CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 22nd March
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- McCartney signs to Starbucks label
- Potential Spector jurors down to 200
- Kanawa wins concert promoter lawsuit
- 3000 Leeds and Reading Festival ticket buyers lose tickets
- Tower Of London gigs announced
- Bestival additions
- Rolling Stones plan Slane gig
- Flaming Lips album to inspire new musical
- Ozzfest headliners announced
- ASCAP Latin awards winners
- Tori Amos album
- TV On The Radio live EP
- Chemical Brothers album
- Elton confirms digital release of back catalogue
- TuneTribe taking Monkeys pre-orders by text
- Furies showcase
- OMD tour
- Young Knives tour
- Album review: Ebb - Loona
- Bertelsmann's profits double - well done them
- Lerner parts Wind-up
- Smooth London announce more appointments
- Chrysalis Radio ad sales up
- Virgin to sponsor Big Brother
- Parents call baby by mad name
- Timberlake not honoured by Tennessee
- Elton John on gay rights

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TOP BIT>>
So this is interesting. Reports suggest that some of those European Commission types are seriously considering making internet service providers and mobile firms and websites like YouTube take on at least some liability for any online copyright infringement that their customers undertake on their networks. Which would be a considerable change in direction, given that to date while the courts have generally made the makers of P2P software liable for the copyright infringement they enable (post MGM v Grokster at least), the ISPs and tel cos have generally avoided any liability, despite some senior record company types suggesting it should be otherwise. And while YouTube et al are facing specific claims against them in relation to the copyright infringement they enable, the content sharing websites have so far generally settled out of court when faced with legal action from content owners, meaning the actual law governing those websites' liability is still a bit vague.

Clarification on this whole area through new laws would probably be a good thing, for the record industry certainly, who would have a new target for their anti-P2P action, and without having to fight any expensive and risky test lawsuits to confirm that fact. That said, it is unclear if legislators would make the tech firms liable for online copyright infringement simply via their failure to introduce measures to stop illegal content distribution, or whether liability would only kick in if they were seen to actually encourage it - the latter scenario greatly reducing the possibility of those tech firms being deemed liable. And, of course, any new laws - weak or strong - will be very much opposed by the powerful IT and telecommunication lobbies, so while Commissioners may be indeed discussing the proposals, we shouldn't expect them to become law anytime soon.

Still, it's interesting to see that they're on the agenda at all, and the fact they are might provide a good environment for those that advocate the system whereby ISPs and tel cos have to pay a general royalty to the content owning community, because of the importance that content plays in their ability to make money - ie a platform where they can push forward with those proposals. Though those too are likely to be fiercely fought off by the IT and telecoms community - so I think we can expect a lot more chatter on all this in coming months more so than any action.

PS: For ex college radio types - don't forget the Association Of Student Radio Alumni is staging a get together tonight, info and all of that jazz is at http://www.studentradioalumni.com. In a past CMU Daily I said I'd be there - flying the Fresh Air FM flag - which was my intention, until I realised it clashed with the launch of the Brighton Festival Fringe 2007 programme, which necessitates me being by the sea later today. But I'm sure it will be a great night even without my presence. No, really, I do. Any former Fresh Air types going make sure you fly that flag for me.

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CLASSIFIEDS>>

INTERESTED IN SELLING YOUR RECORD LABEL?
Music Gain is acquiring catalogue and merging with Record labels. If you are thinking of selling, or are interested in a merger with a long term capital partner, please contact us. Introduction and spotters fees also paid. Please visit us - http://www.musicgain.com

DESKSPACE IN SUNNY CENTRAL SOHO OFFICES
We are a young, fun creative agency based slap bang in the middle of Soho with 4 spare desks in a spacious, dedicated office. Fabulous location, £75 per week per desk all in, including insurance, rates, 24/7 access, superfast internet, and the added bonus of working alongside other lovely and stimulating people. Email Giles on sohodeskspace@gmail.com for more info.

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INTERNSHIPS N STUFF>>

CMU INTERNSHIP
Unlimited Media/CMU is looking for a summer computer science intern, preferably London based, to concentrate on the functionality of new projects. Working closely with our Product Manager, you will be taking ownership of the initial development and spec an exciting new "web 2.0" channel. Alongside real coding and some design, there'll be the opportunity to develop new editorial ideas, and demonstrate your understanding of web technologies to communicate ideas effectively. You'll have good knowledge of Python - or the ability to pick it up fast - will be extremely confident with HTML and CSS, and will be thoroughly at home with databases, including postgreSQL, and server admin. The projects you work on during your internship will both develop your project management and problem solving skills and form the basis of several live sites, giving you some great CV material. Contact web@unlimitedmedia.co.uk with a one page CV outlining your skills, and contact details, including email and mobile.

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CMU RECOMMENDS>>

INSOMNIACS BALL
The third Insomniacs Ball will take over London's seOne Club on 5 Apr, with another storming line up of bands and DJs and, this time, ballroom decor and fancy dress. Already on the bill are The Twang, Brakes, Blood Red Shoes, Fear of Flying, The Officers, Goose, These New Puritans, The Longcut, Dandy Wind, Bolt Action Five, Headland, Black Daniel, AHuman, Shakes, Shy Child and Reverend And The Makers all live, plus on the old decks the Artrocker DJs, Marsha (Xfm), Mark Beaumont (NME), Eddy Temple Morris (Xfm), No Pain In Pop, Gavin Nugent, Mekon, Riotous Rockers, Alvin C and the wonderful wonderful Infadels. Tickets are a mere £21.50, with a limited number of student tickets available for NUS card holders at just £15. VIP golden tickets which offer access to an exclusive VIP area are also available for sixty quid. Ticket type stuff can be found at http://www.ticketweb.co.uk, line up info will appear over the coming weeks at http://www.insomniacsball.co.uk, and for press info you need to drop an email to laura@scruffybird.com.

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INDIESTORE OF THE DAY: KEVIN MORGAN

Hey, this is a bit different isn't it? And I'm not just talking about the fact this is an 'Indiestore' of the day, rather than a MySpace. Kevin Morgan is a trombone player, you see, and here on his Indiestore page you can preview or buy a number, actually, a whole load, of great instrumental pieces featuring Kevin's mates on guitar, flute and keyboard but most importantly, he himself on the trombone. And if, you like CMU, love a bit of brass in the morning, then you're in for a treat. Kevin is trombonist with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra but, according to the blurby bit here, has an ambition to "develop new repertoire and recordings involving the trombone", and this here Indiestore is presumably him starting to do just that. And I for one approve - forget guitar bands, keep your synthesisers to yourself, bring on the brass revival. (And if you're a real trombone obsessive (I'm told they exist) you'll find a link to a site where you can buy mugs featuring trombone cartoons. I kid ye not).

http://www.indiestore.com/kevinmorgan

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MCCARTNEY SIGNS TO STARBUCKS LABEL
Surprising, erm, no one, Starbucks yesterday announced that the first signing to its previously reported new record label venture will be Paul McCartney.

The announcement followed confirmation by the coffee firm last week that it was expanding its music operations and launching a joint venture record label with Concorde Music Group. McCartney was widely rumoured to be the label's first signing at the time that announcement was made.

That signing was confirmed at Starbucks' annual shareholders meeting yesterday, where McCartney himself spoke via satellite and confirmed that his debut album with the new label should be released in early June, and that it was a very "personal" album that he had been working on for a while.

The new long player will be released via traditional music stores as well as Starbucks 13,000 coffee stores worldwide. McCartney added that he was looking forward to reaching his audience in a new way - ie via instore promotion at Starbucks stores - and he's right to - personally I think it's a genius partnership.

Commenting on using the Starbucks stores as a promotional platform for music, Concord president Glen Barros told reporters yesterday: "This is a pretty powerful new platform, when you can reach 44 million customers per week through Starbucks stores".

McCartney says he will maintain a relationship with his existing label, EMI's Parlophone, in relation to his classical work - another album of which is reportedly in the pipeline.

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POTENTIAL SPECTOR JURORS DOWN TO 200
So, 100 have been voted off the Phil Spector Wall Of Judgement spectacular. Or, rather, they've been excused from sitting on the jury on the legendary music producer's upcoming murder trial. All of which means the 300 being considered to sit on the jury on Monday are now down to 200. Each of those 200 will now perform a turn in front of legal representative of both side, oh, no, hang on, they'll fill out a questionnaire which will be used by legal representatives of both sides to identify if they have any problems with the remaining potential jurors. Then a final jury of 12 will be selected.

Spector and his wife watched the jury selection processes in court. After the court session yesterday, Spector's lawyer Roger Rosen told reporters: "He's doing OK. He has had a number of health issues over the last year and he's not past all of them yet".

As much much previously reported, Spector is accused of shooting dead actress Lana Clarkson at his Beverley Hills home in Feburary 2003. Which is all very serious and probably makes the flippant way you talked about the jury selection process there a bit inappropriate - shame on you. Spector, of course, denies the charges.

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KANAWA WINS CONCERT PROMOTER LAWSUIT
Opera star Dame Kiri Te Kanawa's pants trial is over, and she's successfully fought off the litigation brought against her, though the company who employs her will have to cover some of the claimant's costs.

As previously reported, this lawsuit was in relation to a proposed co-headline tour with John Farnham. Kanawa was due to tour with the Australian rock star in 2005 but pulled out of the venture, allegedly after watching a DVD of a Farnham gig and becoming concerned at the way his audience acted during his performance - and in particular the way they threw underwear at the singer.

The promoter of the proposed tour, Leading Edge Events, sued the singer and her management for A$2 million claiming it had lost money on the cost of publicity and ticket sales relating to the cancelled tour.

But New South Wales Supreme Court Judge Patricia Bergin, who heard the case, ruled that while the costs Leading Edge alluded to had been discussed in emails between them and Kanawa's people, neither the singer nor her managment had made any firm commitment to the tour before the point at which she pulled out of the project.

However, Bergin did rule that Kanawa's company, Mattane, had not been completely honest in their reasons for pulling out of the venture, suggesting that the opera singer had been annoyed when the rock star had missed a planning meeting and that that had also played a part in the decision to pull. To that end the judge ordered the company to pay Leading Edge A$128,063 (£52,000) towards costs incurred.

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3000 LEEDS AND READING FESTIVAL TICKET BUYERS LOSE TICKETS
Organisers of those there Leeds and Reading festivals have confirmed that thousands of people who had received confirmation of a weekend ticket purchase to the event have not, in fact, got tickets. Which is a bit of a pain. For the affected people, mainly. Doesn't really pain me if I'm being honest, but I'm the king of empathy, so for the purposes of this story I will empathise with the affected people.

The situation (or 'fuck up', not that I'm calling it a fuck up, but some of those affected probably are, and remember, I'm empathising) arose because a high volume of traffic on the ticket sales website meant that when there was a problem with a credit card purchase - either because the customer typed in numbers wrong or had insufficient funds on their card - they were nevertheless told their ticket order had been processed. The error was discovered the following day but by the time organisers could alert the 1100 Leeds Festival and 2000 Reading Festival ticket buyers affected, all weekend tickets were sold. However, some 'coach package tickets', which bundle together a weekend pass and coach travel to the festival, were still available and these were held back for affected ticket buyers up until last night. Though those do cost between £30 and £40 more (depending on where your coaching from) which is a bit of a cunt if you don't actually need the coach travel bit (I'm not calling it a 'cunt', I must stress that, it's the empathy thing remember).

Confirming the error, that bastard Melvyn Benn (actually, I think Mr Benn is a lovely bloke and talented promoter - but empathy rules demand I refer to him as a bastard in this context), MD of festival organiser Mean Fiddler, told reporters: "Cards were rejected either because their numbers were inputted incorrectly or they did not have sufficient funds. The sad thing is they got a confirmation and then relaxed and it wasn't until the next morning they were told there was a problem, by which time the weekend tickets were gone".

Actually, most of the reporting on this story has been very understanding of the festival organiser's problem, possibly because it was a genuine technical error, possibly because they quickly put the 'coach ticket replacement' thing in place, or possibly because all the journalists reporting on it are hoping for press tickets and don't want to rock the boat. I'd like to point out we're not rocking any boats here. And empathy aside, anyone who complains about missing out on tickets or having to pay more for tickets because of this tiny error, is a terrible moaner who probably didn't deserve to go in the first place. Now, who looks after Reading press tickets again?

The Reading and Leeds Festivals take place from 24-26 Aug and will be headlined by The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Razorlight and The Smashing Pumpkins.

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TOWER OF LONDON GIGS ANNOUNCED
James Morrison, Seal and Bryan Ferry have all been booked to play this year's programme of gigs at the Tower Of London. Alas not the Towers Of London. Which is a crying shame. Though I suppose that might start a dangerous precedent. You'd have punk bands calling themselves Buckingham Palace or 10 Downing Street or MI5 HQ and that's asking for trouble. Though arguably they'd need to be called Buckinghams Palace for the precedent to be binding.

Anyway, what was I talking about? Oh yes, the third annual Tower Of London gigs programme, which will take place from 28 Jun to 14 Jul. Also on the bill are Bryn Terfel, Katherine Jenkins, Elvis Costello, Dave Stewart, Joe Cocker and the Gipsy Kings. The programme will kick off with a fashion show in aid of Breakthrough Breast Cancer and the Everyman male cancer charity.

Tickets go on sale today.

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BESTIVAL ADDITIONS
Bestival has announced the latest additions to this year's line-up and they're all goodies. They mostly are when it's Bestival, I find. Among the new confirmations are Gossip, Foals, The Noisettes, Bat For Lashes, Shy Child and Tunng. As you'll remember, because we reported on it, the festival - which takes place of course from 7-9 Sep in Newport, IOW - will be headlined by Beastie Boys and The Chemical Brothers. Tickets on sale now. Go here: http://www.bestival.net/

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ROLLING STONES PLAN SLANE GIG
According to reports The Rolling Stones are planning to play a gig at Ireland's 80,000+ capacity Slane Castle venue this summer, as part of their ongoing world tour. The concert is expected to take place on 18 Aug, following the band's previously reported headline slot at the Isle Of White Festival in June. The band are also said to be planning their first ever Russian date, with a gig set to take place in St Petersburg this summer.

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FLAMING LIPS ALBUM TO INSPIRE NEW MUSICAL
According to reports, The Flaming Lips are working with West Wing chappie Aaron Sorkin and director Des McAnuff on a new Broadway musical inspired by the band's seminal LP 'Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots'.

Frontman Wayne Coyne is quoted as saying: "When Des heard the record, he heard a lot about death and loss and the triumph of your own optimism... he had an emotional attachment to it. I tell people all the time, it's not really a story. It's more like a mood. There's a Japanese girl; she fights some robots; that's five minutes. After that I don't know."

Sounds promising. Or not.

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OZZFEST HEADLINERS ANNOUNCED
Ozzfest has announced its headliners for this year and they are Lamb Of God, Hatebreed and last year's Eurovision winners Lordi. The US touring festival starts on 12 Jul this year in Seattle, and takes in a further 23 American cities. Additional info on dates and locations is expected to be announced shortly, along with other acts set to appear. Tickets this year are free, by the way.

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ASCAP LATIN AWARDS WINNERS
It was the ASCAP Latin Music Songwriting Awards in New York last night. Did you go? No? Gosh, you missed one hell of a star studded party. Mexican singer/songwriter Marco Antonio Solis was named Songwriter Of The Year, while Anthony Santos, Rakim and Ken-Y, and Joan Sebastian all shared the Song Of The Year prize for their respective songs 'Un Beso', 'Down' and 'Mas Alla del Sol'. Venezuelan Franco de Vita and Mexico's Joan Sebastian were also presented career achievement prizes. No, I've not heard of any of them either. Publisher Of The Year went to Sony/ATV. Hey, I've heard of them.

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TORI AMOS ALBUM
Tori Amos has released a tracklisting for her previously reported new album, 'American Doll Posse' set for release on 1 May. Here it is. It's very, very long:

Yo George
Big Wheel
Bouncing off Clouds
Teenage Hustling
Digital Ghost
You Can Bring Your Dog
Mr. Bad Man
Fat Slut
Girl Disappearing
Secret Spell
Devils and Gods
Body and Soul
Father's Son
Programmable Soda
Code Red
Roosterspur Bridge
Beauty of Speed
Almost Rosey
Velvet Revolution
Dark Side of the Sun
Posse Bonus
Smokey Joe
Dragon

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TV ON THE RADIO LIVE EP
Californian independent record chain Amoeba Music are to release a live EP of a performance by TV On The Radio recorded at their Hollywood store back in 2006. The EP will comprise four live versions of tracks from their 2006 album 'Return To Cookie Mountain'. It'll be a limited edition release, available exclusively from Amoeba's shops and online store for thirty days, or for as long as stocks last. 'TV On The Radio Live At Amoeba' is out 27 Mar.

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CHEMICAL BROTHERS ALBUM
The Chemical Brothers have announced details of their new album. It's called 'We Are The Night', and will be released by Freestyle Dust/Virgin in June. The duo have also announced that they'll play a gig at the Roundhouse, ahead of the release of the long player, with tickets being made available to "fans exclusively" from today, going on general sale tomorrow, at a cost of £27.50. Have a lookee here: http://www.thechemicalbrothers.com/home.html

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ELTON CONFIRMS DIGITAL RELEASE OF BACK CATALOGUE
Elton John confirmed yesterday the previously reported digital release of his entire back catalogue - over 400 tracks from 30 albums spanning a forty year career. John confirmed iTunes will have exclusive rights to the catalogue until 30 Apr. Look, here's what Elton told us: "I've wanted my music to be available for digital download worldwide for some time, but I knew that the entire catalogue - not just the hits - needed care and attention to be released in this way. Now that it's happening, I'm pleased for the fans' sake. The world has certainly changed since Philips Records issued my first single on seven-inch vinyl - 39 years ago this month". The digital release will coincide with the also previously reported release of a new Elton John hits package, 'Rocket Man - The Definitive Hits'.

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TUNETRIBE TAKING MONKEYS PRE-ORDERS BY TEXT
Independent digital download platform TubeTribe have confirmed they are offering an SMS pre-order service for the upcoming Arctic Monkeys' single 'Brianstorm', which is released digitally on 1 Apr. Fans need to text STORM to 82822 and they will be sent a weblink and unique pincode by text. That weblink and pin will allow access to the single as of 1 Apr. The text enabled download costs £1.50 plus local rate text message charge. For all the info type stuff check http://www.tunetribe.com/SMSBuy?p=766180

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FURIES SHOWCASE
One time MySpace Of The Day nominees The Furies have announced that they'll play a set at London's Borderline on 10 Apr at 8.30pm ahead of their appearance at British Music Week in Berlin on 26 Apr. Press info and guestlist from info@monumentalmanagement.co.uk.

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OMD TOUR
Why am I not surprised by the news of an OMD tour? Is it because I have previously reported on it? Yes, I have. You might remember (better than I did) that the band are reuniting to revisit seminal album 'Architecture & Morality', creating - according to the press release "an audio-visual installation" with artist Peter Savile to follow the release on 7 May of a CD/DVD collection of the digitally re-mastered album and a live recording OMD playing the LP back in 1981. Now, however, they've added some 'best of' tour dates set to take place in June too.

Here are the 'Architecture & Morality' dates:

13 May: Dublin Olympia
15 May: Glasgow Clyde Auditorium
16 May: Liverpool Empire
18 May: London Hammersmith Apollo
19 May: London Hammersmith Apollo

Here are the new 'best of' dates:

10 Jun: Southend Cliffs Pavilion
12 Jun: Plymouth Pavilions
13 Jun: Bristol Colston Hall
14 Jun: Wolverhampton Civic
16 Jun: Manchester Apollo
17 Jun: Sheffield City Hall
18 Jun: Grimsby Auditorium
19 Jun: Newcastle City Hall
21 Jun: Nottingham Royal Concert Hall Centre
22 Jun: Brighton Dome
23 Jun: Oxford New Theatre
25 Jun: Cardiff St David's
26 Jun: Southampton Guildhall
27 Jun: Cambridge Corn Exchange

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YOUNG KNIVES TOUR
The Young Knives have released an updated list of revised and new tour dates, cancelling an appearance in Oxford, rearranging dates in Birmingham and Loughborough and adding dates for Glasgow and Portsmouth. Here's the schedule as it now stands:

26 Mar: Manchester Academy 2
27 Mar: Newcastle University
29 Mar: Leeds University
30 Mar: Glasgow QMU
31 Mar: Nottingham Rock City
1 Apr: Norwich Waterfront
2 Apr: Bristol Anson Rooms
5 Apr: Kingston New Slang
6 Apr: Portsmouth Pyramid
7 Apr: Cardiff University
10 May: Birmingham academy
11 May: Loughborough University

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ALBUM REVIEW: Ebb - Loona (Gaymonkey Records)
This is Gaymonkey's second album release and based on the quality of 'Loona' and its label predecessor (Melynk's 'Silence'; a heady concoction of pristine synth-pop and lush techno), the label is one to keep an eye on. As for this debut platter from Stockholm's Ebb, it makes you wonder why more artists have not tried the simple trick of adding vocals to their electronica. Thus far such fusion has really been restricted to the likes of Bjork and Junior Boys, but here Ebb similarly shows that when it works, the results are often very welcome. Whilst the vocals recall a more Scandinavian version of the soulful, mellow tones of JB's Jeremy Greenspan, the landscape they inhabit is melancholy glitchtronica caressed by glistening guitars that makes you think of glacial acts like Mum (albeit a slightly more urban version of the group) and (a futuristic sci-fi) Sigur Ros. If you had to pigeonhole it into a genre, downtempo might be the most appropriate but that really doesn't do it justice. This is a nuanced inventive, melodic album that's well worth investigating if electronic listening music is your bag. MS
Release date: 26 Mar
Press contact: Emms Publicity [all]

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BERTELSMANN'S PROFITS DOUBLE - WELL DONE THEM
What's that you're saying? Please CMU, do tell me about Bertelsmann's latest financial report? OK then. The German media conglom, and SonyBMG co-owner, yesterday confirmed that profits doubled last year, though no thanks to their stake in SonyBMG. Net income rose 2.42 billion euros (£1.64 billion) from just 1.04 billion (£705 million) last year, with sales up 7.9% to 19.3 billion euros (£13 billion). Which all sounds rather good. The bumper profits were aided by improved performance in all of the conglom's divisions - except SonyBMG - and also by the sale of the group's publishing company (yet to be completed, of course, but on the books nevertheless) and the expansion of the firm's publishing and retail business through acquisition. Bertelsmann bosses are predicting another good year upcoming, though have said it will refrain from any mad acquisitions while it works to control the larger than ideal debts it ran up when buying out minority shareholder GBL last year. So, now you know.

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LERNER PARTS WIND-UP
Steve Lerner, a senior exec at the US's biggest indie Wind-Up Records, has parted company with the record label. In a statement the company said Lerner had ceased his day to day activities with the firm back in October, but had submitted his final resignation on 9 Mar. Lerner's role is expected to be primarily absorbed by the company's president Ed Vetri. Lerner is widely accepted as having played a crucial role in helping Wind-Up founder Alan Meltzer build the company into one of the music business' biggest independent operations, enjoying global success with the likes of Evanescence and Creed.

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SMOOTH LONDON ANNOUNCE MORE APPOINTMENTS
The Guardian's Smooooooooooooooooooth Radio (the multiple 'o' thing's still funny, yeah? What do you mean it never was? No sense of humour, that's your problem) has announced more new signings ahead of its London relaunch next Monday. As previously reported, Smooth Radio, which replaced the Guardian's Jazz FM services in Manchester and London in 2004 and 2005 respectively, is now expanding following GMG's acquisition of the Saga Radio network.

As part of that expansion the London station is being overhauled, and bosses there had already announced the recruitment of former Magic man Graham Dene and chart show old timer Mark Goodier. Now they have added former Capital/Radio 1/Virgin presenter Lynn Parsons and LBC regular Mike Allen to the line up - the two will split the 8pm to midnight slot between them - Parsons at the weekend, Allen in the week.

Programme Controller Gavin McCoy said this: "The addition of Lynn and Mike completes the jigsaw and our lineup is a force to be reckoned with on the London airwaves".

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CHRYSALIS RADIO AD SALES UP
Chrysalis Radio has announced a rise in ad revenues this month after six months of decline. Bosses at the radio company say that the upturn is part of a generally rosier outlook for the coming year. Here's what their trading statement said: "Current trading is particularly good, with an encouraging level of forward bookings for the remainder of the year. This, together with the benefits of strong audience figures from quarter four 2006 RAJAR survey (particularly for Heart 106.2 in London), recently agreed improved share deals with the major media buying agencies and easier comparables in the second half, gives us confidence that we can meet our target of a flat revenue performance for the full year".

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VIRGIN TO SPONSOR BIG BROTHER
Virgin Media will become the new sponsor of Channel 4's reality racism show Big Brother replacing The Carphone Warehouse who, as I'm sure we previously reported, decided not to renew its sponsorship having pulled its link to the show half way through the last series of Celeb Big Brother because of all the Goody-gate nonsense. Virgin Media's MD of Marketing, James Kydd, said he wasn't overly concerned about the possibility for controversy through association with the increasingly tedious reality show, telling reporters: "Big Brother has always come under the spotlight and courted a lot of attention. Virgin is known for facing challenges head on and we know that our customers enjoy Big Brother because it's the most unpredictable and exciting TV programme there is".

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PARENTS CALL BABY BY MAD NAME
We've been talking about baby names a lot around here lately. This is because we're expecting a CMU baby. And you know that we love music around here. But I can pretty much assure you, writing as the expected child's mother, that there's no way it's going to be called Benfoldia. Or Infadelica. Or anything like that. Especially not if it's a boy. But some parents in Sweden have been given the go-ahead to name their seven month old baby girl Metallica. It's true. But they apparently wanted to do it not after the band, but because it's made up of their own first names. Which seems a bit egotistical to me, but there you go. Actually, I happen to know that actress Malandra Burrows' parents did it. True. They're called Malcolm and Sandra.

Now, in Sweden they have a system that stop you from calling your children by insane names that might get them teased in the playground, and this particular couple were told by their local authority that they couldn't name their daughter Metallica because of the association with the band and the word 'metal', and the case ended up in court. The jury, however, decided that it was okay to call the child Metallica, only one member of the jury putting up any objection, so all's well that ends well. For the parents at least. What little Metallica will think of the name once she's old enough to have an opinion remains to be seen...

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TIMBERLAKE NOT HONOURED BY TENNESSEE
According to reports, a resolution brought by Tennessee State Senator Ophelia Ford honouring Justin Timberlake for his "for his highly successful music career and for his meritorious service to the state of Tennessee" has been rejected by a fellow senator. Republican Raymond Finney removed the item from a list of resolutions expected to get unanimous support in the state Senate, saying: "It's not something I want my name on."

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ELTON JOHN ON GAY RIGHTS
Elton John has been vocal in encouraging people to stand up for gay rights in a new article in the New Statesman magazine, calling on people to take on homophobes "whether the bigot is in our local pub or a thousand miles away. We should all stand up and speak out for basic human rights ".

In the column he also addressed his 2005 civil union with partner David Furnish, saying: "I wanted everyone to know, I wanted to shout about it. In some countries, my voice would have been drowned out. Maybe even stamped out. Men and women are persecuted and attacked every day all over the world, just because of who they love and who they make love to".

He went on to praise El Salvadorian gay rights activist William Hernandez, who has suffered raids and been threatened at gunpoint in the course of his campaigning works. "People like William are a lot braver than me," the singer wrote. "My voice has served me pretty well over the years; I hope maybe it can do him some good too. But we need more voices".

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