Looking back on this Friday afternoon at the shakeup in Defected’s management this week – Dunmore is out and Saunders is in – Ears To The House notices something quite unusual in the way the Defected machine announced the news. And that was the fact the machine didn’t actually announce it at all!
Simon Dunmore’s Defected was a tightly run machine, where big announcements were orchestrated carefully across their social media pages. This is a company which fully understands that part of news management is controlling the message – so when you see the likes of Defected Croatia being promoted, for example, the whole weighty machine gets behind it.
But Dunmore stepping down as Defected’s CEO has seen little of the machine at work, if any. For starters, the news was first announced on the morning of Tuesday 23rd August by Wez Saunders himself – his personal social media machine was hard at work, but the Defected machine was not. Simon Dunmore himself made no comment on the matter until over ten hours after the story had broke.
The Defected social media pages, to use Dunmore’s “pirates” analogy, were all at sea over how to deal with the news. It was as if it had been sprung on them unexpectedly – indeed, it was almost like a news outlet was on the verge of breaking the story, outside of the Defected machine’s control.
So you might be surprised to discover the truth – it was rushed. Ears To The House can exclusively reveal that we had been looking into this story for the past two weeks – and Defected’s PR team were contacted by our own editor-in-chief, who was looking for clarification and comment from the company before publication. Needless to say, they did not reply.
On August 9th – two weeks before the media broke the story – we spotted the first batch of documents on Companies House regarding Simon Dunmore’s termination as director. Three days later, we noticed the longer 674-page filing which had just appeared – and as interesting as the document was, we couldn’t work out exactly what had happened.
This absence of certainty prevented us from publishing – although we knew Dunmore was no longer a listed director of the company he founded, we couldn’t establish exactly how this had come about. Music Week, however, succeeded in finding out that Saunders had initiated a management buyout of the company and subsequently installed himself as the new head of the Defected empire.
A source close to Defected told us this week that the label had planned to originally announce the news early in September – confirming there was even “an intention” for Dunmore to do an interview with a publication breaking the story. But such was the urgency about controlling the message that these plans never went beyond the drawing board.
Let us hope that the botched handling of the announcement by Defected is simply a blip – otherwise, the new management could soon find themselves with a lot of questions to answer…