Mavens of M:M Music

Meg MacDonald

After graduating from the University of Iowa and moving to Los Angeles in 1992 Meg found herself working at the Welk Group (owner of several businesses including the then primarily catalog/folk label Vanguard Records). After several months of answering phones, she was offered the job of in house publicist. Welk had decided to make the Vanguard label a large focal point and needed to start building up awareness. She went on to spend 2 years at the label as head of the publicity department and garnered unprecedented coverage for the label's artists with features and reviews in Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, USA Today, the NY Times, LA Times, Wall Street Journal, etc. In 1997 Meg was promoted to Radio Promotion Director.

"I've never worked so hard just trying to get stations to call me back. I could get the editors from Rolling Stone and People Magazine on the phone no problem, but not even the little station with a coat hanger for a transmitter would take my call." So MacDonald did the only thing that she knew would work. She took the mountain to Mohammed and piled in a van with 5 guys from the LA based band Venice spending the summer on the road dragging the boys from station to station from one coast to the other making music calls from gas station pay phones. "We were entering a new territory at the label so I was lucky that I was given as much leeway as I was. I don't think many labels today would give a promotion person that kind of freedom."

The time on the road and persistence paid off when, in 1998, for the first time ever, Vanguard Records was nominated by Radio as "Triple A Label of the Year". That same year MacDonald was nominated and won the award for "Triple A Label Promotion Person of the Year". "Winning that award by the vote of my peers still to this day is one of the highlights of my career". Along with Venice, MacDonald worked with critically acclaimed Vanguard artists Peter Case, David Wilcox, Paul Kelly, Alison Brown, Driving Blind and more.

Meg eventually moved into the independent promotion world and in 2007 launched her own company bearing her initials: M:M Music. Along with non-com radio promotion guru Crystal Ann Lea, Meg hired Rene Magallon to work commercial radio. Recently Meg promoted former M:M Music Office Manager Ben Lippman to head up the College Radio department, and together the staff including executive assistant Vania Garcia that makes up M:M Music has made it one one of the top independent promotion companies in the country.

In 2008 Meg was voted by the A3 format as Triple A Independent Promotion Executive of the year and in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and again last year 2016 - M:M Music has been voted by the A3 format as Triple A Independent Promotion Company of the Year.



Rene Magallon

Rene’s career in the music business began at Jac Holzman’s (founder of Elektra Records) label Discovery Records in 1994.  She started as an intern working her way up to National Director of Triple A and Top 40 promotion.  Among the artists she worked with and promoted were Neil and Tim Finn, William Orbit which featured a brand new artist named Beth Orton, Morcheeba, Tragically Hip and Guster.

In 1997, Rene left Discovery records to continue her career in radio as an Independent Promoter with Levitation Entertainment where she was the only secondary ever to be nominated for Triple A Gavin Award for Independent Promoter of the year.  At Levitation, she worked many different artists’ projects such as Jewel, Coldplay, Tori Amos, Neil Young, Bonnie Raitt, Sarah McLachlan, Van Morrison, Five For Fighting and more. “It is rewarding to have worked with so many quality artists over the years.  The special thing about Triple A radio is that while many changes have taken place in the music industry, the format has never lost its integrity and love for the music.”

Rene joined Outsource Music in 2003, continuing her work promoting great artists such as  Barenaked Ladies, Madeleine Peyroux, Jamie Cullum, Ray LaMontagne, Citizen Cope, Gavin DeGraw, and Susan Tedeschi to name a few.  “It is such a good feeling to be a part of the development of artists and to feel that you have made a difference.  Whether it’s helping to launch a new artists’ career or building excitement and momentum for an established artist, it is gratifying to be part of the team.”

Rene joined M:M Music in January 2007.

 


Crystal Ann Lea

Crystal Ann got an early start in the music industry, while only in high school she promoted DIY shows all over her home town of Omaha, NE.

While studying Music Business at UCLA, Crystal Ann began promoting new music for Peer Pressure Promotion to the Triple A format as it was developing. While interning, she got #1 Most Added with her first campaign and was offered a permanent paying position with the company.

Recruited by BMG to fill the promotion manager seat for High Street Records, Private Music and the Windham Hill Group of labels in the mid 90’s, she drove music by established and emerging artists to the top of the Triple A, Americana, World and College charts. Following her 5 years with BMG, she served as Americana director for KCSN (Los Angeles) in addition to hosting and producing the station’s Saturday morning kids’ show.

After joining M:M Music, Crystal Ann began weekends hosting and producing a late night radio show at the Los Angeles Pacifica station KPFK, for several years, DJing in local clubs and hitting live shows with a passion.

Within the 12+ years of kicking arse and chasing new releases up the Non-Com, Americana, College and World charts with a smile, she’s not lost an ounce of enthusiasm while refining and redefining how to get music played on the radio.

 


Ian Murray

Ian decided at the age of 16 that he wanted to dedicate his professional life to bettering the careers of deserving artists. A Seattle native, he received a scholarship for upright bass to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston, majoring in Music Business/Management. In 2004, he moved to Los Angeles and began working in the radio promotion department at Concord Music Group, working with many legends such as John Fogerty, Isaac Hayes, and Sergio Mendes. Within a couple years, he was recruited by M:M Music to support the best staff in A3 indie promotion. He departed in 2009 to try his hand at live digital music distribution and returned to M:M triumphantly in 2015 to head up national A3 college radio promotion.

 


Katrina Dobieski

Growing up in the suburbs of Los Angeles, Katrina was involved in music since age six and spent Sundays listening to the local philharmonic. That lead to a degree in music at California State University, Fullerton where she was admitted with Honors, and also majored in Communicative Disorders. While there, she founded Live.Music.Now., a school organization which placed music school students in public areas around campus, providing them with increased performance opportunities and visibility. Using her second degree, she took on a role helping individuals with special needs and dedicated her talents to assisting with their communicative processes. A songwriter at heart, she jumped at the chance to temp for Nettwerk Music Group, where she stayed until being recommended for the Office Manager position at M:M Music where she is now thrilled to be a part of the promotion world.

 



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