Jason Flom may be one of the most prominent names in the music industry, but his unparalleled commitment to philanthropy should not be overlooked. Tonight, the music mogul will appear on ABC’s 20/20 to discuss what he believes is the wrongful conviction of a man named Joe Soering.
For those who are unfamiliar with the case: Joe Soering was 18-years-old when his former girlfriend’s parents, Nancy and Haysom, were murdered. In 1990, Soering was convicted of first-degree murder. He has been in prison ever since.
Soering, now 51, has maintained his innocence from the beginning, writing books and giving interviews in which he holds that he is unequivocally not guilty. Over the years, he has amassed many supporters who believe in his innocence. One of those supporters is Jason Flom.
Read on to learn more about Jason Flom.
1. He Is the Host of the Podcast ‘Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom’
Flom is the host of the podcast “Wrongful Conviction with Jasorn Flom”, which interviews men and women who have spent decades in prison for crimes they did not commit. Some of the interviewees in his podcast have even been sentenced to death. The podcast is produced by reVolver.
Where did the interest in criminal justice come from, in the first place? Les Miserables. In an interview with New York Magazine, Flom reveals, “I was actually sobbing at the end of it.” Then, in the 90s, he read an article about a man who had been denied parole and was serving 15 to life on a cocaine-possession charge. New York Magazine reports that Flom convinced a lawyer to take the case pro bono, and the man ended up being released “on a technicality.”
Flom held hands with the man’s mother when the judge read the decision aloud in court, and says, “That was a cathartic moment for me… My first thought was ‘That was fun. I want to do more of that.’”
2. He’s the CEO of Lava Records and Served as the Chairman and Ceo of Atlantic Records
Flom is one of the most prominent names in the music industry. He has served as the Chairman and CEO of labels like Atlantic Records, Virgin Records, and the Capitol Music Group. In 1995, he founded Lava Records.
Flom has helped nurture many well-known artists, including Twisted Sister, White Lion, Stone Temple Pilots, Matchbox 20, Skid Row, Tori Amos, Jewel, Hootie & The Blowfish, Kid Rock, Lorde, Jessie J, and Kety Perry.
Flom has been involved in the industry since 1979. Asked by the Huff Post how he’s able to pursue his many passions while also being the CEO of Lava Records, Flom said, “Lava Records has a much smaller roster and staff which allows me time to focus on other passion projects, most importantly my charitable endeavors. I’m very fortunate to be partners with the best label in the business, Republic Records which in turn is a division of Universal Music Group, which is the number 1 music company in the world.”
3. He Is the Founding Board Member of the Innocence Project
As one of the founding board members of the Innocence Project, Flom has helped exonerate nearly 350 wrongly convicted people.
He is also the founder of the Bronx Freedom Fund, which “helps cover bail for indigent defendants charged with low-level offenses.” On top of that, Flom is a board member of Families Against Mandatory Minimums, The Legal Action Center, the Drug Policy Alliance, and the NYU Prison Education Program, according to New York Magazine.
In an interview with AXS in 2016, Flom discussed how he became involved with the Innocence Project. He says, “I first learned about the work of The Innocence Project from a TV program I happened to see almost 20 years ago. I knew instantly that this was a cause that I had to support in every way I could. I called and because the organization was in its nascent phase, I was able to get one of the founders, Peter Neufeld, on the phone. I met with him soon after and immediately began raising and donating money and working with them on many aspects of their mission. I was then named a Founding Board Member and I have been proud to serve them ever since.”
4. He Has Been Engaged in a Long Divorce Battle with His Estranged Wife
According to a Billboard, Flom was married to his wife, Wendy Berry, a former A&R executive, for twenty years before the two engaged in a long divorce battle. As of 2015, according to Variety, that battle had lasted “five-plus-years”.
In March 2016, Page Six reported that although the divorce in Court ended in 2015, the settlement decision had not yet been made. The outlet also reports that Wendy and Jason have two children together: one daughter and one son.
In 2015, Flom listed the family’s mini-mansion in Aspen for $7.875. The 7,800+ square-foot home comes equipped with six bedrooms, and 6.5 bathrooms.
5. He Discovered Katy Perry
One of the most impressive and notable artists Flom has signed is Katy Perry. According to multiple outlets, however, he was hesitant to sign her in the beginning. In a 2014 interview with Billboard, he was asked why he was nervous to sign the singer at first. He said, “When I first met her, I was smitten. But when I played her music in the office, everyone was like, ‘No! Don’t sign this shit.’ I totally second-guessed myself. A month or two later, I was listening to her on my iPod and stopped dead, like, ‘I’m an idiot. She’s great.’ I called her. She was making $10 an hour at a demo-listening service, and we basically shook hands over the phone. I invited her to our Grammy party a few weeks later and she walked in with Dr. Luke. I was like, ‘That’s f–ing perfect.’ They hit the studio and wrote ‘Hot and Cold’ and ‘I Kissed a Girl.'”
Asked if he feels he’s gotten enough credit for finding her, Flom says, “Um, maybe not. But in this business, success starts to grow new fathers.”
The New Yorker has described Flom as “one of the most successful record men of the past 20 years…known for his specialty in delivering ‘monsters.’”