Independent music company Curb Records, founded in the 1960s by esteemed music executive Mike Curb, has acquired the remaining shares of Warner Music Group’s stake (formerly 80%) in Christian faith-based company Word Entertainment. The move now makes Word—an artist service company with divisions in recorded music, distribution, publishing, film, live events, and church resources—a wholly-owned subsidiary of Curb, which previously held 20% equity in Word since 2002 (the Nashville, TN building that Word operates out of was also included in the deal as well.)
In spite of the change in ownership, Rod Riley will remain in his position as President and CEO of Word. Also, WMG and Curb will continue to jointly own Word’s printed music division. Furthermore, WMG will continue to distribute Word releases to the general market while Word will continue distributing WMG releases to the Christian market. Warner/Chappell Music will handle the administrative duties of Word’s publishing catalog.
With over half a century working in the music industry, the latest acquisition for Curb is just a continuance of prior business endeavors now coming into fruition. Addressing the new agreement, Curb stated, “We are proud to continue our relationship with the Warner Music Group that started 50 years ago when my own musical group was signed by Warner Reprise and later signed by Word Records when it was still located in Waco, Texas and operated by its original founder Jarrell McCracken.” He also praised his colleague in expressing that “Rod Riley had led the transformation of Word into this century by developing some of the greatest contemporary Christian artists of our time. ”
Reciprocating the sentiment, Riley stated, “Mike Curb has simultaneously served as a wise and thoughtful mentor to me for more than a decade, and I am thrilled that Word and Curb will continue on our journey to take Christian music to new heights. Our mission remains constant – to continually serve our artists and songwriters while we forge new ground as one of the preeminent faith-based entertainment companies.”
Warner Music Nashville President & CEO John Esposito also commented by saying, “Mike Curb is a legend in our business, with over five decades of discovering outstanding talent and making great music. ” He went on to add that “since Curb and WMG became partners in the ownership of Word 14 years ago, we have been at the forefront of the Christian Music movement. Rod is a tremendously talented, motivating leader, and I join him in saying how excited we are that we will remain partners. This move is a great opportunity for Word’s artists, songwriters, and employees, and the ongoing combination of our amazing teams ensures that Word’s future is very bright.”