads were shown the door but several VPs were.

Word on the street is that layoffs are hitting the Universal Music Group today. Universal corporate headquarters sent the Daily Swarm this rather vague and uninformative release (below). We’ll keep you posted as more information comes in (or feel free to keep us updated in the comments section below).

UMG Statement:
Universal Music Group is continuing to transform our organization to better serve our artists and business partners. Given the current economic climate, we have to be as agile and efficient as possible. Unfortunately, these ongoing efforts have resulted in some redundancy. However, UMG will now be even better positioned to compete in the growing global, digital marketplace.

Industry Death Watch:
Heads rolling at a Universal Music label in NYC

Major Layoffs have begun at a NYC label. And there are some big numbers being cut. Two major members of the online team, a production team member, international, and various others have so far been informed to pack it up. I’ll update more as the day goes on”

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