Home Music Even Hugh Laurie’s Dr. House Can’t Save Warner Music

Did you miss the quarterly report from Edgar Bronfman‘s Warner Music this morning? Surprise! They lost a lot of money, had few hits or releases, and made a lot of weird pronouncements.

The excuse for a drop in millions for revenue? “A light release schedule.” Uh huh. But Warner Music did recently announce that Hugh Laurie, the British actor who stars in TV’s “House,” is recording a New Orleans blues album for them. Laurie will follow in the great tradition of other TV stars of the past like William Shatner and David Soul in making important and lasting music.

Bronfman has only reason to be excited about the 4th quarter, which he’s now in: Linkin Park. Their new release will be WMG’s sole hit. Also coming: a dreaded Motown album from Phil Collins, and a new release from Eric Clapton. Otherwise, WMG continues to dine out on Zac Brown, an artist no one east of the Mississippi has ever heard of, and Avenged Sevenfold, which is number 1 this week in its debut but will disappear quickly before Labor Day.

Bronfman made his usual gobbledy-gook comments during the conference call’s interview with analysts. He still can’t say what people at Warner Records do all day. But are there any people left? According to Warner’s SEC filing today:

The current-quarter operating loss included $9 million of severance charges ($7 million in Recorded Music and $2 million in Corporate) compared to $3 million of severance charges in the prior-year quarter ($2 million in Recorded Music and $1 million in Corporate) (the “Severance Charges”). “

Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
3 replies to this post
  1. Seriously. Hugh Laurie’s just as talented a musician as he is an actor. He’s a self-taught pianist, and has a wonderful singing voice. I’m really looking forward to his album.

  2. Reporters should report objectively, not crack wise about actors who are accomplished musicians. Hie thee to YouTube and check out Laurie’s amazing artistry on the piano, harmonica, and song collaborations with Stephen Fry. Meanwhile, Roger, shame on you!

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