CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 18th April
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Amazon reportedly readying MP3 store
- Boy band mogul on the run from FBI as his empire crumbles
- Underwood scores at Country Music Television awards
- Floridian governor may pardon Morrison
- Madonna orphanage visit news
- Cash house foundations to be preserved
- Goon Moon second album coming
- Huge demand for Live Earth tickets
- Summer Set line up announced
- Little Nan Jo Jo presents...
- It's the Field Day Festival
- Dragons dates
- Thomas Truax dates
- A2IM support Rock The Net campaign
- RIAA optimistic despite sales slump
- Universal to work with Thievery Corporation label in US
- eMusic up to 300,000 subscribers
- Rolling Stone planning MySpace type site
- FCC ratify payola settlement
- OfCom appoint new comms chief
- OfCom starts talking dates for reviewing future of analogue radio
- Rumours spread that GCap will axe Capital Disney
- Guardian Student Media Awards open
- More on Beyonce Def Jam rumours
- Britney fires manager, manager sues Britney
- Slash calls for GNR/STP reunions
- Wyman launches metal detector
- Mogwai man would like Keith Richards to die
- NOFX surprised by China
- Rednex for sale

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TOP BIT>>
This is the third week of the month. You know that right? Now, tradition dictates that the third week of the month finishes up with the third Friday of the month, and a slightly newer tradition dictates that that is Remix Night night. And hurrah to that.

Yep, there's another edition of the CMU Recommended Remix Night this coming Friday, with the very very busy Eddy TM (very very busy because he's currently promoting the previously bigged up 'Dance Rocks' album and because this Friday he'll be presenting a radio show before speeding straight to Cargo to DJ at Remix Night) hosting once more, and hosting another storming line up at that.

Live on stage you will get Shakes, the brilliant The Girls and the previously MySpace Of The Day-ed Mancini, while joining Eddy TM on the decks will be none other than Embrace frontman Danny McNamara, who is, just for the record, one very fine DJ.

This all takes place this Friday, 20 Apr at Cargo in London, from 9pm to 3am. Tickets are a tenner, or eight quid if you guest list in advance at http://www.leylinepromotions.com/theremix. Press info from Leyline. See you there.

Oh, and talking of CMU Recommended events, make sure I tell you about the next Breaking Ground sometime soon. You'll remember right? To tell me, that is.

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CLASSIFIEDS>>

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MYSPACE OF THE DAY: EOGHAN COLGAN

OK, back to MySpace, and back to new talent, and one Eoghan Colgan, a twenty eight year old doctor from Glasgow whose side career as a rather good singer songwriter has just got a considerable boost, and not just by becoming MySpace Of The Day, though that is an undeniable boost. The other boost comes in the form of winning the previously reported O2 Undiscovered unsigned bands/artists thingimy. Over 3000 artists/bands entered this competition, but only eleven made it to the final, and only one won the overall prize of a bursary, industry support, five grand of musical equipment and a digital single release supported by Polydor, and that was Eoghan. If you want to see why DJ Spoony, Anglo Plugging's Dylan White, Music Week's Stuart Clarke, Bad Moon Publicity's Anton Brooks, singer songwriter Amanda Ghost and Duran Duran's Andy Taylor chose Colgan and his band over everyone else, well go see the MySpace, where the customary four tracks are streaming. Or alternatively catch him when he plays O2's Wireless festival later this summer, another of his prizes from the Undiscovered thing. There's no response from Eoghan on his win on the MySpace yet (presumably the celebrations went on quite late and he hasn't got online yet), but here's what he told CMU about the win: "Winning O2 Undiscovered is a fantastic opportunity to gain recognition and further my music career. During the competition the highly influential panel members have given me invaluable advice and support. I am just stunned at the reaction from everyone". So there you go, now go here...

http://www.myspace.com/eoghancolgan

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AMAZON REPORTEDLY READYING MP3 STORE
Reports in the US suggest that market leading mail order etailer Amazon.com is now very close to launching its much anticipated download store. Those reports are also speculating that the Amazon download platform will sell non-DRM protected MP3s, and that the etail firm is in talks with the Universal Music Group about being able to sell some of that major's catalogue in that format.

If those reports are true, that would, of course, be the first time Universal has sold digital music without digital rights management technology embedded, and would see the biggest of the major record companies following the lead set by EMI earlier this month when they announced they would soon make their music available without DRM via iTunes and, after that, elsewhere. Amazon would presumably look to sell the EMI catalogue via its MP3 platform also.

Amazon, along with Google, has long been touted by many (well, by us, for sure) as one of the few companies who could seriously take on Apple in the digital music space - mainly because of their existing large consumer base in online music retail - and an MP3 based store would improve their chances of doing just that, given that MP3s are popular with consumers and, crucially, iPod compatible. Of course an MP3 based store has not been viable to date because the major labels would not support it, but with EMI having changed their policy, and Universal reportedly following suit, now is probably the ideal time for Amazon to enter the market with an MP3 service.

Which is interesting, because many have commented in the past on the fact Amazon has taken so long to get into digital music, speculating that such late entry into the market could mean it has "missed the boat", with Apple just too dominant to take on. But an MP3 based platform with major label content is so much more competitive than any other system that has been available to date that Amazon may well have been wise to wait until this stage to enter the game.

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BOY BAND MOGUL ON THE RUN FROM FBI AS HIS EMPIRE CRUMBLES
The man behind some of America's biggest pop franchises, including Backstreet Boys and *NSync, is on the run from the FBI after his latest business venture, basically an incredibly large pyramid scheme, started to unravel. Lou Pearlman, who managed the careers of numerous boy bands through his Trans Continental Records company, is accused of swindling over 1400 people out of hundreds of millions of dollars via an investment product sold through his original company, Trans Continental Airlines.

Pearlman and his associates reportedly marketed what they called an "employee investment savings account", mainly to senior citizens. The account seemed to offer a good return on investment, and, according to ABCNews.com, marketing literature assured investors the scheme was insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, AIG and Lloyd's Of London. Needless to say, it wasn't. Those who signed up to the scheme early did receive the interest payments they were promised, but money being invested into the scheme by newer customers was being used to make those payments.

Pearlman's whole business empire, including the pyramid scheme, began to unravel at the start of the year, with the Bank Of America beginning that previously reported legal action over millions in unpaid loans in February. Despite Pearlman publicly dismissing the mounting lawsuits against him, his closest business associate Frankie Vazquez Jr committed suicide that month, presumably because of his involvement in the crumbling and at times allegedly fraudulent business empire. Bankruptcy proceedings have now begun against the former pop mogul, and the FBI are said to chasing him over the various allegations that have been made, meaning Pearlman himself is essentially on the run. He was last seen in Berlin where he was promoting a new boyband.

Commenting on the pyramid scheme business one Florida lawyer representing eight people who lost their savings to the scam told ABC: "It was clever how he did stuff. He would advertise to senior citizens and say he was FDIC insured but he wasn't and couldn't be. He'd charm people with his showbiz connections ... he even gave some people paraphernalia from the boy bands".

Pearlman is not, of course, any stranger to the world of litigation, with many of the artists he's managed over the years eventually suing him, though being chased round the world by the FBI might be a new experience. Though there's an MTV reality show in that don't you think? Like the last time Pearlman did a reality show for MTV, he could stage a nationwide search for a new boy band, but with the added twist - can Pearlman get his band in the charts before the FBI catch up with him and throw him in jail. Or, even better, before the 1400 people he allegedly ripped off catch up with him and kick him in? I'm nabbing copyright on that idea, by the way.

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UNDERWOOD SCORES AT COUNTRY MUSIC TELEVISION AWARDS
Former American Idol winner Carrie Underwood has won two awards at the Country Music Television awards in Nashville, picking up gongs for Video Of The Year and Female Video Of The Year for her single 'Before He Cheats'. The video's director, Roman White, also won an award for his work on the promo.

Other winners on the night included Kenny Chesney, who was awarded Best Male Video for 'You Save Me' and Rascal Flatts, who took home the Group Video prize for 'What Hurts The Most'. The Breakthrough Video prize was won by seventeen year old Taylor Smith for hit single 'Tim McGraw'.

The Johnny Cash Visionary Award was, as previously reported, this year presented to Kris Kristofferson by Cash's daughter Rosanne. Hosting the show, comedian Jeff Foxworthy paid tribute to the 32 victims of the recent shootings at Virginia Tech university, saying: "We want those people to know in the days and weeks going forward that you are going to be in the hearts and minds of everyone in the country music community".

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FLORIDIAN GOVERNOR MAY PARDON MORRISON
Charlie Crist, the Florida governor petitioned by that uber-Doors fan Dave Diamond to pardon the late Jim Morrison for a 1970 indecent exposure and profanity conviction relating to an incident at a gig in Miami, has said that he is actually giving the idea some serious consideration.

The conviction came about after Morrison, apparently drunk at the gig, was accused by police of exposing himself, an allegation the singer denied. He appealed the conviction, but died before it he could go back to court over it. Crist, referring to Morrison's youth and his untimely death at just 27 years of age, said: "That's really a kid, when you think about it, and obviously he was having some challenges. There's some dispute about how solid the case was. Trying to clear his name and then he dies. If you have a heart pounding in your chest, that has to tug at you a little bit. It should".

As previously reported, the aforementioned fan Diamond wrote to Crist last month, pointing out that there were never any photos or video footage to support the case and that there were no witnesses who could claim with certainty that they had seen the singer expose himself. Diamond also pointed out that comedian Lenny Bruce was pardoned over an obscenity charge by New York Governor George Pataki almost forty years after his death.

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MADONNA ORPHANAGE VISIT NEWS
Madonna has visited the orphanage in Malawi from whence she plucked little David Banda, the orphan she's adopting. Schoolchildren threw stones at reporters' cars to try and keep them away from the pop star for what was described as a private visit. Onlookers say David's father Yohane Banda, who has apparently claimed that he has had a hard time getting information about his son, spent some time with David whilst Madonna spoke to other children at the orphanage.

Madonna wasn't able to confirm this was the case, however, saying she didn't know if David had spent time with his biological father or not. She did, however, tell reporters "it feels great", when asked how she felt about being back in Malawi. Security was tight during the course of the visit, but Madonna eventually allowed reporters to photograph her with David Banda and daughter Lourdes.

The singer has, of course, denied reports that she plans to adopt a second child from Malawi, but according to other reports is paying for a new clinic to be built in the village of Gumulira.

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CASH HOUSE FOUNDATIONS TO BE PRESERVED
The foundations of Johnny Cash's home, which, as previously reported, was burned to the ground last week, are to be preserved, according to owner Barry Gibb. The Bee Gee says that the land is "sacred" and "must be protected forever", writing in a statement: "Linda and I have decided to build our own home on the higher ground surrounding the Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash home. The original foundations shall be kept intact and preserved for the people of Hendersonville and the people of Nashville".

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GOON MOON SECOND ALBUM COMING
Goon Moon, the collaboration of Zach Hill, QOTSA producer Chris Goss and NIN bassist Jeordie White (aka Twiggy Ramirez in his Marilyn Manson days), is to release a second album, 'Licker's Last Legs' in early May. It's the folky follow-up to 2005's 'I Got A Brand New Egg Layin' Machine', and features a guest appearance from Mr Josh Homme.

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HUGE DEMAND FOR LIVE EARTH TICKETS
Loads of people have registered for the chance to buy tickets for this summer's Live Earth concert at Wembley. 203,000 people, in fact, have signed up. As there are only 60,000 tickets, and each person is to be given the opportunity to buy two of them, that's presumably going to amount to around 173,000 disappointed would-be concert goers.

Well, it would seem the only fair thing to do would be to randomly distribute the ticket option amongst all those registered in some kind of lottery. Which is what organisers were planning to do all along, of course. The lucky ones will be informed today, I believe. Organisers say: "This overwhelming demand for tickets has ensured that everyone gets a fair opportunity to participate in Live Earth, and minimise ticket misuse".

Tickets for the event are £55 each. As previously reported, acts confirmed for the London leg of the global event include Beastie Boys, Duran Duran, Foo Fighters, Madonna and Red Hot Chili Peppers, with further acts to be confirmed at a later date. The gig will be televised via BBC TV and radio, whilst live feeds will stream via MSN. The other shows, all set to take place on 7 Jul, take place in New Jersey, Shanghai, Johannesburg, Sydney, Brazil and Tokyo.

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SUMMER SET LINE UP ANNOUNCED
It's the Summer Set series of gigs at Somerset House in London. No really it is. Look, here are the listings.

12 Jul: Mogwai
13 Jul: Kasabian
14 Jul: Bert Jansch with Beth Orton and Bernard Butler
15 Jul: Guillemots
16 Jul: Lily Allen
17 Jul: Mika
18 Jul: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
19 Jul: The Roots
20 Jul: Amy Winehouse
21 Jul: Hot Chip

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LITTLE NAN JO JO PRESENTS...
Have we told you about the Little Nan Jo Jo festival that is taking place in venues round our neck of the woods on 5 May? Have we? No? Oops, that was an oversight. Well, this is taking place at venues all round Deptford and New Cross, and boasts a mega line up of bands and DJs, all of which can be accessed with one wristband, and which will cost you a mere fifteen pounds.

And when I say mega line up, I mean: 586, 8 Fold, Acot Suicide Society, Adventures In The Beetroot Field, Air Hammer, Albion Free State, Art Xenz, Arthur, Audio Shrapnel, Bidgie Reef & The Gas, Blah Blah Blah, Bolt Action Five, Bret Bugsy Don, Buttonhead, Cannonballs, Carl Electropic, Cheenah Chosen Fume, Chow Chow, Chromeo, Chuck Plethora, City Lights Clean George IV, Cock N Bull Kid, Dan Le Sac, Darrel Coupland, Dead Men Can't Dance DJs, Deadlock, Dega Breaks, Deluka Devils Gun, Die! Die! Die!, Disko Boy, DJ CH!CO, DJ Scotch Egg, Dr Filth, Dub Version, Ears, Ebony Bones, Eddy Temple Morris, Eltham John, Fairies Band, Fortune Drive, Gossip, Havana Guns, Ian Nasty McQuaid, Joe Driscoll, Joe Fox, Joe Lean and the Jing Jang Jong, Jubb & The Dirty Sleeves, Justice, Kamil, Kill Ramis, Killing for Company, Kim Backyard, Known, La Greve Generale Le Shark, lele [SPEAKS], Lena (Tanya), Lionel No Vinyl Look See Proof, Mac Mello, Mama Shamone, Man Like Me, Marner Brown, Matt FB Potter, Matthew !WOWOW!, Metros New Young Pony Club DJs, Nic Nell, No Nonsense, Noisy Pig, Olympus Mons, Opera House, Original Cast, Palladium Party Shank, Patchwork Pirates, Pink Grease, Plaster of Paris, Plastic Passion, Plugs, Ratty Rat Rat, Rival Justice, Rob Stow, Rob Watson, Rory Moronik, Rufus and the Biscuits, Rum Shebeen, Rumble Strips, Saint Jude, Seeing Scarlet, Shane Carey, Sharing Sheaths, Situationists, Skim Smatka, Snap Crackle & Pop DJs, Soul Wax, Sportsday Megaphone, Stig of the Dump, Stuart James, Sweaty Fox, Talk Taxis The Alps, The Dash, The Eraserheads, The Fatels, The Fighting Cocks, The Fucks, The Gods, The High Times, The Jamoid, The Johnsons, The Littl'Ans, The Lovebirds, The Magnificent Gentlemen, The Metros, The Mighty Roars, The Moon, The Mysterons, The Pepys, The Saudis, The Sea, The Svengalis, The Total Drop, The Trouble, The Turncoats, The Voxx, The Walk Off, Theoretical Girl, Thomas Truax, Tinsel Town, Trash Fashion, Uncle Buck, We Smoke Fags, White Man Kamikazi, Wild Beasts, Wrong Animal, You're Not Patrick and Zombie Disco Squad DJs. Which is pretty mega.

For full info click the Little Nan Jo Jo button at http://www.nxpromotions.co.uk

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IT'S THE FIELD DAY FESTIVAL
Talking of new festivals in London, which we were, here's another one for you. This one is called Field Day and will take place at Victoria Park in London on 11 Aug. Unfortunately I'll be in Edinburgh at the time, but if you're in this capital on that day then you might want to check it out. It's being staged by a number of fine sorts like Marcus Weedon (The Coronet, Vapour, Riki Tik), Eat Your Own Ears, Adventures In The Beetroot Field, Bugged Out! and Homefires, and on the bill so far are all of the following: 1990's, Absentee, Adem, Andrew Weatherall, Archie Bronson Outfit, Battles, Bat For Lashes, Ben Fat Trucker, Boys Noize, Caribou, Electrelane, Erol Alkan, Fence Collective presents 3 Craws, Foals, Four Tet, Fridge, James Yorkston, Jo Jo De freq, Metronomy, Pull Tiger Tail, The Aliens and The Earlies, with many many more tbc. Plus there'll be a brass band, coconut shy, tea and cake stall, welly throwing, barn dancing, morris dancing and a tug of war. No, really. Tickets are £22.50 and are on sale right now, I do believe. For more info check http://www.fielddayfestivals.com, though not yet, the full website's not live yet. If you're a press type looking for info right now then I'd suggest a polite phone call to Get Involved.

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DRAGONS DATES
Dragons are an electronically influenced duo from Bristol. I know this because I just read it. The duo consists of Anthony Tombling Jnr and David Francolini, the latter of whom was involved in two former bands, Levitation and Dark Star, who you may well remember. Anyway, I'm telling you this because they release an album on 4 Jun - 'Here Are The Roses' on OHM Recordings - and they go on tour that month too. And you just looked like the kind of person who might want to know. Tour dates as follows:

7 Jun: Glasgow, King Tuts
8 Jun: Leeds, Rios
9 Jun: Nottingham, The Social
10 Jun: Manchester Roadhouse
11 Jun: London, Water Rats

More at http://www.myspace.com/dragons1 or http://www.dragons.cc, or from Mercenary.

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THOMAS TRUAX DATES
Thomas Truax is a CMU favourite. But you knew that right? You do keep track of these things, yeah? He's great, and has got a new album in the pipeline, which I'll tell you about when I know more about it myself. But, here's the thing, you really want to experience Mr Traux for the first time live because he makes his own wonderful and slightly bizarre musical instruments, meaning he's as fun to watch as listen to. But here's the great thing, he's on tour this week, so you can do just that. Here's the dates...

18 Apr: Sheffield, The Grapes
20 Apr: Barnsley, Club Fandango Night @ Lucorum
21 Apr: Manchester, Night & Day
22 Apr: Newcastle, Cumberland Arms + Staggerin' Jon Lee
24 Apr: Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach
26 Apr: Bath, Moles Club
1 May: Oxford Cellar

More at http://www.thomastruax.com or http://www.myspace.com/thomastruax

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A2IM SUPPORT ROCK THE NET CAMPAIGN
The US's indie music trade body, A2IM, has provided its official backing to the Rock The Net campaign, which has been launched by a coalition of musicians, indie labels and music fans to lobby American political types to safeguard "net neutrality".

This is a campaign that has come about because of reports that major US internet firms like Verizon and AT&T are talking about offering website owners the option to pay to ensure that their web services download faster when accessed by the ISPs' customers. The people behind Rock The Net fear that this will mean that major record and media companies who can afford to pay such fees will be able to offer better and faster services to their consumers than indie players or individuals who cannot afford the fees, meaning the level playing field of the internet becomes somewhat less level. They also fear such a move could be a stepping stone towards internet service providers starting to regulate which websites their customers can access. All of which sounds like a place we really don't want to go, which is the point of the Rock The Net campaign - the campaigners hope to persuade Congress to ensure the ISPs cannot introduce such systems (assuming they ever really would try to).

Many indie labels have already backed the campaign, but this week A2IM offered its official backing, telling reporters: "A tiered web which discriminates against consumers is a step in the wrong direction. To that end, A2IM calls on its members, and all those who recognize the potential dangers of charging for having their websites load faster, to join the campaign and sign the petition to promote the principle of network neutrality".

Anyone interested in the campaign should go check http://www.futureofmusic.org/rockthenet/

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RIAA OPTIMISTIC DESPITE SALES SLUMP
Good news everybody, CD sales are booming as are download and ringtone sales, all of which means the record industry is in its healthiest state ever. No, only joking, of course it isn't. Figures released by the Recording Industry Association Of America this week confirmed what I think we all already knew, that 2006 was not a good year in terms of record sales in the US. In fact, CD sales dropped by 13%, the biggest ever one year slump, and although digital and realtone ringtone sales doubled, that was no where near enough to compensate for the slide in CD revenues. Overall US music sales for the year were down by 6.2 percent to $11.51 billion.

Nevertheless, and despite recent reports that CD sales in the US have continued to fall this year, RIAA chief Mitch Bainwol remained optimistic in his outlook for the future of the record industry - which I suppose he has to, in a bid to keep investment types interested in the industry he represents, though to be fair, as I do believe we have said on many an occasion before, despite slumping CD sales and continued online piracy, there is actually quite a lot to be optimistic about in the wider music biz. Here's Bainwol's take on it all: "The appetite for music is as strong as ever... Beyond the existing marketplace, the record companies continue to develop additional new business models and revenue streams like mobile and online videos".

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UNIVERSAL TO WORK WITH THIEVERY CORPORATION LABEL IN US
Universal's US indie distribution arm Fontana has signed an exclusive deal with the Thievery Corporation's label Eighteenth Street Lounge which will see the major distribute all ESL releases in the US, as well as working with the label on new media opportunities.

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EMUSIC UP TO 300,000 SUBSCRIBERS
Talking of download stores that sell MP3s, which we were, back there at the top, the flagship MP3 store, eMusic, has announced it has just scored its 300,000th subscriber - just four months after passing the 250,000 subscriber point. So, well done to them. Have a piece of pie on us.

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ROLLING STONE PLANNING MYSPACE TYPE SITE
Rolling Stone magazine is planning to launch a social networking site for music fans according to, erm, an American media student. Though she should know, because she attended a presentation for students led by Keith Blanchard, the online director of Wenner Media who publish the legendary music mag. Blogging about that presentation, New York Uni student Andrea Feczko writes: "Blanchard plans to launch a separate site that will be a social network for music fans, complete with profiles and the ability to have a say in their 'best of' lists. Blanchard called it the 'American Idol version of lists". On other Rolling Stone online plans she adds: "[He] also plans on digitizing all 1,000 back issues of Rolling Stone, to be available on the website or to purchase as a DVD set". Feczko also reveals that "When Keith Blanchard asked our journalism class how many people visit Rolling Stone's website, only one person raised his hand ... ouch" - presumably Blanchard hopes the new digital ventures might increase the hand count at future college seminars.

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FCC RATIFY PAYOLA SETTLEMENT
Media regulator news everybody. We are just too, too good to you. First up, US media regulator the FCC has officially approved the previously reported payola settlement signed up to by the naughty US radio groups who had been playlisting records in return for steak dinners and widescreen TVs. As previously reported, the radio groups admitted their relationships with record companies were not 100% in line with rules governing such things after the in-depth investigation into payola allegations undertaken by former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer. As well as having to settle with Spitzer's office, the radio firms faced the wrath of the FCC in relation to the payola practices (well, I say wrath, it was more a stern frown) and as a result agreed to various settlement measures, including new working practices, the payment of fines, and to make programming commitments to independent and local artists. That settlement was first announced a month back or so, but it has now been formally ratified by the regulator. So, no more payola then. I wonder what US station managers are doing for steak dinners and widescreen TVs? Perhaps we should set up some kind of fund.

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OFCOM APPOINT NEW COMMS CHIEF
Media regulator news UK style now, ladies and gentlemen, and OfCom have announced the appointment of BSkyB's former PR chief Julian Eccles to the role of Director Of Communications. Presumably he'll be especially qualified to communicate OfCom's response to the whole BSkyB / Virgin Media thing. Here's what OfCom top guy Ed Richards has to say: "Julian brings specialist knowledge and broad experience to this critically important role".

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OFCOM STARTS TALKING DATES FOR REVIEWING FUTURE OF ANALOGUE RADIO
More OfCom, and the media regulator has started talking about dates for phasing out analogue radio signals, which is great news for the eight people who have digital radio sets. A bit of a fucker for the rest of us. An OfCom report suggests a review of AM stations in 2009 and of FM services in 2012, or when use of digital radio services has 50% market penetration. As a prep for any turn off, OfCom reckons it should renew any licences up for renewal after 2009 but with a two year termination clause, giving OfCom the option to start turning analogue signals off as soon as 2012. Realistically it's all quite some way off, of course, but I'm still not convinced this mad rush to get rid of analogue is really all that wise - especially as people are still buying loads of analogue radio sets every day of the week.

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RUMOURS SPREAD THAT GCAP WILL AXE CAPITAL DISNEY
GCap is reportedly set to pull out of kids digital radio station Capital Disney because of poor profits. Talk of such a move seems to be based on the fact the channel used by the station on the regional digital radio multiplexes is being advertised, plus Disney is involved in the Channel 4 bid to get the second national digital multiplex, which will compete with that owned by GCap. Some say the station has never caught on because it is aimed at teenagers but the Disney brand is more associated with younger children, which means consumers are confused by the service. Having said all that, GCap have just announced a £120,000 sponsorship deal with Nickelodeon for the Capital Disney website, so perhaps rumours of the station's demise are exaggerated, or perhaps plans are afoot to take the station completely online, on the basis that, despite early thinking that young consumers were a real target for DAB digital radio, in fact the space to be in to reach that demographic is online.

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GUARDIAN STUDENT MEDIA AWARDS OPEN
God, the years go by quickly, is it really student media awards time of year again? Seems like it. The Guardian has put out its call for entries for the 2007 Guardian Student Media Awards (not to be confused with the NUS's Student Journalism Awards, don't forget). The closing date for entries this year is 13 Jul though, for reasons I'm not sure of, entrants for website categories must be in by 1 Jun. If you are a college media type and you want to enter, go here...

http://media.guardian.co.uk/studentmediaawards/
0,,658284,00.html

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MORE ON BEYONCE DEF JAM RUMOURS
You know how we reported rumours that Beyonce Knowles would fulfill her commitments with Sony by releasing a live album and then jump ship to set up a new label with boyfriend Jay-Z? Well, the New York Post reports a similar story, though they say Beyonce owes Sony two more albums, so her lawyers are negotiating to get her out of the deal so she can go to Jay-Z's Def Jam. They cite sources who say Jay-Z "has been trying to get her on his label for a while. He would love to oversee her career... he kind of does anyway". Though some say talk of Beyonce going to Universal is just designed to get Sony nervous so they'll spend more money on Knowles.

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BRITNEY FIRES MANAGER, MANAGER SUES BRITNEY
Talking of the New York Post, they have also reported that Britney Spears has fired manager Larry Randolph, seemingly because she wasn't impressed when he forced her into rehab back in February. Reports now suggest Randolph will sue Britney in response to his sacking, which would be yet another problem to deal with for the troubled pop star. Perhaps she could hire that Louis Pearlman to manage her (she used to record at his studios so must have his cell number) - if ever she's feeling down, Louis can just say "ha, you think you've got problems".

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SLASH CALLS FOR GNR/STP REUNIONS
Slash has called for live reunions of the original line-ups of both Guns N Roses and Stone Temple Pilots, because, of course, Velvet Revolver was formed from members of both. Well, I say he's 'called' for it. He said he thought it would be fun. Here's what he said: "I'm not saying never. You know, I was saying it would be a good idea to get, just for a couple of shows, to get the original STP and the original Guns N Roses just to do a couple of shows for the fun of it."

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WYMAN LAUNCHES METAL DETECTOR
Former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman is launching his own brand of metal detector. Honestly, it's true. Here's Bill, explaining why he's put his name to the product: "Metal-detecting is not just for anoraks or eccentrics; it's probably the best and the most enjoyable way of learning about our history. On any garden, country field, footpath, woodlands, beach or moorland you can find a huge variety of historical objects, all easily located with this high quality metal detector. I hope with this new detector that more people take up the adventure and delight in personally discovering our nation's history".

If you're interested in this, you can buy one at http://www.billwymandetector.co.uk. There are also pictures of Wyman looking a bit geeky and holding a metal detector, so I highly recommend it.

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MOGWAI MAN WOULD LIKE KEITH RICHARDS TO DIE
Talking of Rolling Stones, Mogwai's Barry Burns has been sharing his thoughts on Keith Richards and recent reports, since denied, that the guitarist had snorted his father's ashes.

In a post on Mogwai's official website entitled 'Keith please cease breathing' Burns wrote: "Hi everyone. I just woke up to find that average blues guitar pedlar and all round unlikeable London pirate-like arsehole Keith Richards snorted his dad's ashes on a drug binge. Well done Keith, you talentless publicity hungry horrible prick of the highest order. He then goes on to say modern bands are a load of old crap. Right, but can we really listen to the opinions of a nasal cannibal?"

He continues: "Keith, your band are possibly the worst band in the history of human events, worse even than Placebo and The Reynolds Girls combined. Your posh English singer sings with an American accent about a load of old American prostitutes he met once and your guitar licks are Grade F. The sooner you die the quicker my Ladbrokes bet comes in between you and McCartney you old dick. I hope you kick the bucket in the most humiliating of ways, like on the toilet and then being eaten by your own dog. Stop living and give us peace you attention seeking non relevant oxygen thief".

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NOFX SURPRISED BY CHINA
NOFX man Fat Mike says that he's dead surprised that his band are to be allowed to play in China. So am I, actually. But I'll let Mike himself have the last word: "Of all the bands they let in, we're not the best American ambassadors," he told a press conference on Friday. "We're kind of dicks".

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REDNEX FOR SALE
Fancy a Swedish pop group all of your own? You could keep them in a cupboard, next to the Irish boy band and slightly tedious Emo group you bought last year.

Rednex - you know, 'Cotton Eyed Joe' and all that - are up for sale. That is to say, the Swedish based company that owns the band's copyrights, trademarks and existing touring and recording contracts, Rednex AB, currently owned by original lead singer Annika Ljungberg, aka Mary Joe, is up for sale via eBay. Though the starting bid is one and half million dollars, so you're going to have to be keen to own this bit of pop heritage. If you are interested, check http://www.popbandforsale.com.

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