Lee Soo-man, founder and chief producer of SM Entertainment [Image source: SM Entertainment]
SM Entertainment Co. announced Friday that it will end almost 30 years of management centered from founder and chief producer Lee Soo-man and reassign artists to multiple production centers and labels to disperse production, artist management and marketing.
This large-scale reshuffle will kick off a generational change to prepare for days without Lee. “Multiple production centers and labels” is at the core of this transition. Six production centers will be set up under SM Entertainment. Each center will be granted discretionary power for production and management of its own artists. Five centers will manage existing artists, while the remaining one for intellectual properties will be dedicated to virtual artist Naevis to debut this year.
A label can be newly set up if an artist successfully creates his or her unique music or business domain after debut, or SM Entertainment may acquire a label from outside the company to expand into genres such as hip-hop, ballad and rhythm and blues. Some functions such as casting and training, in the meantime, will be jointly operated by the centers.
To keep the SM identity consistent across the organization, the newly-established Artists and Repertoire (A&R) Committee will be overseeing the centers. It will act as an arbitrator and coordinator, a role similar to the existing chief producer position, which will be headed by Lee Sung-soo, co-chief executive officer of SM Entertainment. Lee is a nephew of Lee Soo-man with management and A&R experience for girl group f(x) and boy band Super Junior before joining SM in 2015.
By Chung Joo-won and Choi Jieun
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