CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 30th September
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Power gives up, erm, power at Mean Fiddler
- Fun after Doherty cancels a gig
- Yorke donates guitar to raffle
- Sanctuary create new technology post
- Beyonce injured during TV rehearsal
- House of Reps passes anti-download legislation
- Jacko gossip
- German MPs consider native language quotas for radio
- Jamelia the new Pretty Polly girl
- Sales decline down, thanks to DVD
- Clear Channel expand in Central Europe
- Ronnie Biggs album to be released



*** PREVEW GREAT NEW MUSIC ONLINE: To preview tracks from CMU favourites !!!, Chikinki, Felix Da Housecat, Grand National and Riton online at your leisure check MetroLife in this today's Evening Standard for details of the launch of the London Music Network and the online 4Play jukebox later today.

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Vince Power yesterday sold his 35% stake in the Mean Fiddler Group, and announced he would be taking a non-exec director role working mainly on the Group's festivals business. He will be replaced as executive chairman by the Group's new largest shareholder, Richard Clingen, a former Cable & Wireless Sales Director and internet entrepreneur based in Monaco. As part of the deal the Group acquires Clingen's business, with which Mean Fiddler has been developing its download platform. It will also raise a substantial amount of cash through the sale of other shares - word is much of that income will be spent acquiring other companies.

Power's decision to step down is quite big news in the live sector. He founded the company 23 years ago and turned it into one of the UK's flagship live music, festival and venue groups. While some less successful media ventures affected the group's performance in recent years, yesterday the company reported that operating losses had halved to £500,000, on turnover up £5.2m to £19.8m.


Pete Doherty, cancelling gigs at the last minute? Surely not? Yep, there was much excitement last night when Doherty's other band (i.e. not the Libertines), Babyshambles, cancelled their gig at Aberdeen's Lemon Tree at the last minute. Fans told reporters they were told about the cancellation at 10.50pm, 20 minutes after the band were due on stage. They were told that Doherty had "fallen downstairs", but the real excitement took place outside the venue when disgruntled fans gathered around the band's tour bus. Twenty police officers - including a dog handler - were called in to deal with the disturbance, and seven people were arrested. Officers eventually escorted the band's bus from the scene to their hotel. Fun, fun.

Talking of which, rumour has it Mr Doherty is currently considering a £100,000 offer to appear in Celebrity Big Brother, which would be fun. According to The Sun the show's producers have said he could keep his fee even if he quit on the first day. Of course Doherty already offers a frequent window on his life via his weblog - then again he might not be too impressed with BB's offer given that word is they asked Liam Gallagher to be resident loose cannon before turning to the Libertine-in-exile.


Radiohead's Thom Yorke has donated a guitar signed by all of his band for a celebrity prize draw in aid of Shelter. The draw takes place at Audioscope, a charity day at the Oxford Zodiac on 2 Oct which this year features performances from former Can frontman Damo Suzuki, Oxes and The Telescopes. Tickets for the prize draw can be bought at


The Sanctuary Group have appointed Richard Wheeler to the new post of Head of New Technologies Development. Reporting direct to Exec Chairman Andy Taylor, he will "oversee and co-ordinate the commercial exploitation, through new technologies, of Sanctuary's extensive catalogue of music and visual".
Previously Wheeler, who joined Sanctuary in Oct 2001 as part of a two year Management Trainee scheme, was Commercial Executive for The Sanctuary Artist Services Division.

Commenting on the appointment, Andy Taylor, Executive Chairman told CMU: "Richard's appointment further emphasises our commitment to embracing new means of delivering music and related content. Sanctuary pools its skills and manages various new technology opportunities globally under one umbrella. In order to do this we have developed an area that is 100% devoted to ensuring that the Sanctuary business model seamlessly translates into the new technology era."


Beyonce has torn a leg muscle while rehearsing for an upcoming Destiny's Child TV special. A spokesman from her record label, Columbia, told reporters: "She overdid it. We're all keeping our fingers crossed that, because she's young and healthy, it heals fast. There are a lot of things in place that we may have to shift. Not the album, which is finished, but appearances. We'll know more after a week."


The House of Representatives in the US yesterday passed the Piracy Deterrence and Education Act which, among other things, makes videotaping films in cinemas a crime and clears the way for the Justice Department to prosecute individuals who they believe to be illegally sharing large amounts of music or other copyrighted content online.

According to the LA Times, one of the initiatives likely to be launched if the bill becomes law is the distribution of FBI headed warning letters to anyone suspected of illegally downloading music or movies. Downloaders would be sent the very formal looking cease and desist letters via their internet service provider.

The bill now heads to Senate where it could be considered as early as next week.


There's always time for some cheap Michael Jackson gossip in the CMU Daily - so here goes. According to yesterday's Evening Standard, Jacko has a 'secret' teenage son - Omer Bhatti - and he is currently staying at Jackson's Neverland Ranch in California. Apparently Omer was conceived during a one night stand with a Norwegian fan in 1987. Reports say Omer bears a striking resemblance to Jackson, and the singer has admitted to some close friends that he is indeed the boy's father.

If you believe US celebrity columnist Roger Friedman (and why wouldn't you?), Jackson kept quiet about the teenager's birth to ensure his security and privacy before allegedly sending two employees to Oslo to raise the baby as their own. However others say Jackson merely befriended the teenager when they met back in 1996.


German politicians will next week consider calls by the country's music industry to force native-language quotas on music radio stations. Labels releasing music by home-grown artists are concerned that only 10% of music played on radio stations in Germany is in German - native language output on radio stations in countries like France, Italy and Spain is nearer 50%.

The bias towards international, and generally English speaking, artists on radio is being partly blamed for the continuing poor performance of the German music industry, which has seen its turnover drop 40% in recent years.

Micha Rhein of German band In Extremo is a supporter of the campaign, telling reporters: "Our record was at number three in the charts for weeks but our promoters had to fight to get the song played on the radio - it's a cheek."

Bjoern Akstinat, president of the German music export office, added: "It is often said that whoever makes good music will get on the radio, but that is just not true".

However Konrad Kuhnt, chief editor at Berlin-based Radio Fritz, disagreed, saying his station did pick the 'best' music and arguing that the problem was the low output of German language music coming from the labels. He told the press: "It is not true that we wouldn't play the music. We wish we had the material to present to our listeners when they say they want more."


Jamelia, surely due to do well at the MOBOs tonight, has been signed up as the new face - and legs I guess - of hosiery giant Pretty Polly. The singer will front the firm's new ad campaign as part of a £150,000 deal. Jamelia replaces Rachel Stevens who was dropped because she "lacked impact", or so says the Daily Record. An insider told the paper: "It will be a big-money deal - but Jamelia is definitely worth it. She's so hot at the moment, especially after her three MOBO nominations."


Global music sales fell by just 1.3% in the first half of this year, which is good news because it means overall decline is slowing down. That said, the figures are slightly blurred because of the growth of the music DVD sector (audio sales alone fell by 2.7%) - and regions like the US (where sales are up 3.9%) prop up others performing less well (Europe overall saw a decline of 7.7%).

Hence the cautious response from Jay Berman, the boss of the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. He told reporters: "There are some signs that the world's markets are beginning to recover. However, markets continue to be hampered by the dual effects of commercial and internet piracy."


Clear Channel has extended its European empire by acquiring four music and concert businesses in Central Europe. The company yesterday confirmed its takeover of Laszlo Hegedus' Multimedia Concerts in Hungary, Serge Grimaux and Robert Porkert's Interkoncerts in the Czech Republic, Steven Todd and Hubert Stajniak's Odyssey in Poland and Tim Dowdall's Multimedia International, which books tours and coordinates international activities across Central and Eastern Europe. Following the recent acquisition of Ferdinando Salzano's Friends & Partners in Italy, the latest deals show Clear Channel is still in the mood for expansion.

Announcing the latest acquisitions, Michael Rapino, President of CCE Global Music, told reporters: "We are very pleased to welcome Tim, Laszlo, Serge, Robert, Steven and Hubert into the Clear Channel network. We see great opportunities in these markets over the next few years and believe that the strong combination of Clear Channel and their local expertise will bring benefits for both artists and music fans."


Well, America has Shyne releasing music from his prison cell, so why shouldn't we have Ronnie Biggs? An album by a Brazilian jazz band put together by the Great Train Robber back in 1974 is going to be released. The album, apparently inspired by Biggs' life story, will be out on 11 Oct.

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