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Bronfman: Incompetent Or Misunderstood?

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For a brief, shining moment, Edgar Bronfman Jr. had redeemed himself.

It was 2006, and Mr. Bronfman, the bearded scion of the Seagrams, seemed to have successfully reinvented himself as a music mogul after nearly losing his family's fortune. It looked as if he had actually turned around Warner Music, which he had bought from Time Warner with a group of private equity firms.

Warner Music had gone public, and its stock had nearly doubled. Mr. Bronfman had managed to cut $250 million in annual expenses at the company. His private equity partners had doubled their money. And EMI, the British record company, had put a bid on the table for Warner Music.

Mr. Bronfman's critics, and there are legions of them, were stunned.

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