Jac Holzman (born 1931) founded
Elektra Recordsin his St. John's College dorm room in 1950 and Nonesuch Recordsin 1964. He signed such legendary acts as The Doorsand the Paul Butterfield Blues Band to Elektra and discovered folk singer Judy Collins. In 1970 he sold all his musicinterests to Kinney National Companyfor $10 million. Soon afterwards Kinney consolidated their label holdings under the Warner Communicationsumbrella.
Holzman continued to run Elektra until 1973, when he was appointed senior vice president and chief technologist for Warner. Holzman ushered the company into
home videoand the first interactive cable televisionsystem. He was a director at Pioneer Electronicsthrough the 1970s, helping that company, and Warner, adopt the compact disc. He also worked on product planning as a member of the board of Atari, one of the first videogame companies, which Warner bought in 1976.
In 1982, following the murder/death of President and founder, Bob Gottschalk, Holzman became chairman of
Panavision, a wholly owned subsidiary of Warner and helped turn that financially troubled company around. In 1986, he formed FirstMedia, a closely held investment firm specializing in communications. FirstMedia led the acquisition of Cinema Products Corporation, the largest non-camera maker of precision equipment for the motion picture industry which includes the Oscar winning Steadicamcamera.
In 1991, through FirstMedia, Holzman acquired the Discovery, Trend and Musicraft jazz labels from the estate of Albert Marx which he refashioned into a fully contemporary label. In 1993,
Discovery Recordswas acquired by Warner Music Group.
Edgar Bronfman, Jr.and a group of investors bought Warner Music Group from Time Warnerin 2004 for $2.6 billion, Bronfman brought Holzman out of quasi-retirement to help revitalize his company, reuniting him with the company that had acquired his previous forays into the music business. Although Holzman's work at Warner Music covers a range from mentoring executives to brokering deals, his main project to date has been the creation of an electronic-only label, Cordless Recordings, which was introduced in late 2005. Its role is to bring out new bands that Warner is interested in but is not certain if they are worth the nearly half-million dollars to cut an album.
He wrote the story of Elektra Records in his book "
Follow the Music", published in hardcover in 1998 (ISBN 0-9661221-1-9) and paperback in 2000 (ISBN 0-9661221-0-0).
Holzman is the father of
Adam Holzman, a jazz-rock keyboardist who has played with Miles Davis, a daughter, Jaclyn Easton, and a son Marin Sander-Holzman, an artist and film maker.
* [http://www.followthemusic.com/whojac.html Who is Jac Holzman?]
* [http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/09/01/business/wbspot02.php Blast from the Past Seeks Next Big Thing]
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