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McLachlan To Exit Nettwerk Music

VANCOUVER (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Nettwerk Music Group co-founder/CEO Terry McBride has confirmed to CelebrityAccess that his company will no longer be handling the management of Sarah McLachlan.

From Halifax, Nova Scotia, Vancouver-based singer/ McLachlan has spent almost her entire professional life at Nettwerk, starting with her first album "Touch" in 1988, and with McBride managing her directly.

McLachlan, however, will continue to record for Nettwerk Records, also based in Vancouver.

"We continue to manage Sarah until she has selected a new manager," McBride wrote Larry LeBlanc, senior writer of CelebrityAccess. "We are all good friends. So, it's quite fine actually, and we remain her record label. I am quite sure folks will make it bigger news than what it really is." According to McBride in a followup email, Nettwerk will continue to handle’s McLachlan’s management “until at least the end of March, and, maybe, even beyond that.”

The Nettwerk Music Group has offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Boston, Nashville and Hamburg. The firm's principals are McBride, Mark Jowett, Dan Fraser and Ric Arboit.

Operating from the living room of McBride's apartment in 1984, Nettwerk was founded as a production company with a $5,000 loan to relaunch the career of Jowett's group, Moev.

Soon after its start-up, the company established its multi-faced corporate structure and was recording, managing and publishing such Canadian acts as Skinny Puppy, the Grapes Of Wrath, Ginger, Delerium, and Rose Chronicles.

While Nettwerk primarily managed only acts on its label roster at first, its focus changed significantly with the launch of Nettwerk Management in 1995; with the signing of the Barenaked Ladies in 1996; and with the North American breakthrough of McLachlan's "Surfacing" album in 1997 coupled with the launch of her annual high-profile Lilith Fair festival.

Lilith Fair earned plaudits industry-wide for being well-run, and gave McBride—its co-executive producer—considerable industry clout.

Dark clouds, however, started appearing at Nettwerk's management division three years ago.

Nettwerk suffered its first blow in December, 2008 when Canadian pop-punk star Avril Lavigne cut ties with the company. Under McBride's management guidance, Lavigne sold over 30 million albums worldwide; scored six #1 hits worldwide; and 11 Top Ten hits.

In July, 2009, the Barenaked Ladies jumped ship to the new L.A.-based firm, CAM 8 Management. This followed a raucous year in which the group's co-founder and singer Steven Page was arrested on allegations of cocaine possession, and then decided to leave the group to pursue a solo career.

In Aug. 2009, Nettwerk's senior VP Pierre Tremblay departed the company with Canadian rock band Billy Talent as well as Silverstein, and Sweet Thing to set up Vancouver-based Hive Management.

Tremblay was quoted in Billboard.Biz (August 14, 2009) as claiming Nettwerk had "lost focus." He added, "Basically Nettwerk has been going in a different direction than the one I wanted. I want to build a branding and management company and Terry wants to create a 'future music company.'"

In recent years Coldplay, Dido, Sum 41, and Chantal Kreviazuk have also parted from Nettwerk's management fold.

McBride, McLachlan, Nettwerk Music Group president Dan Fraser, and Marty Diamond, East Coast head of music for Paradigm Talent, worked with Live Nation on the return of the Lilith Fair touring festival in the summer of 2010.

However, unlike the earlier annual successes of the festival, the 2010 Lilith Tour had a troubled time with cancellations of planned dates.

A tally of Lilith 2010 has yet to be announced, but sources indicate that the festival's principals would have had to cover any shortfall.

On March 11th, The Music Managers Forum Canada will be honoring Terry McBride, and Mary Martin (past manager of Leonard Cohen, and Van Morrison) at its 5th Annual Honour Roll Reception in Toronto. – Larry LeBlanc, senior writer, CelebrityAccess.