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Ex-BMG Big Looking To Make Music Moves

The Daily News, 06.15.01
By Phyllis Furman

Former BMG Entertainment chief Strauss Zelnick is on the prowl for music deals.

Zelnick, recently named chairman of Japanese entertainment company Nippon Columbia, is making the rounds in the music industry seeking acquisitions.

A source said the ex-BMG chief is scouting for small established, independent labels. Zelnick declined to comment.

Hitsdailydouble.com, an industry Web site, pegged Zelnick as plotting to return to the music game, which he left last year after tussling with ex-boss Thomas Middelhoff.

One possible target for Zelnick is independent label Tommy Boy Records - home of De La Soul - which is 50% owned by AOL Time Warner. Tommy Boy boss Tom Silverman has the option to buy back AOL Time Warner's stake in the next few months, and he has been talking with potential buyers of the media giant's stake.

Sources said other targets for Zelnick include record labels Beyond, Edel, Wind-Up, Road Runner, TVT and Artemis Records, the music company started by former Mercury Records chief Danny Goldberg.

Goldberg, whose acts include the Baha Men ("Who Let the Dogs Out"), said he's not in talks with Zelnick, but added, "We're always open to talking."