As part of William Paterson University’s continuing Music and Entertainment Industries Seminar series, Steve Leeds, vice president of talent and industry affairs at SiriusXM satellite radio and professor of music management at William Paterson University, discusses the business of music today with Julie Swidler, executive vice president of business affairs and general counsel at Sony Music Entertainment.

Discussion topics include:

– Julie’s career start at a law firm and subsequent move to the music business
– The importance of being nice to people
– Working on Woodstock ’94
– Becoming the head of business affairs at Mercury Records
– Balancing motherhood with a professional career
– Sexism in the industry
– Julie’s thoughts on Recording Academy president Neil Portnoy’s remark that women need to “step up”
– The prospects of the upcoming Woodstock
– Her move to Arista and the company’s transference to BMG and Sony
– Clive Davis as a mentor
– Why business affairs are easier to conduct in the age of digital music
– Differences between working in Nashville and New York
– Signing artists to deals
– The Music Modernization Act
– Legal battles
– The copyright rate proceedings
– The prospects of artists recouping their budgets via streaming
– Streaming’s ability to democratize music delivery

From L to R: Dr. Steve “Esteban” Marcone, Julie Swidler, Professor David Kirk Philp

The series, which takes place in the Martini Room of Hobart Hall, located on Pompton Road, across the street from the main William Paterson University campus, is free and open to the public.

Other 2019 guests include:

  • Marsha Vlasic, President, AGI (watch her interview HERE)
  • Kate Hyman, VP of A&R at BMG (watch her interview HERE)
  • Debra Rathwell, SVP at AEG Live (watch her interview HERE)
  • Julie Swidler, Sony Music Entertainment’s EVP Business Affairs & General Counsel
  • Lisa Barbaris, Manager of Cyndi Lauper

For information about the Music Management Seminar Series, email Dr. Steve Marcone:

For information about the WP Music Management program, click HERE.


For full details about the Music & Entertainment Industries Program, including courses, the minor, and our MBA, click HERE.


For full details about the WPU Pop Music Studies Program, including courses and audition requirements, click HERE.


Professor David Philp is Assistant Professor Music & Entertainment Industries and Popular Music Studies at William Paterson University. He is the co-host of the only FREE advice college radio-based music & entertainment industry talk show in America, Music Biz 101 & More, which airs live most Wednesday nights and is available as a podcast HERE every night (days too).  Your favorite professor is also co-author (with Dr. Steve Marcone) of Managing Your Band – 6th Edition.  Reach him at or find him on LinkedIn HERE.

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