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CMJ: Judge Rules Owner to Pay Former Employees Over Half-Million Dollars

Owner Adam Klein ordered to pay former employees for unpaid wages, among other reasons

A CMJ gift bag on the floor at CMJ Music Marathon Presents Lykke Li at Bowery Ballroom on October 21, 2008 in New York City.

A judge has ordered Adam Klein, owner of defunct music company CMJ, to pay his former employees over $500,000 for unpaid wages, among other reasons.

Roger Kisby/Getty Images

Adam Klein, owner of now-defunct music events and media company CMJ, must pay a group of former employees over $500,000. On Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Katherine Forrest ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, who filed a collective action lawsuit against Klein, CMJ Holdings and Abaculi Media in 2016, including claims for unpaid wages, damages and unreimbursed expenses dating back to October 2015.

Rolling Stone reached out to CMJ, but the company was not immediately available for comment. Alex Granovsky, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, issued a statement about the ruling to Pitchfork.

“We have default judgment against Abaculi Media Inc. for all four plaintiffs, and final judgment of damages against Adam Klein individually as to three of the plaintiffs,” he said. “We intend to prevail at trial on behalf of our fourth plaintiff and enforce judgment against all defendants, including Mr. Klein individually.”

Robert Haber founded College Media Journal in 1978 as a trade magazine. The company, which stopped publishing its college radio charts in 2017, also organized the New York-based music festival and convention, CMJ Music Marathon, for 35 years. Klein, the former CEO of eMusic, acquired CMJ in 2014.

Despite Klein’s promises that the festival was “very much alive and will be kicking,” CMJ hasn’t hosted the event since 2015. As of this writing, the company’s website is inactive. 

In This Article: CMJ

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