WMG's catalog arm Rhino has pink slipped 30-40 staffers with cuts across all departments.
A statement from Rhino blamed "fundamental transformation of the physical new release and catalog business" for the cuts. Rhino will evolve into a leaner division that "handles WMG's global digital catalog initiatives, film, TV, videogame and commercial licensing, and name and likeness representation for legendary artists."
ANALYSIS: Catalog departments are generally among the most profitable divisions at most label groups, and Rhino has has often been viewed as a market leader. But declining CD sales and fewer newer titles worthy of a full re-release push are extending the pressure to cut staff into this once sacred and profitable sector.
The rumor mill is working overtime, as well, pointing to more layoffs at major labels, talent agents and elsewhere within the new music industry as the fourth quarter of a difficult year approaches.