Unfortunately for employees at big music labels, it looks as if we're going to be hearing this refrain for a while: Universal Music Group's Island Def Jam label let a dozen people go on Friday; that's about 6% of the 200-person unit. Idolator says "executive vice president of promotion Greg Thompson and A & R honchos Paul Pontius and Rob Stevenson" were among the axed.
It's reasonable to assume that layoffs will be the norm for big music for a while: 2007 was terrible across the board, and 2008 looks worse.
• Last week we heard that Sony-BMG is cutting its mid-level exec ranks by 40-70.
• Last Thursday Warner Music Group said that it had cut bonuses for its employees, and told analysts that while it didn't have major restructuring plans, it was constantly monitoring its "capital structure."
• EMI's new owner Terra Firma has made cutbacks a core part of its strategy, though as far as we know it has yet to announce them.