Muzak's owner moving jobs out of Fort Mill

elyportillo@charlotteobserver.comJanuary 18, 2013 

— Muzak, a subsidiary of Toronto-based Mood Media, is moving more jobs out of Fort Mill as it continues a corporate reorganization.

A company spokesman wouldn’t say how many jobs are being lost in Fort Mill, or which job groups are moving. Muzak is reorganizing many of its corporate functions and centralizing them in Atlanta and Austin, Texas.

Spokesman Sumter Cox said Muzak is not exiting the Charlotte area entirely. “We will continue to maintain a Charlotte presence, and the current plan includes remaining in this (Fort Mill area) office,” said Cox.

According to a former employee who spoke on the condition of anonymity, the company let about 150 employees go in an earlier round of job cuts last year and it's relocating the majority of remaining jobs. “I would not say it’s a majority of positions,” said Cox. “It remains our second-largest office in North America.”

Three years ago, Muzak had about 500 employees in Fort Mill. The company currently has about 350 employees at the site near Carowinds, Cox said.

The Muzak name could also soon be gone. Former employees have told the Observer that Mood Media is re-branding the business. Cox didn’t confirm that Thursday.

“Muzak LLC and DMX Inc. are subsidiaries of Mood Media. We continue to operate under the three different names,” he said.

Founded in 1934, Muzak pioneered and became synonymous with piped-in music. In recent years, the company was pressured by the increasing dominance of the Internet and cheaper alternatives to its integrated music systems.

Muzak moved to Fort Mill from Seattle in 1999. The firm was bought in 2011 by Mood Media, after exiting Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Mood Media is also a commercial music provider.

Since then, Mood Media has acquired several more U.S. music and marketing companies, including Austin, Texas-based DMX Holdings.

The company also eliminated jobs in Fort Mill at the end of last year. John Cullen, the CEO of DMX Holdings, assumed the role as head of Muzak after Muzak’s president left the company during last year’s reorganization.

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