The Recording Academy reorganizes the Grammys team

Awards Business News Industry People

By Andy Malt | Posted on Monday, September 20, 2021

The US Recording Academy has given Ruby Marchand the responsibility of overseeing the good old Grammy Awards. This follows the departure of Bill Freimuth, who had played the role since 2018, being at the Academy itself since 2004.

Marchard joined the Academy as Director of Industry last year, and will continue in this role as well, becoming Director of Awards and Industry, overseeing member and industry relations as well as the grand organization awards ceremony. At the same time, Joanna Chu was promoted to Vice President of Awards, reporting to Marchard. She was previously the Managing Director of Awards and, like Freimuth, initially joined the Academy in 2004.

“I am proud to welcome Ruby and Joanna to their new roles as we work to improve our rewards processes from the inside out,” said Harvey Mason Jr, who became permanent CEO of the Recording Academy in May, after nearly eighteen months as a temporary worker. CEO. “Their expertise in this space is invaluable as we continue to refine the role of the Recording Academy in the music industry and work to provide the highest level of service to our members.”

At the same time that Freimuth left last month, Vice President of Communications Lourdes Lopez and Director of Marketing and Innovations Lisa Farris also left the organization.

Changes to the Recording Academy leadership team continue Mason’s efforts to restore confidence in the organization itself and its rewards, following accusations of corruption brought by former CEO Deborah Dugan when he left just before the 2020 ceremony. Following that, various artists – notably The Weeknd – took a look at how the awards are handled.

Part of Mason’s plan involved removing nomination review boards from the shortlisting process in all but a number of categories of “craft categories” – rewards for things like package design and immersive audio, where a smaller number of Grammy voters have specialized knowledge.

Such committees had been used in niche categories since the 1980s. Then, in 1995, review committees were also added to the four major Grammy awards to make a final decision on nominees in those categories.

This came after the album of the year nominations that year nodded for The Three Tenors and Tony Bennett, but not Snoop Dogg, Pearl Jam and other more recent artists who had released some of the most successful albums of the year. This had led to accusations that prices were disconnected.

Despite the introduction of nominating committees to combat controversy, in recent years the committees themselves have become controversial. One of Dugan’s main claims was that these “secret committees” often rejected voters, and in some cases artists who were part of these groups were allowed to get on the shortlists. Charges that the Academy denied.

It remains to be seen whether these changes to the awards – and the team that runs them – will be enough to convince people that the Grammys are just another boring and unnecessary event – as opposed to a corrupt, boring, and unnecessary event – remains. to have. I’m sure Ed Sheeran will tell you it will be “awful” no matter what they do.

MORE ABOUT: Grammy Awards | Joanna Chu | Recording Academy | Ruby merchant

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