Dungan Confirms He’s Considering Top Job at Capitol Records

Mike Dungan, senior vice president and general manager of Arista Records, confirms that he is in discussions about taking over Capitol Records’ Nashville division. “I really haven’t made up my mind,” he says. “We’re talking about it.”

Pat Quigley, who has been Capitol/Nashville’s president and CEO since 1997, did not respond to phone calls asking about the potential change in leadership.

Dungan has been pushed in recent months to seek another post by the near shutdown of Arista’s Nashville operations and by the impending departure of his boss, Arista president Tim DuBois, to head Gaylord Entertainment’s creative content division.

As second in command at Arista, Dungan was instrumental in the successes of Brooks & Dunn, Alan Jackson, Pam Tillis, Diamond Rio, BR5-49, BlackHawk, Brad Paisley and Phil Vassar.

Quigley rose to his present job — ousting former label chief Scott Hendricks in the process — with the emphatic backing of Capitol’s mega-selling Garth Brooks. While he can take substantial credit for re-launching Steve Wariner’s career, Quigley has not sustained Deana Carter’s early momentum. Nor has he worked any appreciable wonders for Brooks’ protégé, Susan Ashton. While his support of Brooks’ experimental album, In the Life of Chris Gaines, was valiant, it did not come close to generating sales as high as Brooks’ other albums.

In addition to Brooks, Wariner, Ashton and Carter, Capitol’s current roster includes Trace Adkins, Rodney Carrington, Tyler England, Chris LeDoux, Mindy McCready, Cyndi Thompson, Keith Urban and Tim Wilson.

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