CMU Daily - on the inside 7 May 2004
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- RAJARS round up
- Virgin Radio question RAJARS
- Evidence suggests Spector may be innocent
- Yahoo sign deal with indies
- Bowie cancels gig after fatal stage hand fall
- Ben Folds returns
- REM album nearly ready
- Napster announces UK roll-out plans and Dixons deal
- More OTT rock memorabilia purchases
- Darkness sign up veteran rock producer
- Speed dating at the Urban Music Festival
- Beyonce & Jay-Z invited Prince Charles to the party
- Will Warners now be lobbying for the Sony BMG merger?
- Ames pay off pending?
- Legendary reggae producer dies
- Channel 4 plan UK rock hall of fame
- Brown will face court on wife beating charge
- Senators raise more P2P concern
- Quote of the week goes to Piers

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CMU'S FRIDAY TIPS

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Chew The Fat
The bowels of St Matthews Church in Brixton may seem an unlikely venue for a top London breaks night, but actually it makes for a great location for Fat! Records' regular night Chew The Fat. Expect some mayhem from Fat! Records boss (and ex-certificate 18 man) Paul Arnold and his new resident, the Manchester duo Matt and Phil aka Disposable Breaks, who have been creating a real storm the last few months. It will no doubt make for a real party feel of breaks.

Fri 7 May, 10pm - 3am, St Matthews Church, Brixton, free b4 9pm, £3 till 11pm, £5 after, more info from info@chewthefat.com

VIGSY'S LIVE TIP: Vanessa Freeman
The hugely underrated jazz / blues / soul star finally has assembled her own crew, and here they come together to promote her new 'urban' styled album 'Shades', out soon on Chillifunk Records. After appearing with Nathan Haines, the Kyoto Jazz Massive, and Brazil's Azymuth, Ms Freeman has consistently demonstrated her talents - so check her lush deep vocals now as she takes to the stage at this solid Camden venue before international fame beckons.
Wed 12 May, Jazz CafÈ, info from info@favouritizm.com

Put your club night up for the tip - vigsy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk

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RAJARS ROUND UP
Stats galore in radio world, with the official listening figures - the RAJARS - for the first quarter of 2004 out yesterday.

First up, the much hyped battle of the breakfast shows. Good news for Radio 1 who saw some 700,000 new listeners choose their breakfast show since the arrival of Chris Moyles in the slot at the start of the year. Radio 1 bosses will be hoping the news will help combat increasing criticism of the station which has seen a general decline in audience in recent years as the music radio sector becomes increasingly competitive. Some might argue the considerable rise in early morning listeners since the start of the year says less about the popularity of Moyles and more about how dreadful its predecessor was (that being Sara Cox's long running breakfast show of course). However Radio 1 bosses will be hoping the ratings recovery acts as a sign that they are in control of the station, and is a starting point for more long term success.

In London the real breakfast show war began with the arrival of Johnny Vaughan at Capital - which happened after the period these ratings relate too. However some interesting reading all the same. Capital, who, like Radio 1, have seen audience share decline in recent years, enjoyed a boost in listeners at the start of the year as more people tuned in to hear the grand finale of the long long running Chris Tarrant breakfast show. Their audience share rose to 7.9%, mainly at the expense of arch rival Chrysalis owned Heart 106.2 who saw their breakfast audience share fall from a recent high of 7% to 5.8%. Capital boss David Mansfield said he was pleased with the rise in listeners at the start of the year, but recognised that the real battle had only just begun since the start of Vaughan's show. Chrysalis boss Richard Huntingford told reporters: "Even when we had that quarter where we overtook Capital we admitted that the real opportunity to take further share from Capital would be when Tarrant left."

To that end, the next set of RAJARs in July will be more interesting on the London breakfast show front. Not only are Heart hoping to steal some of the old Tarrant faithful to regain their 7% audience share, but EMAP owned Magic also reckon they are getting some of the old Capital listeners. EMAP radio boss Mark Story has told the Media Guardian: "We decided that Johnny's programme would be a little more laddish than Tarrant and the opportunity was the older [and female] end of the audience, who could decide to call it a day with Capital. Anecdotally we believe that is happening. The response seems to be that Johnny is a bit younger, but a bit laddish and not particularly good for women. We are happy with that."

Elsewhere, good news for talk radio. Chrysalis' London talk station LBC added another 124,000 listeners to its Nick Ferrari fronted breakfast show - the station as a whole increased market share from 1.8% to 3.4%. Meanwhile BBC Five Live's breakfast programme, fronted by Nicky Campbell, increased its audience by 350,000. The main loser in the talk radio field was Radio 4 whose Today programme saw a decline of listeners in the region of 150,000.

More on the RAJARs on Monday once the various radio PR machines have spun their take on their own stations' individual performance. Meanwhile one interesting stat from the latest figures - there has been a 50% increase in the number of people using their TVs to access radio. With all the multi-channel TV systems - including Freeview - offering a range of radio services, some 28.7% of adults now listen to radio that way - which is good news for digital radio stations who can vastly increase their audience reach this way.

One last RAJAR point - let's not forget how flawed all these stats are - margins of error are often so high they swallow up most of the key audience share distinctions.

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VIRGIN RADIO QUESTION RAJARS
Talking of flawed RAJARs, Virgin Radio owner SMG yesterday questioned the radio research firm's ability to assess listening habits in the youth market. They reckon that flaws in the system explain a decline in listening figures for their national AM service (Virgin's national listening figures went down, although London audience share rose). They reckon RAJAR is not recruiting enough teenagers and twentysomethings to participate in the research exercise - and that is impacting on Virgin's listening figures.

A spokesman for the station said yesterday: "It is having an effect across a whole range of stations. We believe it is directly affecting our figures."

A spokesman for RAJAR responded: "RAJAR did investigate this thoroughly and feel confident that the survey levels have been consistent throughout each quarter."

SMG aren't the only radio group to express concern over RAJARs research methods of course. As previously reported, Kelvin MacKenzie's Wireless Group, who own Talk Sport, have had a long running battle with RAJAR bosses which recently went legal.

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EVIDENCE SUGGESTS SPECTOR MAY BE INNOCENT
Latest reports on the on going Phil Spector murder allegations case suggest the legendary producer may well be innocent. Police are still investigating the death of b-movie actress Lana Clarkson at Spector's house back in Feb 2003. Spector has always claimed Clarkson committed suicide, shooting herself, and according to Associated Press a coroner's report seems to back that claim up.

AP report that when the coroner inspected Clarkson's body in the days following the shooting they found gunshot residue on both of her hands. One bullet had been fired, in Clarkson's mouth. The actress was also found to have alcohol and prescription painkiller Vicodin in her system. All that provides good evidence for Spector's suicide claims.

No word yet on when the whole case will go to court.

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YAHOO SIGN DEAL WITH INDIES
Yahoo has signed a deal with the Association of Independent Music which will give the internet company access to music from the catalogues of UK based independents for use on their LAUNCHcast internet radio service.

LAUNCHcast enables consumers to set their own music policy, and then receive a back-to-back music stream based around their own music tastes. Members can rate each track played, and the service uses that information to better meet each consumer's music preferences.

The service, originally exclusive to Yahoo's US website, is in the process of being rolled out into Canada, the UK and Ireland, and the AIM deal is important in ensuring the UK service is comprehensive. It will also give the US service access to some key British artists not covered by its existing label agreements in America.

Commenting on the deal AIM boss Alison Wenham said yesterday: "This deal empowers Yahoo! to offer some of the world's most cutting edge and exciting music over their innovative LAUNCHcast service, offering fans on both sides of the Atlantic a brilliant way of finding out more about the music they love."

Shannon Ferguson, Director of LAUNCH in Europe added: "We are pleased to announce this licensing agreement with AIM as it gives our consumers further access to home-grown acts from the independent labels, and fits with our strategy of tailoring our internet radio programming for the British market."

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BOWIE CANCELS GIG AFTER FATAL STAGE HAND FALL
David Bowie has cancelled a gig in Miami after a stage hand was killed when he fell just before the concert was due to start. Many ticket holders for the gig were already at the venue when the accident occurred - they were informed about the incident, told the event would be postponed and that refunds would be available.
A statement placed on Bowie's website reads: "David Bowie and his touring company are deeply saddened by the news of this tragic accident and send their sincerest condolences and thoughts to the stagehand's family and friends".

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BEN FOLDS RETURNS
Much joy in the CMU office this morning with the news that a new Ben Folds album is expected for the Summer and the man himself will be touring the UK in the Autumn. Dates as follows:

12 Nov: Leicester De Montford Hall
14 Nov: Manchester Lowery
15 Nov: Dublin Vicar Street
16 Nov: Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
18 Nov: Sheffield Octagon
19 Nov: Brighton Dome
20 Nov: Warwick Arts Centre
21 Nov: Southampton Guildhall
23 Nov: Cambridge Corn Exchange
25 Nov: London Barbican

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REM ALBUM NEARLY READY
REM, who have been recording new material at Compass Point in the Bahamas, have revealed they are nearing completion of a new album and that they are heading to Miami to put the final touches to it.

A statement from the band reads: "We are about finished with the work here and will be heading across the water to Miami for the final phase of recording and mixing. Compass Point has been a wonderful place to work, and the songs and sounds have really been flowing the past few weeks. They are making a very cool record with a lot of things that sound nothing like them, plenty of things that do, and a strong sense of melody throughout. If you are already an REM fan, I cannot imagine you not liking this one. If you aren't a fan, maybe you will be when you hear it. We are aiming for a Fall release with concert dates to follow soon thereafter. We have been talking about touring plans and will be able to announce something fairly soon."

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NAPSTER ANNOUNCES UK ROLL-OUT PLANS AND DIXONS DEAL
Following confirmation earlier this week of their move into the Canadian market, Roxio have confirmed the British launch of their Napster service will take place this summer, and have announced a deal with retail chain Dixons to promote the platform.

In the partnership deal with the retailer, Dixons will promote the new site by selling Napster-branded blank CDs, CD wallets and CD labelling kits in their stores, as well as pushing their customers through to the service via their website. Napster will be hoping a presence in the electronics stores will give it access to a mainstream audience. Back in the early days of internet service providers Dixons promoted the ISP Freeserve (which it owned at the time) through its shops giving the service huge competitive advantage.

Commenting on the Dixons deal, Napster president Brad Duea told reporters: "They are a dominant player in the consumer electronic retail area. They can provide a total solution for Napster whether a consumer wants to buy a computer to enjoy Napster, a portable device, a portable MP3 player to transfer content or blank CDs."

Napster's confirmation of UK roll out follows an announcement in the US that the company expects to bring in revenues in excess of $40 million in the current financial year, which began in April. Roxio bosses say revenues hit $6.1m for the three months ending 31 Mar, and with continued growth in membership they estimate that figure will rise to an average of $10 million a quarter over the next year.

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MORE OTT ROCK MEMORABILIA PURCHASES
More mad rock 'n' roll memorabilia purchases. One collector has paid £122,850 to buy a revised management agreement between The Beatles and Brian Epstein, and another has paid £117,250 to buy a leather collar worn by John Lennon. The two items, being auctioned at Christies, were expected to go for £35,000 and £15,000 respectively.

Christie's Sarah Hodgson told reporters: "There was frenzied bidding from international collectors throughout the sale, especially for the Beatles contract and John Lennon's talisman necklace."

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DARKNESS SIGN UP VETERAN ROCK PRODUCER
The Darkness have confirmed they will be working with veteran rock producer Robert 'Mutt' Lange on the follow up to the hugely successful 'Permission to Land'. Lange's rock credentials include having worked with AC/DC, Def Leppard and, erm, Foreigner.

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SPEED DATING AT THE URBAN MUSIC FESTIVAL
Music Tank are hosting a 'speed-dating' type event as part of the Princes Trust Urban Music Festival this weekend, which will give young people interested in the music business the opportunity to spend 15 minutes chatting to key industry people. Taking place Sat and Sun from 3.30 to 5.30pm at Earls Court, people offering the advice include:

Management
Keith Harris, Keith Harris Music & MusicTank Chairman
David Stopps, FML

Label
Phil Legg, MD and co-founder Futureproof Records
Ralph Tee, Expansion Records

Publishing
KD, Head of A&R Warner Chappell
Gordon Charlton, Head of A&R Reverb Publishing

Marketing & PR
Wendy K, Netbod
Ade, Urban Allstars

Law
Lee McGuirk, Denton Wilde Sapte
Leonard Bendel, Entertainment Advice

More info at http://www.princes-trust.org.uk/umf and http://www.musictank.co.uk

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BEYONCE & JAY-Z INVITED PRINCE CHARLES TO THE PARTY
Talking of the Urban Music Festival, Beyonce and Jay-Z have reportedly invited Prince Charles to join them at an after-gig party tomorrow. The party - due to take place at West London venue The Collection - will take place after the main Urban Music Festival show which takes place at Earls Court tomorrow. No word on the Prince's response to the invitation - though he will see Jay-Z later today when both men are on hand to meet young musicians taking part in an Urban Sound Live course.

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WILL WARNERS NOW BE LOBBYING FOR THE SONY BMG MERGER?
When rumours circulated last month that the Warner Music Group, under the new ownership of Edgar Bronfmann Jnr, was still considering a merger with London based EMI, it was generally assumed both parties would therefore be lobbying against the proposed Sony BMG merger. With that deal currently being investigated by competition authorities in Europe, many felt Warner would be encouraging officials to block Sony and BMG's merger ambitions on the basis that while one merger in the music sector might get the go ahead, it is unlikely two major mergers would be allowed.

However there is now a new line of thinking in the US which might see Warners get behind the Sony BMG deal. According to the New York Post, some industry execs point out that if the Sony BMG deal gets the go ahead you will be left with two very large major labels - Sony BMG and Universal Music Group - and two smaller majors - Warners and EMI. The logic flows that the music sector would be more stable if you had three large companies of similar size, rather than such an imbalance. Therefore EU officials may be more likely to entertain an EMI Warners project once a Sony BMG merger was complete. Whether this means Warner bosses are now lobbying in favour of Sony BMG is not clear

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AMES PAY OFF PENDING?
Elsewhere in Warner Music news, speculation continues with regards the future of Roger Ames - the guy who ran the label prior to Edgar Bronfmann Jnr's takeover. With Bronfmann taking a more hands on role at Warners, and new guy Lyor Cohen running the group's US operations, it is still not entirely clear what Ames' role is. There is increasing speculation Warner are currently negotiating a departure with Ames, with a multi-million pound pay off likely for the former top guy.

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LEGENDARY REGGAE PRODUCER DIES
Legendary reggae producer Clement "Sir Coxsone" Dodd - the man who was credited with launching Bob Marley's career - has died in Jamaica at the age of 72. Dodd was influential in creating the Ska sound through his Studio One complex - the first black-owned studio in Jamaica - and he worked with many key reggae artists over the years including Lee "Scratch" Perry, Dennis Brown and Freddie McGregor.

In 1991 Dodd was awarded the Order of Distinction - Jamaica's third highest honour - for his contribution to the island's musical heritage, and in 2002 he was honoured with a series of celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of his start in the music industry.

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CHANNEL 4 PLAN UK ROCK HALL OF FAME
Channel 4 and Endemol-owned production company Initial are planning to launch a UK Music Hall Of Fame to pay tribute to the greats of the music world from the 1950s onwards. The project will launch in November with a range of media projects dedicated to recognising great music talent - the result of which will be the induction of certain artists into the 'Hall Of Fame'. Quite how artists will be selected is to be confirmed - although the programme is likely to include a pundit panel and some public voting.

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BROWN WILL FACE COURT ON WIFE BEATING CHARGE
More legal wranglings for Bobby Brown. Courts in Atlanta have said they will proceed with battery charges against the singer following that fracas last Dec when he hit wife Whitney Houston. In a hearing this week judges decided there was enough evidence to proceed with the charges - a proper court date will now be set. In some US states husbands can be arrested for attacking their wives even if said wife does not want to press charges.

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SENATORS RAISE MORE P2P CONCERN
A group of US senators have sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission asking them to investigate file-sharing networks. According to the New York Post the senators reckon certain P2P companies - no doubt including Kazaa owners Sherman - are structuring their businesses so that they can profit on copyright theft, but not actually be charged for stealing content themselves under current copyright laws. No response yet from the FTC or the file-sharing firms.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK GOES TO PIERS
Not music related, but good fun. Quote of the week goes to Mirror editor Piers Morgan responding to a House of Lords decision that his paper was wrong to print information about Naomi Campbell receiving treatment for drug addiction: "This is a very good day for lying drug-abusing prima donnas who want to have their cake with the media, and the right to then shamelessly guzzle it with their Cristal champagne". And hurrah to that.

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