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01-23-1999A&M Records Closes the Doors

(reprinted without permission from the Boston Globe)

HOLLYWOOD - After 35 years of spinning out hits by such acts as Cat Stevens, the Police, and Sheryl Crow, A&M Records abruptly closed its doors yesterday - firing nearly 170 employees who were sent home and told "not to come back."

They were among nearly 500 employees cut in Los Angeles and New York by Seagram Co. as part of a massive restructuring that will eliminate thousands of music industry jobs around the world. About 110 Geffen employees were fired.

Executives at Seagram's Universal Music Group say that A&M and Geffen will be folded into Interscope Records to form IGA - one of four large music groups made up of consolidated labels acquired in Seagram's purchase of PolyGram. About 200 employees were also laid of yesterday at the New York-based Motown, Mercury, and Island labels. About 250 artists will also be dropped over the next few months, sources said.