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Executive Office: Chief Executive Officer • President • Vice President/general Manager (major Music Publisher)


These chief executives chart the direction of a company, manage daily operations, and ultimately are responsible for all business decisions, including selling or acquiring catalogs and signing new writers. At Windswept Pacific, Jonathan Stone oversees all aspects of the day-to-day operations and provides motivation and direction for the staff of 60. His primary focus is to discover and sign songwriters, whether they are artists, writers, or producers, and to acquire existing song catalogs. He is also heavily involved in the area of film and television music and works closely with the firm's in-house music supervisors.


“Patience is important. It takes a long time to see the fruits of our labor in the music publishing business. From the time you find a writer, sign him, and get a song cut, it's another two or three years before you see any money from your investment.”


To be successful, you must have the ability to recognize good songs and talented songwriters. It is important to have a broad knowledge of how the music industry works and solid personal contacts within it. To achieve an executive position, you must have an understanding of publishing contracts and copyright law in the United States and around the world. The capacity to motivate and work closely with a diverse group of people is also helpful.


A large part of Stone's day is spent on the telephone with lawyers negotiating contracts, discussing pending deals, and exchanging information with music industry contacts about potential acquisitions. “I'm constantly working the phones trying to find new catalogs to acquire. I have an open door policy. My staff is in almost every ten minutes with news that they've heard, and we're constantly sifting through all the information that comes into our company on a daily basis, picking and choosing. I listen constantly to music and analyze new deals.” Scattered throughout the day, Stone has meetings inside and outside the company with songwriters and artists, often going out to see them perform at showcases or concerts. Part of his day is spent talking with staff songwriters about upcoming projects or renegotiating contracts, and attempting to interact with all 60 employees on a daily basis. “It's not uncommon to have 10- or 11-hour days.”


Listen to what songwriters say. Listen between the lines when talking with Artist & Repertoire (A&R) people and producers to discover what they are really looking for. Listen for information that can help you be successful.

No job is too small when you are trying to get your foot in the door. Be the best tape copy or lyric typist there is and use the opportunity to listen and learn.


Apply for an internship or an entry level position as a receptionist, in the mail room, or tape copy, and discover if publishing is for you. “At our company, we've promoted almost every intern that stayed with us,” says Stone. “People that started with us in the mail room have been promoted. Secretaries and receptionists—one of our former receptionists is now our director of creative services.”

“Music publishing is the less talked about, or less known part of the business, but it's also the most solid. Friends of mine have been in music publishing for years and years. Once you get a little bit of that fever, working with writers in the very infancy of their careers and developing them, it can be very rewarding.”


“When you have built relationships and helped develop the careers of writers, producers, and artists and then you come to the end of their first publishing agreement, and have to go about the process of renegotiating a new deal, it can be a challenging and sensitive process because you've developed friendships. Nine times out often we manage to keep people. It's not real pleasant when something you've worked on and developed is walking out the door and going to see every other publisher in town. That's a challenge.”


“I love the very first time that I hear something. Somebody sends me a song by a writer, a band, or a writer/producer and I hear something new that I think is just fantastic. I love bringing the person in and showing them the genuine enthusiasm I have for their music. I get a little star struck. When somebody really puts together a fine piece of workwhether it's country, or rap, or R&B, or pop, or rock, no matter what it isI get very excited about that. The next step is to meet the person and spend time with them; to relay the enthusiasm I have and to see their eyes kind of light up because there is someone that is excited about what they are doing. That is still the most exciting part for me.”


As the son of Country Music Hall of Fame recording artist/music publisher Cliffie Stone, you might think that Jonathon Stone had his career handed to him on a silver platter, but you would be wrong. At age seventeen, Stone spent his summer break from high school hanging out at his father's music publishing office, getting his first taste of the business. “That's when I started understanding what a music publisher was.” After a year attending Los Angeles' College of the Canyons in the mornings, and working for an independent record promoter in the afternoons, Stone was offered a part-time mail room job at ATV Music (who handled the Beatles catalog) in 1974. Seeing it as an avenue into music publishing, he took the job. Several months later, when ATV opened a Nashville office, the 20-year-old Stone transferred to take a tape copy/song plugger job. Over the next four years, he worked hard to learn the publishing business from the ground up, and eventually was promoted to professional manager.

Stone returned to Los Angeles in 1979 and worked as a professional manager at a small publishing company for several months before taking a position at MCA Music Publishing's recently expanded southern California office. As manager of creative services, he spent the next four years building, what was essentially a small studio holding company, into a major contender in the music publishing world. When Stone's wife became pregnant with twins and decided to quit her job, he needed a larger increase in income than MCA was able to provide.

“At that point I made what proved to be a pivotal move in my career. I heard that Quincy Jones was looking for someone to run his publishing company and I went over and met with him and his lawyer.” Stone left MCA in 1985 and went to work for Jones, running his music publishing company, doing A&R work for his production company, and screening material for Michael Jackson's records.

Jones restructured in 1987, hiring Warner/Chappell Music to administer his holdings, and Stone briefly went out on his own as an independent song plugger, doing consulting work for MCA and Gene Autry Music Publishing, as well as brokering publishing and recording deals for independent songwriters. When Chuck Kaye and Joel Sill formed Windswept Pacific in 1988, they hired Stone as general manager. Promoted through the ranks, Stone was named president of U.S. operations in 2000. www.windsweptpacific.com

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Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesCareers in the Music BusinessMUSIC PUBLISHING - Executive Office: Chief Executive Officer • President • Vice President/general Manager (major Music Publisher)