News: L.A. Reid Ditches Def Jam For Shot At TV Stardom

Thursday, Mar 17, 2011 8:19AM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Island Def Jam Antonio "L.A." Reid will live up to past rumors by departing from the renowned record company to try his hand at television.

Details of the power move emerged online late Wednesday (March 16) evening.

Universal Music label boss Antonio "L.A." Reid is hip-hopping to TV. The chairman of Universal's Island Def Jam will leave to become a judge on Simon Cowell's upcoming Fox TV show "The X-Factor," according to people familiar with discussions. News Corp. owns Fox and The Post. Reid, who has been angling for an exit from Universal for months in order to pursue other interests, got his wish this week when the show's producers made him a firm offer. Universal agreed to let Reid out of his contract, which expires at the end of the year. Reid has shepherded acts such as Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Bon Jovi and Justin Bieber in his six years with the label. (New York Post)

Plans to replace Reid have already been set into motion.

Island Def Jam will continue to be run by Steve Bartels. Barry Weiss, the former Sony Music executive joining Universal Music Group this month, is expected to add oversight of Island Def Jam to his duties. The question remains, however, whether Reid will eventually join his former Universal boss Doug Morris, who becomes CEO of Sony Music on July 1. Sony Music has vested interest in the competition: Recordings of the show's contestants will be controlled by Simon Cowell's Syco and Sony Music and the winner will receive a $5 million contract with Sony Music. Auditions begin March 27 in Los Angeles. (Billboard)

Last September, rumors claimed Reid was terminated from his position.

Record executive LA Reid during his tenure at Island Def Jam was responsible for heading over mega acts like Rihanna, Mariah Carey, Pink and Justin Bieber. Despite the fact that theseartists are huge on popular consciousness, LA Reid still hasn't been able to pull off any super sales. So... according to information on the entertainment wire, LA Reid got LET GO: "Def Jam fired L.A. Reid," the source tells us. "He got the boot from the Board of Execs yesterday." (Dime Wars)

A day after the gossip circulated online, a Universal Music Group rep denied the accusations.

Rumors have been spreading all day on the Internet that Island Def Jam CEO, Antonio "L.A." Reid, has been fired from his position at the historic label. XXLMag.com spoke to a rep for parent company Universal Music Group, who says the gossip is false. "[The rumors] are completely untrue and without merit," the spokesman told XXL this afternoon over the phone. (XXL Mag)

Check out some past L.A. Reid footage below:

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