Abbey Konowitch is a veteran music business executive who has been able, in his long and productive career, to find superstar talent, nurture and brand those artists, then successfully market them. He is the founder and creator of the RockmaniaLive!™ concept, building an all-star creative team in the process to mount what is positioned as the future of the rock concert experience. His career has shown Abbey is constantly anticipating the trends in the worlds of brand-building, as well as pop/rock music and culture.
As Senior Vice President of Artist Development & Video at Clive Davis’ Arista Records, Konowitch helped mold the careers of Whitney Houston, The Grateful Dead and Kenny G., among others. He also worked closely with the then brand-new MTV and used traditional television outlets to create images that mirrored the music.
Konowitch joined MTV as VP of Programming, and rose to SVP of Music & Talent at a crucial moment in the channel’s expansion into a media giant. Abbey took charge of growing the network into a world-wide brand, and developed new business platforms such as award shows, specialty programming like “Unplugged” and touring road shows. Konowitch executive-produced four of the most successful MTV Video Music Awards, while “The Real World”, the groundbreaking pioneer of reality television, was developed on his watch.
Following his success at MTV, Konowitch was brought in as a founding member of Madonna’s Maverick Records, and as General Manager, led the marketing campaigns for her Erotica and Bedtime Stories albums and “Girlie Show” tour. He was the architect of the marketing plan for Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill, turning the singer-songwriter into an international, multi-platinum, Grammy-winning phenomenon. He also spearheaded the multi-platinum success of The Deftones and Candlebox.
Konowitch then joined MCA Records, where he served as Executive Vice President, creating the strategy to revitalize the label, marketing and nurturing acts like blink-182, Mary J. Blige, Sublime, The Roots, Live and The New Radicals.
As General Manager of Disney Music Group’s Hollywood Records, Konowitch participated in the label’s turnaround, making it the industry leader in teen and tween marketing. Working closely with DMG Chairman Bob Cavallo, Konowitch again created household names and worldwide brands with artists such as Selena Gomez, Jonas Brothers, Hilary Duff, Plain White T’s, Demi Lovato and Miley Cyrus, who combined have achieved more than one billion YouTube views along with millions of album and singles downloads and sales. Under Konowitch, Hollywood Records was on the leading edge of connecting social networks and fans via Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.
Armed with a vision, entrepreneurial spirit, a contagious passion for brand marketing, and a wealth of experience working with “the big guys,” Konowitch continues to develop entertainment properties, including the global Classic Rock experience RockmaniaLive!™ He is currently consulting for various companies that feed his appetite for always being on the cutting edge of pop culture and allow him to spend weekends with his family at the beach, his other passion.