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Universal Republic, Big Machine Records Launch Republic Nashville

Republic Nashville President Jimmy Harnen (left) and Scott Borchetta

Monte Lipman, president and CEO of Universal Republic, and Scott Borchetta, president and CEO of Big Machine Records LLC have formed a new label partnership, Republic Nashville, which will be based in Nashville. The imprint will be headquartered on Music Row and use the combined resources of Big Machine Records and Universal Republic Records.

Big Machine and Universal Republic first joined forces in 2007 to propel country superstar Taylor Swift to Top 40 radio and beyond to become the best-selling artist in all genres in 2008.

Lipman and Borchetta also announced that former Capitol Records promotion executive Jimmy Harnen has been appointed president of Republic Nashville. Harnen worked with Borchetta in a previous capacity at DreamWorks Nashville.

Lipman comments, “Scott Borchetta and his great team at Big Machine and the Valory Music Company continue to tower over the country music landscape with a tireless commitment to their artists and a visionary approach to discovering new talent that has become the benchmark of Nashville. We’re thrilled to expand our relationship with them, and welcome Jimmy Harnen as he steps into this key role at a crucial juncture in our two companies’ unique history together.”

“Monte and I have been searching for a way to expand our business relationship and I believe we have found the perfect compliment in the creation of Republic Nashville,” states Borchetta. “This venture is an opportunity to utilize the best of our Nashville resources and the best of Monte’s New York resources to create a powerhouse entertainment company. It also affords me the opportunity to bring Jimmy Harnen into the family in a presidential role. Jimmy’s tireless ambition, leadership, trend-spotting, A&R tastes and shared vision for this cutting-edge new company is going to prove to be very successful and a helluva lot of fun.”

“Reuniting with Scott is fantastic in so many ways,” states Harnen. “As a friend and a colleague, it’s been a thrill to see him and his incredible team achieve such great success these past few years. I relish the opportunity to join the environment he has created that epitomizes the cutting edge of Nashville and the entire music scene. I’m also looking forward to working with Monte Lipman, one of the most respected executives in our entire business, as we combine our resources to make Republic Nashville a productive and unique success story.”

Previously, Harnen was senior vice president of promotion for Capitol Records, Nashville. In 2006 he was vice president of promotion for the company. From 2000 to 2003, Harnen was co-national director of promotion for DreamWorks Records in Nashville, working closely with Borchetta, who was a DreamWorks executive at the time.

Republic Nashville’s inaugural roster will include honky-tonk singer/songwriter Sunny Sweeney and new country duo, Fast Ryde, among other artists. Republic Nashville states that major staff announcement regarding the new label will be forthcoming.

Republic Nashville President Jimmy Harnen can be reached at [email protected] and at 615/324-7777.