Jay Fialkov

Affiliated Departments

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Career Highlights
  • Deputy general counsel and executive producer at WGBH, Boston’s public television/radio station and the leading producer of public television programming
  • President of WGBH’s music publishing companies, WGBH Music and Great Blue Hills Music
  • Former entertainment lawyer in private practice whose clients included Phish, Maurice Starr (manager and producer of New Kids on the Block), George Thorogood, Mark Wahlberg, the estate of famed bluesman Robert Johnson, Rick Danko of the Band, Homestead Records, Rounder Records, and Rykodisc
  • Founder and co-owner of the Giant/Rockville record labels, which released albums by rock group Uncle Tupelo whose offshoots include Wilco and Son Volt
  • Member of the board of directors of the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts of Massachusetts
  • Recipient of Berklee's Distinguished Faculty Award (2014)
In Their Own Words

"I try to teach my students how to think about the music business. This means they must learn the fundamentals—copyrights and contracts, rights and obligations—and exercise their minds to understand how to accomplish their goals." 

"I continue to focus on helping students understand the legal rights relating to the music business, how to recognize the relevant factors and consider their options when making choices. It’s not enough to know how the music business works today because the business will be different next semester or next year, let alone five years from now."

"Sometimes it’s difficult for artists to imagine how deals done today may impact their careers down the road. I try to train my students to anticipate possible future scenarios when making decisions and negotiating music business deals. When students and young artists think about the music business, they must remember that, in the end, it’s really about protecting the music, treating artists and their art as precious."

"I want students to understand how deals are structured in terms of both money now and money later, advances and royalties, and to figure out the possible ways deals can be negotiated in order to address artistic, business, and legal concerns. Hopefully, my students learn that with knowledge and creative thinking they and their team have the power to develop business strategies and negotiate deals that serve their interests."

"I see my job as helping talented people produce what they want to produce, helping them understand the world around them so they have the freedom to be creative and obtain the full benefits—artistic and financial—from their efforts."