Friday, September 09, 2011

Ken Lucek, Bob Weil, Mike Rittberg

Shoutout to some great people. Passionate people. Amazing individuals.

And while we're at it, for all the times I never said it... thank you.

I didn't get his permission to reuse this note, but Mike Rittberg is someone I was acquainted with in this game we play called radio and records, and I'm thinking he might not mind if I share it with you.

Today was his last day on the job at a place he'd called home for quite some time.

He sent this to his team as he left the building.

Passion. He's got it. As do the others who caught the winds of life's change today in Burbank.

I'm looking forward to what they do next.

"Rittberg, Mike" <> wrote:

Here's a note I just sent my staff.  Looking forward to talking with everyone.

Before my first job at a record store I had dreamed to work at Warner Bros. Records.  Coming from A&M Records - Warner Bros. was the giant version of a boutique label that believed in artists and were committed to the future.

To this day - I've always viewed myself as the kid living a dream.  I was hired by Phil Q., Stu Cohen and Russ Thyret at the urging of Van Halen and their manager Ray Daniels. Pretty cool to for a band and manager to dictate that - I'm forever grateful.  It was a life changing decision for me - to work at a place that I had wanted to be PLUS -  I met my the love of my life, Tami, here at WB as well. It's been an amazing place for me.

I've been fortunate to work with amazing music folks who helped to shape this buildings culture (and our industry) - in Phil Q, Russ Thyret, Rich Fitzgerald (RIP), Andy Schoun, Tom Biery, Diarmuid Quinn and Tom Whalley.

Plus - You can't forget the folks inside this building who give their heart and soul daily to the lives of our artists.  There are so many of you who have helped my department as well as myself to make this job easier - for that I will always be grateful.  Thank you.

I'd be remiss not to mention the field staffs.  I've been the lucky one to work with both (Warners and Reprise) and lead the Reprise staff.  You guys are on the front lines.

For the Reprise staff in particular - I'm very proud of you for working your asses off!  You do a thankless job and folks sometimes forget to say good job.  To the folks who I've hired - thank you for believing in me, the system we created and giving it your all.

I will always remember my lunch with Mo Ostin when I got the job "down the hall" to run Reprise.  He told me stories about Sinatra starting Reprise and how the first rock signings were Jimi Hendrix and The Kinks.  Its that sprit - of trying to forge new ground - that I will always carry with me in my next endeavor.

I was reminded again of the Warner culture at Rich Fitzgerald's funeral. It was amazing to see a lot of faces that I hadn't seen in years.  The common thread among everyone a lot of folks was there worked here and they were proud of what they accomplished and no matter what always looked after each other.  Do your best to carry that tradition on.  When folks ask about the culture at Warner Bros. - that is the culture. Don't let that get away.

I've tried to show up to work daily giving it my best and acting in the best interest of our artists - make sure you do the same.  If you learn one thing about working at a label remember that this job isn't about you - its about the artists.  I've always believed that when numerous folks can tell a story of what they did to break an artist we have a hit.

Stay in touch as I know our paths will cross again. 


Mike Rittberg

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