Reporting to Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Academy co-president, Smith will lead the overall communications strategy for the Academy, including media relations, corporate communications and what the Academy calls “reputation management.” Cox will report to Smith.
“The Academy continues to expand the talent and breadth of experience within its leadership team with the appointments of Sean and Andie to their new roles in the communications department,” said Academy CEO Harvey Mason jr. “Together with their extensive knowledge and innovation in the field, they will play a pivotal role in enhancing our communications efforts as we head into a global sphere.”
Smith will work with the executive office to develop the Academy’s communication strategy and contribute to the strategic planning process for the organization with a global focus, while directly managing communication objectives that promote, enhance and protect the organization’s brand reputation. He will also lead corporate communications, event and entertainment public relations, brand reputation, and crisis mitigation and management, including the client relations and deliverables of specialized communication agencies.
Cox will support Smith in the creation of the overall communications strategy for the Recording Academy and in implementing and executing communications plans and promotions for the Grammy Awards and all Grammy Week initiatives. She also leads public relations efforts for the Recording Academy’s 12 chapters nationwide and spearheads the communication strategies for the Academy’s advocacy department, awards process and diversity, equity & inclusion initiatives.
Earlier in his career, Smith served as the assistant secretary for public affairs at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) where he managed all aspects of the department’s brand and reputation and was the principal advisor to the Secretary and several other cabinet members. During his tenure at DHS, Smith led the Obama administration’s public response to breaking news. He also held roles in various political campaigns, including three presidential campaigns.
Smith is a member of the board of LookUp.live, an organization dedicated to addressing youth mental health and well-being, and a volunteer with the Chinook Indian Nation.
Cox joined the Academy in 2014 as a senior manager in the marketing communications department and was later promoted to director. She most recently served as managing director of communications, where she led numerous communications campaigns, including strategies for the organization’s membership model refresh in 2018, the Academy’s first-ever Black Music Collective, and its partnership with Color Of Change.
Cox also led communications efforts for the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund in support of music industry professionals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the Academy, Cox worked at the Grammy Museum.
With Smith’s hiring and Cox’s promotion, the Recording Academy’s roster of top executives, including MusiCares and the Grammy Museum, numbers 25. Excluding eight executives who work for MusiCares or the Grammy Museum, 17 of these execs work for the Academy itself. Of these, 11 are men; six are women. Note: The roster still includes Daryl Friedman, chief advocacy and public policy officer, will soon be leaving the Academy. As was announced yesterday, Friedman, an Academy staff member since 1997, will join CEDIA, the global trade association for the home technology industry, as global president and CEO on Nov. 29.
Steven Linville ’06, who filled a number of critical roles in his alma mater’s School of Music for the past 14 years, passed away last night in hospice care. He was 38.
Linville, a tenor who graduated cum laude with a degree in vocal performance, worked at DePauw since July 2007, returning a year after earning a degree in musical performance. He rose through the ranks, starting assistant to the dean and coordinator of publicity and recently holding multiple roles simultaneously.
He was director of productions since August 2017, overseeing all facets of the University Performing Arts Production Team, including planning for more than 200 School of Music events each year; developing marketing strategies to recruit and retain students; managing the operating budget; and taking the lead on grant applications. He recently collaborated on a successful grant application to the Alan W. Clowes Foundation that enabled DePauw to refurbish the seating and carpeting in Kresge Auditorium at the Green Center for the Performing Arts.
He also was a part-time assistant professor of music since 2013, teaching courses such as Performing Music Theatre Scenes and Character Development for Singers; and music director for DePauw musicals since 2011, a role in which he collaborated with the musical stage director, recruited student performers and conducted performances.
“Steven was one of the first of our colleagues whom I got to meet in person,” President Lori White said. “He had such exuberance; he was full of ideas and so talented. He conveyed so much love for the work he was doing at the SOM, and he will be missed by so many.
“His loss is a tremendous blow not only to those who knew and loved him but also by those who never met him – that is, anyone who has ever experienced a DePauw musical that was made better by Steven’s artistry.”
Kay Hoke, dean of the school of music, said, “Steven was not only a valued colleague, someone I thoroughly enjoyed working with. He also was someone whose smile made the work easier. He had such wonderful outreach to students, faculty and staff …
“I am profoundly saddened at the news of his death and will miss him very much.”
At DePauw, Linville took leadership roles in productions such as “Bat Boy: The Musical,” “Our Town,” “Venus,” “Urinetown: The Musical,” “The Who’s: Tommy,” “Young Frankenstein,” and “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder.”
He earned a Master of Music in vocal performance from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in 2012. He performed a number of roles, including Don Basilio in “Le Nozze di Figaro;” Gherardo in “Gianni Schicchi;” Pluto in “Orpheus in the Underworld;” Monostatos in “The Magic Flute;” Ivan in “Die Fledermaus;” Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec in the world premiere of Bernard Rands’ opera “Vincent;” Mayor Upfold in “Albert Herring;” and the tenor role in the Midwest premiere of “Charon.”
He also performed in many musicals, including “Guys and Dolls,” “Hello, Dolly!,” “Sweeney Todd,” and “Assassins.” As a concert soloist, he performed Mozart’s “Requiem,” Handel’s “Messiah” and more.
Linville was the director of music at Plainfield United Methodist Church for almost a year. He previously was executive producer for Intimate Opera of Indianapolis for nine years; choral director at Gobin Memorial United Methodist Church for two years; a member of the Indiana Opera Chorus; and a member of the Buck Creek Players’ board. He maintained a private voice and acting studio.
At DePauw, he participated Alpha Psi Omega National Theatre Honor Society; Mu Phi Epsilon, a co-ed international professional music fraternity; and DePauw Opera. He was a member of in Phi Gamma Delta.
Linville is survived by his parents, Paul Linville and Shari Bay Linville, and his siblings, Chris Linville and Courtney Linville. A celebration of life is planned for 7:30 p.m. Monday at Kresge Auditorium, with a reception to follow.
The dairy checkoff is launching a new wave of the Undeniably Dairy campaign to create deeper connections between Gen Z and dairy and give them new reasons to choose it over other products.
“Reset Yourself with Dairy” is a youth-centric evolution of the checkoff’s consumer campaign and will use a variety of media channels and marketing strategies, including gaming, social media influencers and digital content, to engage with Gen Z to grow sales and trust of dairy. The effort launches Oct. 13.
“This is a visible example of the checkoff’s laser focus on reaching consumers who can have the biggest return on investment for dairy farmers and importers,” said Dairy Management Inc. (DMI) Chief Operating Officer Beth Engelmann. “This campaign reflects the integration of science, partnerships and innovation to secure the next generation of dairy consumers and ensure impact for decades.”
Anne Warden, DMI’s executive vice president of strategic integration, added: “We’ve been pivoting our marketing and communications activations to not only create relevancy with younger audiences, but to also show up in the right places. To compete in today’s environment, we will create big, disruptive moments that reassert dairy’s place in young people’s lives in a way that is in the social media and entertainment spaces they love and speaks their language.”
The strategy centers on four aspects of dairy’s wellness benefits that checkoff-led consumer research found resonates and drives purchase decisions with Gen Z (ages 10 to 24). These territories are immunity, calm, energy and digestive health and can meet this generation’s changing perceptions and behaviors for what they believe foods and beverages should deliver.
Dairy’s role in offering these wellness benefits will be featured on a variety of media channels. A broad approach is critical as Gen Z tends to jump from one channel to the next instead of consistently remaining in one place.
Dairy content will appear on Spotify, where Gen Z heads for music and podcasts, as well as across YouTube and Google video searches and via television streaming providers including Hulu, Roku and Vevo.
There will be continued outreach to the gaming community where the checkoff will work with Twitch, which has about 15 million users daily. The content will be available on TikTok, Instagram and Snapchat and the checkoff will work with social media influencers, who Gen Z finds to be authentic. The effort also includes a partnership with Kroger Digital and Instacart for content to appear in their retail apps and mobile sites.
In addition to these virtual strategies, the campaign will have activations on about 400 college campuses, including on TV screens in recreation centers and cafeterias.
“‘Reset Yourself with Dairy’ will show Gen Z all that dairy can offer and that they can feel good about their choice,” said DMI Chair Marilyn Hershey, a Pennsylvania dairy farmer. “It’ll remind them that real milk makes them feel better and offers wellness benefits that can help get them through their day.”
DMI and the 16 state and regional checkoff organizations have begun a push surrounding the feeling of calm people can experience from consuming dairy. Calm has universal Gen Z appeal, especially for students returning to school or young professionals back at the office. Content, including humorous videos that relate to Gen Z’s hectic lives, has been unveiled with the hope of making them seek a reset moment with dairy.
For information about the dairy checkoff, visit www.usdairy.com.
SoundCloud is a next-generation music entertainment company, powered by an ecosystem of artists, listeners, and curators on the pulse of what’s new, now and next in culture. Founded in 2007, SoundCloud is an artist-first platform empowering artists to build and grow their careers by providing them with the most progressive tools, services, and resources. With over 250 million tracks from 30 million creators heard in 190 countries, the future of music is SoundCloud.
Repost by SoundCloud is the music industry’s fastest growing music distribution service. As a business, we enable musicians to monetize their music on platforms such as SoundCloud, Spotify, iTunes and many more. We also provide our users with transparent revenue reporting, as well as promotion opportunities.
As a culture, we believe that the world of streaming music is changing, and while anyone has the ability to build their own audience, they should also have the ability to make a living from that audience.
We’re looking for a VP of Product who will play a pivotal role in SoundCloud as a music entertainment company. Our VP of Product will be responsible for the product management function and strategic vision for our creator product offering.
- Lead, manage and mentor a team of product managers
- Oversee the product management function for SoundCloud’s creator organization
- Define and evangelize strategic vision for SoundCloud’s creator product offerings
- Own the product roadmap and communicate with execs and stakeholders
- Implement product processes & best practices across the organization
- Drive product innovation for SoundCloud
- Bachelor’s degree or work experience in a relevant field with 7+ years of product leadership experience. Consistent track record of wins and takeaways
- Strategic thinker with ability to craft go-to-market strategies and campaigns in collaboration with marketing
- Able to formulate and implement global strategies for products
- Extremely strong product management fundamentals and best practices
- Product leader with demonstrated success in leading and mentoring a product org
- Customer-centric mindset
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills
- We’re international! We operate in the US, Berlin and London and all of our communication is in English.
- We have a flexible, friendly, and inclusive office environment.
- Our environment is a learning one, with a specific focus on development, including a professional development allowance.
- Interested in a gym membership, photography course or book? We have a Creativity and Wellness benefit!
- Full Benefits – Variety of options to choose from, some as much as 100% coverage of health, dental, and vision
- Employee Stock Ownership Plan
- Robust & evolving 401k Program
- Professional development allowance
- Flexible vacation and public holiday policy where you can take up to 35 days of PTO annually
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at SoundCloud
SoundCloud is for everyone. Diversity and open expression are fundamental to our organization. With this foundation, we aim to build a social platform and global community for everyone to create, discover, and share sounds. We acknowledge the challenges in our industry and strive to develop an inclusive culture where individual contributions are valued. We are dedicated to creating an inclusive environment for everyone, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, migration background, national origin, age, disability status, or care-giver status.
At SoundCloud you can find your community or elevate your allyship by joining a Diversity Resource Group (groups focused on people of color, LGBTQIA+ folks, and women). You may also participate in inclusive workshops, contribute to our Cultural Moments series, vote on organizations for the SoundCloud Community fund’s support, and more!
On Sept. 30, the vaunted Cleveland Orchestra celebrated a record $50 million gift, the largest in its 103-year history. That same day, the lesser-known Phoenix Symphony landed a record $7.5 million from a local charitable foundation.
In stark contrast, the Symphony Society on Tuesday announced the cancellation of the San Antonio Symphony’s first two concerts of the season, Oct. 29-30 and Nov. 5-6.
With its musicians on strike and its 2021-2022 season imperiled, the symphony appears to have no savior on the horizon to rescue it from ongoing financial woes, including a $2 million budget deficit in 2019 and a $3 million shortfall for 2020.
As a result of those shortfalls, on Sept. 26 the board imposed a new contract on its musicians that would cut wages and nearly halve the full-time complement of the orchestra from 71 to 42 players, with the remainder to be made up of 26 even lower paid part-timers — known in the industry as an “A/B” structure.
The next day, the musicians declared the strike.
Symphony Society board chair Kathleen Weir Vale has said the orchestra’s current $8 million annual budget is unsustainable, in part because major philanthropic donations and corporate support are not forthcoming.
Corey Cowart, the symphony’s executive director, has said that a $5 million annual budget would create conditions for stability, and better fundraising prospects for the future.
But even that amount appears out of reach. So rather than preparing to enjoy a full season of orchestral concerts, San Antonio now faces the possible end of the full-time professional symphony it has known since 1939.
Other orchestras around the country have survived near-fatal blows, however, and their various strategies for survival offer potential ways forward.
A look at an A/B orchestra
While the musicians in San Antonio are vehemently opposed to an A/B structure with deeply reduced wages, that strategy saved the Louisville Orchestra in Kentucky.
A 2011 article in the New York Times headlined “Survival Strategies for Orchestras” recounts the rise and fall of Louisville’s orchestra, which reached its heyday in the 1960s by commissioning new works and releasing recordings, but suffered during the economic difficulties of the 2000s and declared bankruptcy in 2011.
A passage in the article reads as though it could equally apply to the current situation of the San Antonio Symphony: “… perennial instability has stemmed in part from an overreliance on bailouts from private sponsors and large corporations, some of which reduced donations during difficult economic periods or moved out of town.”
The 84-year-old orchestra found stability by resorting to an A/B structure, using a smaller number of full-time musicians complemented by freelancers — a plan nearly identical to the current contract change that initiated the strike in San Antonio.
The Louisville Orchestra went from 71 full-time musicians to 55, which at the time was called “not a calamity” by then-music director Jorge Mester. The orchestra’s director of marketing disagreed.
“The ‘calamity’ was indeed felt in the lives and careers of those who were disrupted by the tough situation,” said Michelle Winters. However, “the structure allowed time for the Louisville Orchestra to begin to rebuild,” she said.
Since then, the number of musicians has increased to 60, along with increased annual wages, and “our goal is to build that even further,” Winters said. “These increases go hand-in-hand with cooperative fundraising efforts, increased support by musicians of community outreach programs, and careful financial management.”
The population of Louisville is 246,000, about one-sixth of San Antonio’s population of 1.43 million.
A musician-led model
Another option is becoming a musician-governed entity, like the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) based in New Orleans.
The LPO was formed in 1991 after the collapse of the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra, which had cut its season from 40 weeks in 1980 to 23 weeks in 1990, but still failed to keep up with its $3.8 million budget (roughly equal to $7.8 million in 2021 dollars).
Comprised of the collapsed orchestra’s musicians, the LPO adopted an unusual organizational structure and now bills itself as “our nation’s longest-standing musician-governed and collaboratively operated orchestra.”
Most nonprofits are run by boards, but in the case of the LPO, the sole corporate members of are its full-time musicians.
As the group notes, “the LPO began in 1991 with nothing but sweat equity and a small amount of cash support from the orchestra musicians and a few donors.”
While San Antonio’s orchestra doesn’t lack for individual donors — Vale has cited 150% growth in the past year — corporate giving has fallen. A quick glance at a concert program from the 2017-2018 season shows corporate donations of nearly $400,000, while current giving and future projections are mired at $90,000 annually.
“As the city of San Antonio has gotten bigger and bigger, the symphony has gotten smaller and smaller. And I would like to know why that is,” said Mary Ellen Goree, principal second violin and member of the negotiating committee for the Musicians of the San Antonio Symphony. As she spoke, she and other musicians distributed leaflets outside the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts as audiences assembled for Opera San Antonio’s performances of Don Giovanni, during which San Antonio Symphony musicians would normally have been playing.
Goree said that before negotiations reached an impasse, musicians had suggested strategies to raise emergency funds to cover the season deficits, but were rebuffed.
Vale and Cowart say they and the board have asked San Antonio’s corporations, but “no one likes to fund debt,” Vale told the San Antonio Report.
“Everybody’s put through the wringer when the numbers aren’t right. Because if we don’t have the resources to finish the season, look what happens to the musicians, look what happens to the public, look what happens to the community, the ticket holders, the donors, they’re like, ‘Whoa, what am I doing giving money to this organization? They can’t even finish their year,’” she said.
Financial viability is key to fund-raising, she said, which is the primary motivation for imposing the new A/B model and its more sustainable budget.
“We’re trying to get to the point from which we can grow,” Vale said, while expressing optimism that corporate giving could rebound once sustainability is proven.
“I believe we’ll be able to raise more money from the corporate community, when the corporate community understands that we are going to be a financially viable organization,” she said.
A matter of a trust
The San Antonio Symphony is not alone in its persistent struggles. The Springfield Symphony Orchestra in Massachussetts is currently locked in a lawsuit with its musicians, who have broken from management and scheduled an Oct. 15 concert on their own, supported by grants and donations.
An effort by one longtime supporter of the San Antonio Symphony could help produce a similar result here.
Sebastian Lang-Lessing, the San Antonio Symphony’s music director emeritus, is in South Korea guest conducting for the Korea National Opera. While overseas, he is organizing a trust to benefit the San Antonio musicians he has conducted for the past decade. The trust will accept donations from anyone asking, “What can we do to help the musicians?,” Lang-Lessing said, but who are hesitant to donate to the board during the current impasse.
Funds would go directly to the musicians, Lang-Lessing said, first in an emergency capacity, then for other possibilities — including potential concerts.
Whether a trust could lend financial independence to the San Antonio musicians, enabling them to establish a musician-led orchestra similar to the LPO, is no guarantee, Lang-Lessing said.
His former teacher Klauspeter Seibel left Germany to become the first music director of the LPO. Initially, Seibel was impressed with the musician’s initiative. “He totally fell in love with it,” Lang-Lessing said. “It had amazing energy in the beginning, but it’s also not a guarantee for success,” he cautioned, as the organization still struggles to find funding.
Whatever the case, Lang-Lessing said, “We should not go back to status quo. And I think everybody agrees on that. There needs to be major reform.” Of the forthcoming trust, he said, “This is the first step in the right direction.”