[JPL] Terri Hinte's departure from Fantasy Records

John Rogers jrogersradio at sbcglobal.net
Thu Jul 6 14:34:39 EDT 2006

Greetings from the former jazz radio director for Fantasy Records (now a part of the Concord Music Group).  Have not read any info regarding this very important matter.
  Here are two links to articles & comments regarding Terri Hinte's departure.
  John Rogers
        June 24, 2006  Terri Hinte  Terri Hinte has been fired by Concord Records. Her name will not mean a thing to most of you, but her work has indirectly benefited serious jazz listeners for decades. The news of her dismissal is of intense interest to many writers because Ms. Hinte is the very model of what a record company publicist should be-- deeply knowledgeable about the music and its players, intelligent, responsive, resourceful, helpful in countless substantive ways. She went to work for Fantasy, Inc. in 1973 and was its director of publicity since 1978. 
  The Fantasy complex of labels contains much of the most important recorded jazz from the 1940s on, as well as significant collections of blues and pop. In addition to Fantasy itself, Prestige, Riverside, Milestone, Contemporary, Pablo, Debut, Galaxy and Stax are under the Fantasy umbrella. Among the artists on those labels are Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Thelonious Monk, Wes Montgomery, Cal Tjader, Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond, Gerry Mulligan, Oscar Peterson, Ella Fitzgerald, Sonny Rollins, Art Pepper, Sarah Vaughan and Dizzy Gillespie. The list is much longer, but those names give you an idea of the importance of the Fantasy catalog. 
  Far from simply sending out review copies and news releases, as many companies do, Terri Hinte made it her business to know the extensive and varied catalog inside out and to understand the importance of the hundreds of musicians who recorded for its labels over more than five decades. Her newsletters and advisories were light years beyond the puffery that passes for publicity in too many precincts of the music business. They contained news that writers about the music, and those who broadcast it, could and did use, resulting in better informed listeners. Her phone calls often brought writers valuable story ideas. The catalogs she produced are valuable reference works packed with information. 
  Concord bought Fantasy eighteen months ago, fueling speculation among jazz professionals and listeners about what would happen to the invaluable recordings in the Fantasy archives. The dismissal of Ms. Hinte has only increased nervousness about Concord's intentions concerning the future of those treasures. Concord's timing was interesting; it let her go on the eve of her recognition with a special A-Team award from the Jazz Journalists Association, which named her "De Facto Curator of Fantasy Records." 
  In the current issue of Billboard, reporter Dan Ouellette quotes Concord President Glen Barros. 
  "We're committed to jazz and the jazz catalog we've invested in." He adds that he has "tremendous respect" for Hinte as "a great caretaker, proponent and spokesperson" for jazz. "However, when companies merge, there are unfortunate consequences," Barros says. "But I don't think Terri's departure means that we have any less respect for the Fantasy catalog."  Many musicians, including Sonny Rollins, came to depend on Ms. Hinte for counsel and guidance. She has been Rollins's only publicist for twenty-eight years. Now, she plans a career as a free lance writer, editor and publicist, continuing to work with Rollins. The Rifftides staff wishes her well. 
  For a sample of Ms. Hinte's considerable writing ability, on a subject you may not expect, go here. 

  Posted by dramsey at June 24, 2006 12:46 AM
  COMMENTS    Ah, Terri's traveler's tale is a delight, and I thank you for telling us her story and sharing that link. No doubt Terri will continue to surprise us with her next adventures.

  Posted by: Deborah at June 24, 2006 08:09 AM
    The dismissal of Terry Hinte, the very best publicist I've come to know during my career as a jazz journalist, only confirms my opinion that Concord is in a tailspin. They may be doing well financially, but they continue to treat jazz like a stepchild, curtailing new jazz releases in favor of garbage like Michael Bolton Swings Sinatra, while severely cutting back first time releases from their vault and reissues as well. 
  Jazz fans probably ought to hurry to purchase titles from Fantasy's vast OJC catalog before Concord deletes them wholesale as they did with their own label a few years back.
  I'm sure that Terri Hinte will do well as an independent publicist and writer, but her unjust termination is one more sign that Concord's management doesn't really give a damn about jazz.

  Posted by: Anonymous at June 25, 2006 04:45 AM
    Thanks for the tip of the hat to Terri Hinte. She's tops. How is it that American companies of all types seek to somehow increase revenue by sacking their most knowledgable people, thus chopping off their own heads? 
By the way, I missed the original announcement about her firing because it was sent to my old email address at Billboard. I was "terminated" in December. Apparently they didn't need a veteran in Washington to report on copyright and digital issues. 

  Here's the other link and article...
    Fantasy diminished by Hinte's departure
By Dan Ouellette 

  NEW YORK (Billboard) - Founded in the '50s as a jazz indie that recorded Dave Brubeck and Cal Tjader, among others, Fantasy Records became the house that Creedence Clearwater Revival abundantly built in the '60s. The Berkeley, Calif.-based label amassed a jazz empire by scooping up seminal but bankrupt indies from the '50s and '60s such as Riverside and Prestige.   Similarly, Concord -- formed as a mainstream jazz label in the early '70s in Northern California and now headquartered in Los Angeles as Concord Music Group -- found its financial stride thanks largely to Ray Charles' multiplatinum pop record "Genius Loves Company."   When Concord bought Fantasy a year and a half ago, feathers were ruffled among longtime employees at the latter. And the jazz community worried about how the new owners would spin Fantasy's catalog.   Although an impressive series of reissues and boxed sets have been set in motion -- including the Thelonious Monk/John Coltrane two-CD set, "The
 Complete 1957 Riverside Recordings," bowing June 27 -- it was disconcerting for many in the jazz community to hear that Terri Hinte, a Fantasy employee for 33 years and its director of publicity for 28 years, was laid off May 31, with three business days' notice. Jazz at Fantasy lost one of its true advocates.   ARDENT FANS   It's ironic that the Jazz Journalist Assn. had already planned to celebrate her. At its 10th annual Jazz Awards show June 19 at New York's B.B. King Blues Club & Grill, Hinte received one of its behind-the-scenes A-Team honors, inscribed as "De Facto Curator of Fantasy Records." While Hinte has been reluctant to talk about her dismissal, esteemed journalists have been weighing in on her behalf.   Grammy Award-winning liner notes scribe Bob Blumenthal calls her "hands down, the absolute best," while author Gary Giddins praises her for "her personableness, intelligence and humor." He wonders how safe Fantasy's catalog really is. "The new owners seem to
 have no idea what to do with this stuff, how to treat it or market it," Giddins says. "And now they've let go the one person in the company who did."   Concord president Glen Barros counters: "We're committed to jazz and the jazz catalog we've invested in." He adds that he has "tremendous respect" for Hinte as "a great caretaker, proponent and spokesperson" for jazz. "However, when companies merge, there are unfortunate consequences," Barros says. "But I don't think Terri's departure means that we have any less respect for the Fantasy catalog."   Concord general manager Gene Rumsey says, "We're as bullish as ever on aggressively marketing the jazz catalog. We're not trying to alienate jazz aficionados, but we are trying to expand the market size, to broaden the number of consumers. Plus, we're not just reissuing titles; we're taking a serious stab at re-establishing the old labels' brands."   Rumsey says that Hinte has been invited to consult on future reissue projects,
 while independent publicity company DL Media will lead the charge for upcoming releases. Hinte will continue to work with saxophonist Sonny Rollins, having served as his only publicist since 1978.

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