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2019 in review: January-February

Reflect on the biggest stories of January and February 2019 as we get ready to enter a new decade

It’s been a busy 12 months for the industry, with big-time acquisitions, company developments and venue installations in abundance, and of course, the inevitable weight of Brexit on many an audio professional’s shoulders. As we come to the end of another eventful year, PSNEurope is releasing a 12-month review of the biggest stories throughout 2019, starting with January and February…

Kenton Forsythe upon his return.
EAW co-founder Kenton Forsythe returned to the company

Eastern Acoustic Works reclaimed its co-founder and former vice president of strategic engineering, Kenton Forsythe, in January 2019.

“When I left three years ago, I took a year off, and my wife and I worked on our ‘honey do’ list – and we’re still working on that,” said Forsythe. “But I want to make more speakers. A couple of years ago I started looking around but I didn’t find the right situation. Then EAW president TJ Smith gave me a call. EAW is pursuing some advanced product development, and TJ asked me to contribute.”

Forsythe is returning to work part-time: “I kind of reclaimed my role as the transducer guru. Our head of engineering, Geo McKinnon, is excellent, and he provides the leadership and vision.

“I collaborate with suppliers on component designs as well as new product development concepts, working with and under Geo and director of product management, Jeremy Forsythe.”

Read the exclusive, full-length interview with Forsythe here. In other EAW news, Roni Nevo, president of RCF USA, was made CEO of EAW on December 17, 2019, which you can read about here.

HMV brought back stores

After the process of administration that led to the shut down of 27 stores in February 2019, including its flagship store on Oxford Street, HMV struck deals with landlords and brought back nine shuttered stores the very same month. Part of this had to do with the acquisition by Sunrise Records, as after that HMV reopened a third of the stores that had been closed down when the company went into administration.

Back in February, five stores had been reopened in the locations of Merry Hill, Tunbridge Wells, Plymouth, Reading and Meadowhall. Since then, nine more have been saved, including Uxbridge and Westfield, London. On an even more positive note, Birmingham opened what is called the ‘HMV Vault’, home to over 25,000 records and 80,000 CDs, becoming one of the largest record stores in the world. at said, it’s also been confirmed that three branches – Crawley, Kingston and Portsmouth – have since closed.

Commenting on the reopening in Plymouth, Neil Taylor, HMV managing director, said: “It is extremely gratifying to see this store open again and I am extremely proud of our start. I greatly appreciated the support of all our customers and the landlord which made re-opening this store possible.”

Stay tuned for a review of March and April 2019 to be released tomorrow.

To view the full article now, check out the digital issue of December’s mag here and subscribe here to receive it in your inbox monthly.