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AOL Time Warner names Conroy head of music group

The Internet and media company hires former BMG Entertainment executive Kevin Conroy as head of AOL Music.

Just days after America Online and Time Warner completed their merger, the combined company has picked former BMG Entertainment executive Kevin Conroy to head AOL's online music initiatives.

Conroy will supervise the newly created unit AOL Music; coordinate AOL's online music initiatives including Spinner, Winamp and the AOL Music Channel; direct relationships with major record labels; and launch a new subscription music service, the company said in a statement.

The former BMG executive had stepped down from his job as worldwide chief marketing officer and president of new technology after the label's parent, Bertelsmann, signed a deal with file-swapping service Napster.

Bertelsmann has said it will drop its copyright infringement lawsuit against Napster once the company creates a subscription service that lets people share music copyrighted by the recording giant. Several BMG executives have left the company in the wake of the alliance.

Before joining BMG in 1995, Conroy was vice president of marketing for CBS/Fox Video and responsible for that company's sports and fitness video business.

AOL Time Warner is looking to Conroy to bring together the disparate pieces of the AOL music business. The position will not include supervising Warner Music Group.

AOL Time
Warner package Since October, top executives at AOL have been voicing interest in creating an online music subscription service on AOL's proprietary online service. In its attempt to make money off the MP3 revolution, AOL plans to provide a menu of music for a flat monthly fee.

Conroy will have his hands full. The merger brought a music publishing titan under the same umbrella as AOL online music subsidiary Nullsoft, which created the Winamp MP3 player.

Conroy will report to AOL's senior vice president, Jonathan Sacks.