Record news: Universal signs EMI’s image man

Record news: Universal signs EMI’s image man


norman lebrecht

December 05, 2013

Kevin McCabe used to do the biz at Parlophone for Coldplay, Blur, Radiohead, Gorillaz, Paul McCartney, Kylie Minogue, The Verve and David Bowie. Now Parlophone is owned by Warner, he’ll be doing it for a growing bunch of indies loosely linked to the big beast. Bryn Terfel, he could be your man.

bryn terfel bmw



Press release:





LONDON, 5 DECEMBER 2013 – Kevin McCabe, one of the most experienced and respected media and promotions executives in the UK music business, is joining Universal Music.


McCabe is the latest high-profile appointment at Caroline International, Universal Music’s recently-launched full service global partner for independent labels and artists, where he has been named Director of Promotions and Artist Campaign Strategy.


McCabe is also setting up an in-house radio and TV promotions agency working across artists signed to Caroline and Universal Music UK’s labels. It is anticipated the new promotions agency will also work independently with artists from outside the Universal Music family, including Radiohead with whom McCabe has worked for 20 years.


McCabe joins Universal Music in January having left Warner Music in August after 23 years at its newly-acquired Parlophone label. McCabe joined Parlophone in January 1990 as a sales rep, switching to regional radio plugging in 1993 and working his way up the promotions team before becoming, in September 2000, Head of Radio Promotion for Parlophone. He continued in this role for eight years, being named the Radio Academy’s National Radio Plugger Of The Year four times. In 2008 he was promoted to VP, Promotion & PR for Parlophone, soon after adding EMI Label Services and the EMI Music Catalogue roster to his portfolio. In January 2012 he was promoted to the newly created role of SVP Promotion & Publicity for the whole of EMI Music. Over the years he has worked with countless artists including Coldplay, Blur, Radiohead, Gorillaz, Paul McCartney, Kylie Minogue, The Verve and David Bowie.


Universal Music UK Chairman & CEO David Joseph says, “There are few people in the industry as respected and well-liked as Kevin. The quality of artists he’s been at the heart of breaking reflects his calibre as an executive – we are delighted he is joining us and have no doubt he will continue to repeat his considerable success.”


McCabe’s new job at Caroline International sees him reunited with Michael Roe, the division’s joint-MD alongside Jim Chancellor. Roe was previously McCabe’s partner at EMI Label Services.


Caroline International is a division of Universal Music but the two companies operate on an arms-length basis allowing Caroline to deliver a bespoke service to independent labels and artists in every market and region of the world.


Alongside his new roles at Universal Music, McCabe will also take on the role of Head of Music Development at TBI Media, the multi award winning production company which will produce around 600 programmes over the next 12 months for BBC radio and television, commercial radio and corporate brands. McCabe has had a long association with TBI – he was part of the team that was awarded the Gold Award at the Sony Radio Awards in both 2009 and 2010 for its live coverage of Coldplay and Blur respectively.