Top Execs Exit Sony Nashville

Sony Music Nashville President and CEO Allen Butler and two other top executives left the company Friday (May 2). Also exiting the company are executive VP and General Manager Mike Kraski and executive VP Blake Chancey.

Sony Music Nashville operates the Columbia, Epic, Monument and Lucky Dog labels. The company’s artist roster includes Montgomery Gentry , Patty Loveless , Cledus T. Judd , Marty Stuart , Tammy Cochran , Pam Tillis and Charlie Robison .

The Dixie Chicks multi-platinum Wide Open Spaces and Fly albums were released on Monument. Beginning with their most recent album, Home, the Chicks’ launched their own label, Open Wide Records. Sony Music continues to distribute the trio’s albums that now carry the Open Wide and Monument imprints.

Although Monument’s Nashville-based staff still handles the Dixie Chicks’ radio promotion, the group now deals primarily with Sony Music’s New York office. The move came after an out-of-court settlement of the Dixie Chicks’ lawsuit against Sony Music. Among the allegations in the suit was the claim that Sony failed to pay proper royalties for sales of Dixie Chicks product.

Keith Estabrook, a spokesman at Sony Music Entertainment in New York office, told the key appointments at Sony’s Nashville operation will be announced in the near future. According to an official press statement, Butler, Kraski and Chancey “all stepped down from their respective positions” as part of a larger corporate reorganization first announced in March.

Calvin Gilbert has served as’s managing editor since 2002. His background includes stints at the Nashville Banner, Radio & Records and Westwood One.