Tim DuBois Leaves Buffeted Gaylord After Brief Tenure Company Denies Acuff-Rose Music Publishing for Sale

Company Denies Acuff-Rose Music Publishing for Sale

Less than seven months into his five-year contract, Tim DuBois has left his post as President of Creative Content for Gaylord Entertainment. DuBois moved to Gaylord officially on Feb. 15 after a triumphant 11 years as head of Arista Records/Nashville.

News of DuBois’ departure was sandwiched into a larger press release from Gaylord, which announced that Dennis Sullivan, a retired Cincinnati Bell executive, has been named the firm’s interim president and CEO. The release says only that DuBois “is leaving the company” and that Gaylord “is disappointed that DuBois is leaving but … that his departure was a mutual decision.”

Reached at his home, DuBois would not add to or amplify the company’s statement, other than to say that the people at Gaylord are “nice folks.” He added that he has not yet decided what he will do next.

At Gaylord, DuBois was charged with developing and overseeing country, pop and Christian record labels, the Opry Group (including the Grand Ole Opry, the Ryman Auditorium and the Wildhorse Saloon), live entertainment and theatrical presentations, music publishing, children’s programming, film and video production, artist management and sports management and marketing.

According to a copy of his contract filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, DuBois was paid a $1,000,000 signing bonus and started at a salary of $650,000 a year, with yearly bonuses amounting to about 60 percent of his salary. The contract also promised him stock options, use of the company plane and a vehicle allowance of $1,050 a month.

DuBois’ departure is the second shock wave to hit Gaylord in recent months, the first being CEO Terry London’s abrupt resignation from the company July 31. London was instrumental in hiring DuBois and was viewed as his chief advocate. High on DuBois’ agenda was establishing a Gaylord record label, and London told country.com in June that he expected to “have records out by the end of the year.”

Gaylord attempted to lay another rumor to rest today by insisting that its venerable Acuff-Rose music publishing company is not for sale. Acuff-Rose president Jerry Bradley told country.com that “Gaylord’s board of directors determined that they will not entertain any offers to purchase Acuff-Rose. That’s out to half-a-dozen publishing companies that have inquired. It is not for sale.”

Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to CMT.com.