CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 6th September
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Arctic Monkeys take Mercury prize
- Third Megaman trial begins
- Universal to acquire BMG Publishing
- Mills defends indies united stand against consolidation
- E UK buy THE
- Album Review: Seafood - Paper Crown King
- Deadline set for Death Row bankruptcy claims
- Manics re-release
- REM drummer back for one off
- Fiddy to produce Cool J
- Sufjan Stevens to release Christmas album
- Stones deny Bigger Bang will be last tour
- Hook writing Hacienda book
- Single Review: Keith - Mona Lisa's Child
- Drowned In Sound celebrate with six nights
- Aberfeldy tour
- Long Blondes debut, single, tour
- 747s single, album, tour
- Tenacious D tour
- It Bites reform for tour
- Eavis promises greatest show on earth
- Viacom chief axed
- iPod maker drops libel suit
- EMAP radio revamps
- Animal welfare groups criticise Madonna
- Diddy expecting twins


Mergers and acquisitions are back in the news again today, though it's not record companies merging this time round - distribution firm E UK has bought THE and word has it Universal will acquire Bertelsmann's publishing company. This news coincides with an opinion piece written by Beggars chief and IMPALA chair Martin Mills in Billboard this week in which he justifies (quite convincingly, I think) why the independent sector should work together, and use regulators and commercial courts, to stop the major companies in the music space from further consolidating their operations.

That said, as I'm sure we've said before here in the Top Bit, we're not entirely convinced the wider music business, including the independent sector, would really be that much better off if Sony and BMG were now demerged, nor that much worse off if EMI and Warner did, in fact, merge (not that that's all that likely in the near future), but Mills does raise a good point in his Billboard piece.

Perhaps the most important difference between the music industry of fifteen years ago compared to that of today isn't that there were six major record companies then and now there are four, rather, back then there were over ten globally trading commercially focused independent labels (Mills references A&M, Island, Motown, Virgin and Zomba) each of which could frequently compete with the majors. Those large independents are, of course, no more, most bought up by the majors they competed with.

I think there is a strong argument that it is the lack of those sizable independents that is the bigger problem than the consolidation of the majors - although you might argue that the increasing dominance of those majors (and their tendency to acquire and absorb new growing indies so quickly) is why new large scale independents haven't grown up to take the place of A&M, Island, Virgin et al.

But while systems exist to try and stop major label consolidation, what can be done about the lack of large independents? Possibly nothing. Except, perhaps, wait. I get the feeling that the next five years will see some radical changes occur in this industry and I think the independent sector will regain some dominance as a result. The new players in that space may not be independent record labels in the traditional sense, but so radical those changes might be, it won't just be independent record labels which will keep the major record companies in check.

Of course, they'll possibly all then merge, and then get bought up by SonyBMGWarnerEMIUniversal Inc, but I think for a time, some exciting things could be afoot. Or perhaps I'm just feeling wildly optimistic because of the September sunshine.



Digital music store is looking to recruit a senior member of staff to take responsibility for managing TuneTribe's label team and music catalogue. The role incorporates managing the delivery of all music products; maintaining and building relationships with record labels, distributors and aggregators; and helping to exploit the content commercially. You should be a fast learner as well as meticulously well-organised and able to deal effectively with numerous systems and simultaneous projects. You will be adept at signing up new labels and aggregators, whilst handling enquiries from existing content suppliers. You will work closely with labels to help implement on-site marketing initiatives for their artists. You will also regularly devise and manage off-site commercial opportunities maximising the exploitation of our digital catalogue. It goes without saying that you will be at ease with online content management systems and financial reporting. You should be used to dealing with major labels as well as independents. Applicants need to demonstrate a good understanding of the digital music market and the commercial and technological issues associated with it. You will have a minimum of 5 years experience in the music industry with emphasis on the retail, label and digital end of the business. A passion for music and all things digital will certainly help.

Please send a covering letter detailing how your experience is relevant to this position alongside a current CV to [email protected]


ADVERTISE YOUR JOBS, SERVICES AND PRODUCTS here for just £50 a week, or £150 for two weeks in the Daily and four weeks on the web. Email [email protected] for details.



As we mentioned back in July, we will be publishing a special edition of a CMU newspaper which will be distributed around campuses all over the UK as the student population returns for the new academic year later this month - offering a guide to all the great new music coming out this Autumn. This is a brilliant way to engage and excite 100,000s of students and young record buyers at the most important time in the college and music year. A full page costs £1000, a half page £600, a sixth page £260, a 12th page £160. Book your ad spots now - email [email protected]

We are currently recruiting students to join the CMU/UnLimited team in a voluntary intern role, joining us one day a week during the Autumn term. This is a great way to pick up skills, experience and contacts in the media and music space - as well as getting involved in some frankly damn exciting new projects. If you're interested, email your details and a CV type thing to [email protected]



Now you might say we ought to use this slot to champion new, upcoming, thrusting young bands. And you'd be right. And I think that's mostly we do. Ben Folds is not new. He's been around for a while. But a) he is a CMU favourite of favourites, and b) he's shortly to release an album of rarities glorying in the name of 'supersunnyspeedgraphic, the lp' and what better way for you to sample what's on it than by going to his MySpace page and listening to the tracks streaming there? Three of the songs are from that upcoming release, plus there's 'Landed', a single release, if I remember rightly, from Folds' most recent album 'Songs For Silverman'. Which is great, by the way. I find it hard to believe that any of you, the CMU readership, might not have heard of Ben Folds. Not least because we here at CMU bang on about him quite a bit. But that one person, who has heard his name, but still doesn't really know what his music sounds like, please check him out. Put in a bit of effort. Not all his songs are immediately catchy, but after a couple of listens, you'll understand why he's a genius. And those of you who know me will know that I do not use the term 'genius' lightly.


So, the Mercury Music Prize judges surprised everyone last night by being unpredictably predictable and opting to award their 'best album of the year' title and £20,000 prize to Arctic Monkeys, whose debut album 'Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not' had been favourite to win the Prize ever since the 12 album shortlist was announced back in July.

Collecting the award, Monkeys frontman Alex Turner joked "someone call 999 - [fellow finalist] Richard Hawley has been robbed", before telling the audience at the awards event: "Thanks everyone, thanks so much everyone that helped us. We are a bit surprised because normally it doesn't go to a band that has sold as many records as we have. We're very, very pleased because it's just good tunes, that's what we try to do. There are no tricks. Too many people try to do too many tricks."

The Mercury judging panel said the Arctic Monkeys' long player, which, of course, became the UK's fastest selling debut album back in February after an incredible (and slightly made up) hype organically grew around the band in the British media, consisted of "great songs, astonishingly performed", adding that it was "essential".


So Solid star Megaman has gone on trial for the same alleged murder for the third time. As previously reported, the rapper, real name Dwayne Vincent, is accused of urging his friend Carl Morgan to shoot one Colin Scarlett back in 2004. Morgan was, of course, convicted in 2005 of shooting Scarlett, who was at that time seeing Morgan's ex-girlfriend.

Jurors were told that Vincent was to be tried for the third time due to "technical and administrative reasons". In fact, the last time Vincent was in court, the jury was unable to reach a verdict, leading to the re-trial. The new jurors were asked on Monday to declare if they remembered details of the first two trials, or if they had any strong views on the garage, rap and hip-hop genres.

Vincent has, of course, always protested his innocence. Charged with encouraging Morgan to kill his love-rival, and accused of embracing a culture of violence, the rapper emphasised during the second trial that he, 'Vincent', should not be confused with his alter-ego 'Megaman' after the prosecution offered So Solid tracks as evidence of his guilt in court.

However, Jeremy Donne, for the prosecution, this week told the court that this was a case about "humiliation, or disrespect, fermenting a desire for revenge", adding "When they found Mr Scarlett, there was a brief encounter before Morgan, with Vincent's encouragement and support, shot him dead."


Reports (actually, many reports, though those reports may just be reporting on Billboard's report, I'm not sure) suggest that Vivendi's Universal Music Group will today acquire Bertelsmann's BMG Music Publishing company, regulator approval permitting.

Sources close to the sale of the music publishing company say Universal's bid, worth over US$2 billion in cash, has been all but accepted by Bertelsmann's board, who, as previously reported, are selling the publishing outfit to help finance a deal from earlier this year which saw the German conglom buy out a former 25% shareholder.

Assuming the deal goes ahead, Universal is expected to merge BMG Music Publishing with its own publishing house, Universal Music Publishing, which would mean that Vivendi would own not only the biggest record company in the world (Universal Music Group), but also the biggest music publishing house.

To go ahead the deal will require approval from both US and European competition officials. The former are unlikely to raise any objections to the deal, although with the European Commission some concerns may be raised given the sensitivities regarding the consolidation of the music industry after the European Courts overturned the previous EC decision to allow Sony and BMG to merge their record companies.

That said, the consensus seems to be that mergers in the publishing sector are unlikely to be blocked, mainly because the publishing firms are not directly consumer facing.


Talking about EU regulators and music industry consolidation, Beggars boss and IMPALA chair Martin Mills has an opinion piece in this week's Billboard outlining why, in his opinion, it is important for the independent sector to work together to stop the growing dominance of the major players in the global music market - responding, of course, to that EU court decision regarding SonyBMG, and the impact the ruling had on Warner and EMI's plans to merge.

He writes: "We live in a very different environment label-wise that was the case 10-15 years ago. Then there were not just six majors, but 10 or more large multinational independents (such as A&M, Island, Motown, Virgin and Zomba) competing head on and successfully in the market place with the majors. Four big companies can impose their will on retail in a way 15 did not".

He explains: "If HMV wants U2 records, it has to get them from Universal. If MTV wants a U2 video, Universal is the only label that can supply it. When there's space for just 'x' titles to be racked at the front of the store and just 'y' videos on the playlist, that gives Universal the clout to get another space. When you've got four or even three big companies using such leverage ... it's not hard to see how a great new artist on a small, quality label can quite simple get squeezed out".

Stressing that "we're not anti-major per se", he concludes "independents are not 'cry babies' in running to the regulator and the courts. We are using the weapons available to us, standing up for ourselves and for our artists and music".

You can read the full piece in this week's Billboard, should you have access to such things.


Elsewhere in the crowd pleasing world of mergers and acquisitions, Woolies' CD and DVD distribution firm Entertainment UK has announced it is taking over rival company THE, or Total Home Entertainment. The move means that E UK will now control the distribution of entertainment products to Sainsbury's, Music Zone, Fopp and Somerfield as well as its own existing clients, which include Tesco, WH Smith, Morrisons, Amazon and, of course, Woolworths. THE will continue to operate as an autonomous company within the E UK/Woolworths group for the time being, although presumably some proper merging and restructuring will go on at some point, probably next year.

Confirming the deal, E UK MD Lloyd Wigglesworth told reporters: "EUK and THE are both highly successful and profitable companies in the entertainment distribution market with ambitious plans for expansion and growth. The two businesses are extremely complementary, and by bringing them together we will be able to offer a wider range of services and greater added value to our customers and suppliers."


ALBUM REVIEW: Seafood - Paper Crown King (Cooking Vinyl)
Seafood are some of the unsung indie rock heroes of recent times. They've been releasing consistently good albums that have been quietly well received rather than attaining gushing plaudits for a few years now. 'Surviving The Quiet' and 'When Do We Start Fighting' were terrific records which deserved a wider audience. 'Paper Crown King' is another solidly crafted piece of work featuring some great visceral guitar sounds which owe much to American bands like the Pixies and Sonic Youth. 'I Will Talk' has an angsty feel and boasts powerful riffs a plenty, while the title track contains some very fancy guitar. 'Last Outpost' and 'Disappear' are typical of the band's vigorous songs with unexpected changes in pace and dynamic. Seafood have a great ear for melody both on their fast songs and the slower more mellow tracks. 'Time And Tides' and 'Awkward Ghost' are sweet and tender, with vocals from David Line that ooze with vulnerability. Though the album's stand out track is 'How You Gonna Live Without Me', an exquisite song which features drummer Caroline Banks on lead vocals. Line recorded the album after recovering from a collapsed lung, so in every sense this album is a triumph. JW
Release date: 4 Sep
Press contact: Cooking Vinyl IH [all]


An LA bankruptcy judge has set a deadline for parties to file claims against Death Row Records and its chief Suge Knight as part of the Chapter 11 restructuring of the legendary hip hop label. As previously reported, Death Row and Knight filed for Chapter 11 protection back in April amid demands from another LA court that the hip hop mogul pay up on a compensation payment he had been ordered to pay in a previous court case with former business associates.

Anyone with a financial claim against the label or its owner must now submit details of the claim to the bankruptcy court by 31 Oct. The label's 'chapter 11 trustee', Todd Neilson, told reporters this week: "We believe that it is vital that all parties asserting claims come forward and assert them in a timely manner so that Death Row can come out of Chapter 11 quickly". Among those already known to have a claim against Death Row are Koch Records, Interscope Records, the IRS and Lydia and Michael Harris, the two former business associates who have the earlier compensation claim against Knight (well, Lydia mainly, though Michael was claiming a share as part of the couple's divorce proceedings).


Manic Street Preachers are to re-release their 1996 album 'Everything Must Go', on 6 Nov. The re-issue will consist of two CDs and a DVD and will feature loads of bonus material, including live versions of album tracks, TV appearances, promo videos and interviews.

Tracklistings as follows:

Elvis Impersonator: Blackpool Pier
A Design For Life
Kevin Carter
Everything Must Go
Small Black Flowers That Grow In The Sky
The Girl Who Wanted To Be God
Interiors (song for Willem de Kooning)
Further Away
No Surface All Feeling
Enola/Alone (live)
Kevin Carter (live)
Interiors (Song For Willem de Kooning) (live)
Elvis Impersonator: Blackpool Pier (live)
Everything Must Go (live)
A Design For Life (live)
A Design For Life (Stealth Sonic Orchestra Remix)

No Surface All Feeling (demo)
Further Away (demo)
Small Black Flowers That Grow In The Sky (demo)
No One Knows What It's Like To Be Me (demo)
Australia (acoustic demo)
No Surface All Feeling (acoustic demo)
Interiors (acoustic demo)
The Girl Who Wanted To Be God (acoustic demo)
A Design For Life (first rehearsal)
Kevin Carter (first rehearsal)
Mr Carbohydrate
Dead Trees And Traffic Islands
Dead Passive
Black Garden
Hanging On
No One Knows What It's Like To Be Me
Horses Under Starlight
First Republic
Australia (Stephen Hague production)
The Girl Who Wanted To Be God

The Making of 'Everything Must Go'

Small Black Flowers That Grow In The Sky (on Later...With Jools Holland)
Australia (on Later...With Jools Holland)
A Design For Life (on TFI Friday)
No Surface All Feeling (at Reading 1997)
Everything Must Go (on Saturday Live)
A Design For Life (at BRIT Awards + speech)

Enola/Alone (at Manchester Nynex, 1997)
Small Black Flowers That Grow In The Sky (at Manchester Nynex, 1997)
The Girl Who Wanted To Be God (at Manchester Nynex, 1997)

Films by Patrick Jones:
Further Away
Home Movie

A Design For Life
Everything Must Go
Kevin Carter


Original REM drummer Bill Berry will perform three songs with the band to celebrate their induction into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame on 16 Sep in Atlanta. Berry has only played on three previous occasions with the group since his departure in 1997, most recently, as previously reported, at the wedding of REM guitar tech Dewitt Burton in October last year.

Following that induction, REM are to shortly head back into the studio after a year long break. That previously reported CD/DVD collection, 'And I Feel Fine', a compilation of their early recordings, is out next week on EMI.


50 Cent is producing LL Cool J's new album, which, he says, is his last for Def Jam.

On the Fiddy collaboration, LL said: "We did six records in three or four days", while on the Def Jam departure he added: "For me, I needed to go and work with somebody who really had my best interests at heart."

LL Cool J, by the way, is doing a one off at Brixton Academy on 12 Oct, if you didn't know that already.


Interesting. Sufjan Stevens has announced that he plans to release an album of Christmas Carols this autumn. It's a five volume anthology, apparently, recorded between 2001 and 2006, and will come with various extras including stickers, lyric sheets and chord charts. It features covers of standard hymns and traditional songs as well as new material.

The track listing is as follows:

Noel: Songs for Christmas, Vol. I (recorded December 2001)
Silent Night
O Come O Come Emmanuel
We're Goin' To the Country!
Lo How A Rose E'er Blooming
It's Christmas! Let's Be Glad!
Holy Holy
Amazing Grace

Hark!: Songs for Christmas, Vol. II (recorded December 2002)
Angels We Have Heard on High
Put the Lights on the Tree
Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
I Saw Three Ships
Only at Christmas Time
Once in Royal David's City
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!
What Child Is This Anyway?
Bring A Torch, Jeanette, Isabella

Ding! Dong!: Songs for Christmas, Vol. III (recorded December 2003)
O Come, O Come Emmanuel
Come on! Let's Boogey to the Elf Dance!
We Three Kings
O Holy Night
That Was the Worst Christmas Ever!
Ding! Dong!
All the King's Horns
The Friendly Beasts

Joy: Songs for Christmas, Vol. IV (recorded December 2005)
The Little Drummer Boy
Away In A Manger
Hey Guys! It's Christmas Time!
The First Noel
Did I Make You Cry On Christmas Day? (Well, You Deserved It!)
The Incarnation
Joy To The World

Peace: Songs for Christmas, Vol. V (recorded June 2006)
Once in Royal David's City
Get Behind Me, Santa!
Jingle Bells
Christmas in July
Lo! How A Rose E'er Blooming
Jupiter Winter
Sister Winter
O Come O Come Emmanuel
Star of Wonder
Holy, Holy, Holy
The Winter Solstice


The Rolling Stones have denied claims by quite-mouthy-at-the-moment Kasabian that they are considering quitting touring.

As previously reported, Kasabian have supported the Stones on some European dates on their current Bigger Bang tour. Speaking about that experience, Kasabian's Tom Meighan told reporters that Jagger et al were considering bringing to an end the Stones' grueling live schedule, saying: "[The Bigger Bang dates are] the last ones they'll be playing now. They're about finished. Time's calling on them man and they're gonna stop actually doing it. I can't believe it but they are gonna stop playing".

However, a spokesman for The Stones denied those claims, adding that reporters should "watch this space" for an announcement regarding future live activity. According to Gigwise, the Stones' people said this: "The Rolling Stones categorically deny that the 'Bigger Bang' tour will be their last, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have continually refuted the rumours. Keith recently said that they were not in it for the money, they are in it for the glory and they thoroughly intend to carry on".


Peter Hook has confirmed he is writing a book about the legendary Manchester nightclub The Hacienda which, of course, was founded by New Order and Factory Records boss Tony Wilson, and kept out of liquidation on more than one occasion by the profits from New Order's record sales.

Although he is yet to secure a publisher for the book, which has a working title of 'How Not To Run A Club', Hook told the Manchester Evening News: "I realised I'd bored my friends for years with tales from The Hacienda so now I thought I'd bore the general public with it. But once I started to get into the writing I realised what a huge endeavour it was, and that I was going to have to work on it properly to do it justice. To us it's a tale of woe, but The Hacienda did change the world of clubbing. Even though it took me to the edge and it took Factory Records to the edge. The stories are legion and legendary."

Aspects of the story behind The Hacienda were, of course, documented in Michael Winterbottom's 2002 movie '24 Hour Party People'.


SINGLE REVIEW: Keith - Mona Lisa's Child (Lucky Number)
Their name is still terrible but this single is yet again rather good. It doesn't sound up to much at first, but slowly reveals itself to be quite addictive, a prowling cocksure beast packed with the sound and swagger of the Stone Roses, Kasabian and The Longcut. To be honest, the accompanying remixes are much better than the original, though still reflect kindly on it. Alain Braxe & Fred Falke strip out the guitars (usually a good move in my book), and replace them with some warm string sounds and a feline disco beat, instantly toning down the song's slightly boorish masculinity to something more graceful and, er, shiny. Meanwhile, James Ford pulls a similar trick, but instead piles on the acid sounds and squelches and electro beats like it's 1988 or something. Good stuff, chaps. MS
Release date: 5 Sep
Press contact: Inhouse Press [CP, RP, NP] Cool Badge [CR, RR, NR]


Music website and online community Drowned In Sound is six years old next month, and will be celebrating with six special events, mainly in London (though with one in Reykjavik, obviously). It all kicks off with a special edition of their monthly Barfly night DiScover. The events stack up as follows:

10 Oct: DiScover @ Camden Barfly - Dartz!, The Chap, Blood Red Shoes, DiS DJs.

17 Oct: Celebrating Elliot Smith @ Union Chapel, Islington - line up tba, in aid of Elliott Smith Foundation.

18 Oct: DiS UK Tour London date @ 93ft East - Fields, Good Book, Kid Harpoon.

19 Oct: DiS @ Iceland Airwaves in Reykjavik - Kaiser Chiefs (DJ set), Metric, Love Is All.

30 Oct: DiS Digital Singles Club @ the Luminaire - Emmy The Great & Friends, plus guests.

31 Oct: DiS Hallowe'en Party @ Hammersmith Palais - Metric plus guests.

You'll get press info on all this from Dog Day Press - [email protected]


Aberfeldy have begun series of tour dates following the release of their second album, 'Do Whatever Turns You On'. As follows:

6 Sep: Birmingham Bar Academy
7 Sep: Nottingham Social
8 Sep: Bristol Louisiana
10 Sep: Cardiff Barfly
11 Sep: Oxford Zodiac
12 Sep: Southampton Joiners
13 Sep: Brighton Hanbury Ballroom
14 Sep: London Bush Hall
16 Sep: Leeds Josephs Well
17 Sep: Hull Adelphi
18 Sep: Edinburgh Liquid Room
19 Sep: Glasgow ABC


The Long Blondes have announced that they will release their debut album, 'Someone To Drive You Home', on 6 Nov, preceded by their next single 'Once And Never Again' on 23 Oct. They are on tour next month, dates as follows:

1 Oct: Norwich Arts Centre
2 Oct: Stoke Sugarmill
3 Oct: Manchester Academy
4 Oct: Manchester Academy
5 Oct: Leeds Cockpit
7 Oct: Newcastle Northumbria Uni
9 Oct: Aberdeen Lemon Tree
10 Oct: Glasgow Oran Mor
11 Oct: Belfast Speak Easy
12 Oct: Dublin Crawdaddy
13 Oct: Liverpool University
15 Oct: Oxford Zodiac
16 Oct: Nottingham Rescue Rooms
17 Oct: London Mean Fiddler
18 Oct: Cambridge Junction
22 Oct: Cardiff CF10
23 Oct: Bristol Thekla
26 Oct: Brighton Concorde
27 Oct: Southampton Joiners
28 Oct: Birmingham Academy 2
29 Oct: Sheffield The Foundry


I really like 747s. So I'm pleased to hear they're releasing a new single, 'Death Of A Star' on 18 Sep, on CD, 7" and via download. That precedes the release of their debut album 'Zampano', which, by the way, I am very much looking forward to, on 25 Sep.

The band's headline tour dates are as follows:

12 Sep: London, Barfly
13 Sep: Leeds, Faversham (Club NME)
14 Sep: Birmingham, Barfly
16 Sep: Stoke, Underground (Club NME)
18 Sep: Coventry, Collliseum
20 Sep: Wolverhampton, Little Civic
21 Sep: Sheffield, Fuzz Club
22 Sep: Liverpool, [email protected]
23 Sep: Hull, The Adelphi
27 Sep: Belfast, Speakeasy
28 Sep: Dublin, Whelans
29 Sep: Cork, Cyprus Avenue
30 Sep: London, Frog


Jack Black's Tenacious D have announced a series of UK tour dates following the release of their new album, 'The Pick Of Destiny', which soundtracks the duo's film of the same name, on 13 Nov. Tickets for the gigs go on sale Saturday at 9am. I hope I get to go.

10 Dec: Dublin RDS
11 Dec: Glasgow SECC
12 Dec: Manchester Evening News Arena
15 Dec: Birmingham NEC
17 Dec: Brighton Centre
18 Dec: London Hammersmith Apollo
19 Dec: London Hammersmith Apollo


It Bites (remember them - you know, 'Calling All The Heroes') will reform, record and tour for the first time in fifteen years, although original frontman Francis Dunnery will not be taking part, vocal duties being taken on by one John Mitchell, with whom the rest of the band have worked in the band Kino. The live dates will be as follows, tickets go on sale Friday.

5 Dec: Glasgow King Tuts
6 Dec: Birmingham Academy 2
7 Dec: London Islington Academy
8 Dec: Manchester Academy 2


Glasto man Michael Eavis has promised "the greatest show on Earth" when Glastonbury returns next year, which is quite a boast. Though 'greatness' is pretty subjective I guess. I happen to think CMU is the greatest music news service in the world, whereas you probably think of it as occasionally informative spam. Though, just for the record, I'm right on that one.

Anyway, here's what Eavis told Uncut magazine about Glasto 2007: "What I can announce now is that I'm adding an extra 100 acres next year so it will be the biggest festival ever. I'm renting the additional land from a neighbour so there's more space and major improvements to the campsite. So it's not just going to be bigger, but better. We're going to be presenting the best line-up anywhere in the world. Glastonbury 2007, will be, literally, the greatest show on Earth. All I can tell you at this stage is whatever rumours you've heard...they're probably all true."


Oh, oh, all sorts of shenanigans going on over at Viacom, the owners of MTV. The media company's chairman and controlling shareholder, Sumner Redstone, announced yesterday that Viacom CEO Tom Freston was no longer on the payroll. He's out. Gone. Forgotten. Who was Tom again? Never heard of him.

It seems that Freston has "lost the confidence of Wall Street", despite the fact that MTV, which Freston has played a key role in developing, has actually been quite successful. However, overall Viacom's performance has not been good enough since Redstone split up his media conglom into two separate businesses last year - CBS controlling the group's terrestrial TV and radio stations, and Viacom, controlling the cable channels and film studios.

City types expected Viacom to benefit most from the split - but in fact its stock prices have slumped, while CBS has performed well. Insiders say the slump has been caused by the disappointing performance of Viacom's film studio business and also because the company failed to make any major leaps in the online space, while competitor News Corp scored a coup in that domain by acquiring MySpace at just the right time.

Freston will be replaced as CEO by former Viacom exec and long term Redstone ally Philippe Dauman.


The iPod manufacturing company that was accused of operating dodgy sweatshop-esque working conditions has completely dropped its libel case against two Chinese journalists who published the allegations.

As previously reported, tech firm Hon Hai took legal action against the reporters from China Business News after they made allegations regarding the company's working practices, initially seeking unprecedented (in China) damages of $3.7 million. As public pressure grew against Hon Hai, and with China Business News standing by their reporters, the tech firm altered their claim last week so that the case became about the principle, rather than about financial compensation.

As of yesterday the Taiwanese company dropped its libel case completely, claiming it had done so out of "respect for journalists' social responsibility in scrutinizing corporations". CBN confirmed that the dispute between the two companies had been resolved, and both sides apologised to the other for any inconvenience the dispute had caused.

The whole debacle could, however, continue to inconvenience Hon Hai, because Chinese authorities have told the company they must establish a workers union at their factories in the country by the end of the year. The union would be affiliated to the All-China Federation Of Trade Unions.

As previously reported, Apple undertook an investigation of Hon Hai's operations after the British press reported on the questionable working practices. Although they did ask for some changes to be made at Hon Hai's Chinese factories, the computer firm denied that their supplier's employees were subject to sweatshop conditions.


EMAP's radio division is to be restructured so that rather than being a stand alone entity it operates as a unit within the group's consumer media business (which is pretty much how it used to be, if I remember rightly). The shift means there will be an extra layer of management (mainly EMAP consumer boss Paul Keenan) above the top team at EMAP Radio.

The move follows pretty full on criticism of EMAP Radio's management by media regulator OfCom after they slapped that record breaking £175,000 fine on Kiss FM following complaints relating to the subsequently axed Bam Bam breakfast show. According to the Guardian, the regulator said EMAP radio's top team were "unable to manage its talent", that it had "little control" over its local management and that it "showed an almost willful disregard for not only OfCom's codes but also the station's own audience".

However, EMAP Radio boss Dee Ford denied that the restructure had anything to do with OfCom's rant against her division. The Guardian quote her thus: "These are two completely separate issues. While we acknowledge there were weaknesses in our system, we have dealt with them. This is the next stage in our development and will let us realise the benefits of getting closer to consumer insights. EMAP Radio is in rude health and this stage of our evolution will put us in an impeccable position to take advantage of EMAP's breadth of platforms and strength of our brands."


Animal welfare groups have spoken out against Madonna for allegedly being a murderous bloodsports enthusiast and importing 1000 baby pheasants from France for the shooting season. They are apparently just a fraction of the total amount - around 32,000, apparently - to be shipped to the star's estate to mature before being HUNTED DOWN and KILLED.

It's said, however, that Madonna and husband Guy Ritchie have themselves given up shooting, but they still allow friends to enjoy the sport on their grounds.

Andrew Tyler, director of Animal Aid says: "Shame on Madonna. She thinks that when she puts on her plus fours she is part of the landed gentry. But this is not in harmony with nature. It is the production of factory birds to provide a live shooting gallery."

A spokeswoman for Madonna said: "Both Madonna and Guy have stopped shooting. We can confirm that the estate got 1,000 birds from France as an experiment this year but we won't be doing it again."


Family news now. Sean 'Diddy' Combs and his longtime girlfriend Kim Porter are expecting twins. I know this because Diddy posted an "emergency announcement" to that effect on his MySpace on Monday. Yeah, an "emergency announcement". He also called himself a "champion", which is easy for him to say, given that it is Porter who will have to spend eight months with two growing babies in her womb. He concluded: "The doctor told me and Kim, and I'm telling you right now, no press announcement, I'm just telling people in my family, that I'm having twins. It is official".

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