Antonio "L.A." Reid is a three-time Grammy Award-winning record executive, songwriter, and record producer. Reid is best known for co-founding LaFace Records with Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds.
He is the President and chief executive of Hitco Music Publishing, based in Atlanta and was the chairman and chief executive officer of Island Def Jam Music Group until 2011, when he signed up to appear as a judge on the 2011 U.S. version of The X Factor
L.A. Reid was kind enough to sit down for a Fox Q&A to discuss The X Factor. Everyone in attendance was buzzing with excitement and just had a good time.
Thank you, L.A. Reid and Fox Broadcasting Company. Enjoy!
Can you talk about your decision process with Chris Rene and how you worked through the issue of his past to give him a shot? That must have been tough for you.
You know, Chris Rene has been one of the most popular contestants on this show thus far. So, the only thing that was difficult was the fact that my category had so many guys that I really liked and some really incredible talent, and just narrowing it down to four was a very tough thing. But Chris was always a standout from his very first audition and I’m really happy to have him.
You know this is a competition between the four judges all set to see what team wins, but what happens now that Simon has an extra player on his team and how will that work with the seventeen contestants if the season is sort of mapped out for sixteen people?
Well, I’m not exactly sure what that process is, Emily, and I don’t know if it means that we will end up cutting two in the first episode. I’m not exactly sure. This is for me sort of my first time at bat, my first barbecue, so I’m learning it as I go, but I was very happy though that Simon did go back and rethink Melanie from Miami. I thought she was really fantastic in the auditions. So, however it works out, I think so far it’s working out for the better.
Simon had initially said before the season started that anything under 20 million viewers would be a disappointment and I know the ratings haven’t really hit that point yet, so I was wondering if you were surprised by the ratings and if the show is doing anything to try and bring in more viewers?
Well, the fact of the matter is that we have a very successful show and we have an average of over 12 million viewers averaging, so it’s a very successful show, and whether we hit twenty or not—you know, I’d like to hit thirty. I mean, I’d like to sweep it, but that’s not really what is important to me. That’s a statement that Simon put out there and I think it was an aspirational statement and I hope that we can at some point get there, but I’m not disappointed that we’re not there.