Warner Records has completed the revitalization of the label’s urban and rhythmic promotion department under the leadership of EVP of Promotion Mike Chester, who’s spent the two years since his arrival at Warner beefing up the company’s entire promo team.
Among Chester’s moves was the upping of Atlanta-based Wilt Wallace to SVP/Head of Urban Promotion earlier this year. That move followed the hiring late last year of Brannon “Dot” Scales as SVP of Rhythm Promotion, based in L.A. The latest additions, which took place this month in New York, are VP of Urban Promotion Ron Stewart and VP of Rhythm Promotion & Lifestyle Leah Bekele. And in the spring, Leroy Johnson was promoted to Senior Director of Urban Promotion, working out of Chicago.
“The past couple of years have seen a complete revamping of our promo team across every format and platform,” Chester noted in his announcement. “On the urban front, we have an amazing and growing artist roster, so we’ve been on a mission to build the best urban and rhythmic team in the business. Wilt, Brannon, Ron, Leah and Leroy bring an outstanding depth of industry experience and knowledge to their new posts. Reflecting the incredible diversity and range of the Warner artists and music they represent, they’re a truly cross-country team. I’m thrilled to have such a stellar group of promo visionaries on board.”
Wallace joined Warner 14 years ago as a promo assistant before moving up to Southeast Mixshow Manager, Senior Director and, in 2018, VP of Urban & Rhythmic Promotion.
Scales came on board in November from Caroline/Capitol, where he was VP of Promotion. He previously spent seven years as Senior Director of Promotion for Atlantic.
Stewart joins Warner from Asylum, where he was Senior Director of Promotion. His 15 years of promo experience include stints at Atlantic, Warner, Sony Red, Interscope, and Jive.
During her six years in Epic’s promotion department, Bekele rose from Regional Promotion Manager to National Director of Promotion & Lifestyle.
Johnson joined Warner in 2018 as National Director of Urban Promotion after previously working with Empire Distribution, Epic and Atlantic. He entered the business in 2002 at WGCI/iHeartMedia in Chicago.
The Warner Records urban and rhythmic roster includes Saweetie, NLE Choppa, Wale and YFN Lucci, as well as artists OVO Sound’s DVSN, PartyNextDoor, Roy Woods and Popcaan.