Hinton Honored with Chairman Emeritus Position

Nashville, Tennessee and Santa Monica, California, August 7, 2002 – After 19 years of leading one of country music’s most successful labels, Bruce Hinton has chosen to leave his position as Chairman of MCA Nashville. Commemorating his many contributions to the Universal Music Group over the years, he will be honored with the title of Chairman Emeritus, MCA Nashville, and will continue to serve as an advisor to the label. Luke Lewis, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Mercury Nashville and Lost Highway, will now oversee the operations of all three labels.

“My time with MCA Nashville has been the most rewarding experience of my career and I am extremely proud of the achievements of all of our great artists as well as the tremendous staff behind these accomplishments,” commented Mr. Hinton. “MCA Nashville has had an incredible run. Now, after 19 years, I am ready to start a new chapter in my life and look forward to spending more time with my family. I am leaving the label in good hands with Luke Lewis.”

“Bruce is truly one of the legendary figures in country music,” said Mr. Lewis. “Under his auspices, MCA Nashville continued to set new standards for artistry and success over the years. It is a great honor to take the reins from Bruce and I am pleased that he will continue to serve as an advisor. I join all of the Universal Music Group in thanking him for his tremendous contributions to the company for so many years.”

Added Doug Morris, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Universal Music Group, “As head of the leading country music label for nearly 20 years, Bruce has had a lasting influence on the entire business. We are very proud to bestow on him the title of Chairman Emeritus in honor of his many achievements within both MCA Nashville and country music. We thank him for his many years of success and dedication to the Universal Music Group.”

Zach Horowitz, President and Chief Operating Officer, Universal Music Group, said, “I have had the pleasure of working with Bruce during his entire career with the Universal Music Group. He has not only been a great record executive, but one of the finest gentlemen in the business. His legacy is far greater than the incredible success of MCA Nashville; it extends to his many philanthropic activities in Nashville and across the country. Bruce is truly an inspiration to us all.”

A respected music industry veteran for 42 years, Mr. Hinton built MCA Nashville into a country music powerhouse with an impressive roster, which includes superstar artists Vince Gill, George Strait, Reba McEntire, Trisha Yearwood, Gary Allan, and Lee Ann Womack as well as newcomers Rebecca Lynn Howard and Shannon Lawson. Under his direction, MCA Nashville was consistently rated the No. 1 country label by music trades “Billboard” and “R&R” for ten consecutive years (1991-2000), leading to both publications naming MCA Nashville the “Label of the Decade.”

MCA Nashville, under Mr. Hinton’s guidance, has set numerous country music records including most No. 1 singles (George Strait); most Grammy Awards won by a country artist (Vince Gill); and No.1 selling female country artist of all time (Reba McEntire).

An Indiana native and graduate of Indiana University, Mr. Hinton began his music career at Warner Bros. Records in New York in 1960. He soon rose to the head of National Promotion for Warner/Reprise, relocating to their headquarters in Los Angeles. In 1965, Mr. Hinton joined Columbia Records as Western Promotion Manager and then moved back to New York as Director of CBS’s Custom Label Group. He returned to Los Angeles in 1967, joining record executive Jimmy Bowen at Amos Productions. Subsequently, he co-founded the first national independent country record promotion company with Peter Svendson, and later co-founded a production company with Jim Ed Norman, who later became President of Warner/Reprise Nashville. In the early ‘80s, Mr. Hinton moved to Nashville as Senior Vice President and General Manager of MCA Nashville. In 1989, Hinton was upped to President and then promoted to Chairman in 1993.

Mr. Hinton serves on the boards of the Country Music Foundation; Country Music Association; Tennessee Performing Arts Center; Leadership Music; W.O. Smith Nashville Community School; City of Hope Executive Board, Music & Entertainment Industry Chapter; and the Senior Advisory Board of the Sports & Entertainment Academy/Indiana University.

MCA Nashville is a division of the Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company with wholly-owned record operations or licensees in 63 countries. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, one of the industry’s largest global music publishing operations.

Universal Music Group consists of record labels Decca Record Company, Deutsche Grammophon, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, MCA Nashville, MCA Records, Mercury Records, Motown Records, Philips, Polydor, Universal Music Latino, Universal Records, and Verve Music Group as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalog of music in the industry, which is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and UM3 (outside the U.S.). Universal Music Group also includes eLabs, a new media and technology division.

Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi Universal, a global media and communications company.