CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 30th May
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- CBS to buy Last.FM
- This was homicide: Spector trial update
- Brandy faces more litigation in relation to crash
- Joey Ramone's brother hits out at Dr Martens campaign
- Blood Red Shoes girl attacked by bouncer
- Rapper Jeezy arrested in Georgia
- Bob Diddley shows signs of recovery
- The Cult sign to Roadrunner
- Goodbooks debut
- Monkeys to release limited edition single
- Twang and Streets film video for remix
- Lennon piano up for sale
- Festivals sign up to green agenda
- Live Earth Japan line ups announced
- Reverend's Fopp instore
- Wombats gig cancelled
- Gossip tour dates
- Maximo Park tour
- Album review: The Pigeon Detectives - Wait For Me
- CD-Wow ordered to pay record industry 41 million
- Sanctuary sell Air-Edel
- MCPS-PRS axe general counsel role
- Virgin underestimating value of lost Sky channels
- GCap commercial guy quits
- TheJazz hire editor to launch website
- NME covermount vinyl
- Britney writes long message on her website
- Doherty's Gatecrasher no show
- Winehouse's mother not happy over marriage

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TOP BIT>>
OK, so details of the next CMU Recommended Xfm Remix Night are in, hurrah, and it will have something of a Fingerlickin theme because it will be doubling up as the album launch party for the new 'Relicked' album from Soul Of Man, aka Fingerlickin founders Justin Rushmore and Jem Panufnik. Both Justin and Jem will be on the decks on the night, with support from Kraak & Smaak.

But that's not all, oh no, there'll also be a live set from UK Beatbox Champion Beardyman - and you know how much we love a bit of quality beatboxing round here (you do know that, right?). Well, Beardyman is certainly beatboxing of the quality kind and, fresh from his guest appearance on the recent Groove Armada album, he'll be doing it live at the June Remix night. Remix chief, Eddy TM, will also be in attendance, of course.

All this takes place on 15 Jun, as always at Cargo in East London. Doors open at 8pm, and tix are a tenner from http://www.ticketweb.co.uk, or eight quid if you guest list in advance at http://www.leylinepromotions.com/theremix. Press info from Leyline, obviously.

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MYSPACE OF THE DAY: THE BIG CHILL

I'm kind of using the MySpace slot to cover an event I've forgotten to report on elsewhere in the Daily today, but if ever there was a day to be going to the Big Chill MySpace, well this might be it, because they've just added a whole load more acts to the bill for their main August festival and they are posted on the blog here. I'll tell you that Mr Scruff, Mary Ann Hobbs, Guadi, Chris Coco, Tim Love Lee and Mr Bongo are among the additions - but you'll have to go to the MySpace to get the full list. There's no music on this Space, but there are some Big Chill type videos, and lots of other info about the festival, which takes place in Eastnor Castle Deer Park from 3-5 Aug, of course. It's also relevant today because the Big Chill people are having an official festival launch party at their Big Chill House in Kings Cross, London tonight - and that's the event I've forgotten to mention. It is an invite only media / music type event, so if you're invited you probably already know about it, but if you're a media type not in the loop, well I'm sure sam@bigchill.net can help.

http://www.myspace.com/thebigchillfestival

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CBS TO BUY LAST.FM
After much speculation that London based music recommendation types Last.FM were in takeover talks with one media firm or another (gossipers were saying MTV owners Viacom were most likely to get it), the LA Times is reporting that US media conglom CBS (once the same as Viacom, of course, but not now) will announce it has bought it later today. More on that tomorrow, I'm sure.

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THIS WAS HOMICIDE: SPECTOR TRIAL UPDATE
Dr Louis Pena - you know, Louis, that coroner you like - has said that he reckons the death of actress Lana Clarkson at the home of Phil Spector on that fateful night back in 2003 was homicide. That conclusion is based on bruising on Clarkson's tongue, arm and wrist, all of which suggests, to Louis at least, that someone was forcing the gun that killed her into her mouth. The someone, you have to assume, is Spector.

Pena was testifying at the ongoing Spector murder trial yesterday as the prosecution, as expected, turned their attention to forensics and the crime scene, having completed the bit of their case where they tried to demonstrate that the legendary producer is a bit nutty. Pena says that he believes the bruising suggests that Clarkson did not, as the Spector camp claim, shoot herself. He told the court: "The bruise is very unique and is consistent with blunt-force trauma - something struck the tongue". He also added that he didn't believe Clarkson would have deliberately committed suicide. While she was taking two drugs often given for depression, he said she had been prescribed them for her chronic headaches. She had done nothing prior to the shooting to suggest suicidal tendencies, and died "with a purse on one shoulder in a stranger's home" which, he said, "is not typical of someone taking her own life". He concluded: "I found her to be a hopeful person from the notes I read".

Pena also provided some pretty grim details of what happened at Spector's home that night from a medical point of view, telling the jury that the shot went straight through her head and severed her spine, resulting, unsurprisingly, in instant death. The recoil from the shot also shattered Clarkson's top front teeth, blowing them out of her mouth. As I say, pretty grim. The description was accompanied by graphic photos of the damage done to Clarkson's face and the inside of her mouth.

Spector's defence, of course, claim that although Clarkson may not have deliberately committed suicide she was definitely holding the gun at the time of the death, and presumably pulled the trigger by mistake.

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BRANDY FACES MORE LITIGATION IN RELATION TO CRASH
More litigation has been issued in relation to the previously reported crash involving R&B star Brandy. As previously reported, Brandy (Norwood) stands accused as being the "contributing party" in the four car pile up that took place on the San Diego freeway on 30 Dec last year, and she is already facing legal action from the family of Awatef Aboudihaj, who was killed in the crash.

The latest litigation is between her and another man involved in the incident, Mallory Ham. I'm a bit hazy on quite what happened in this crash, but police reports seem to reckon that Brandy failed to slow down in traffic and hit another car at about 65mph. That car then hit Ham's car, which hit another car. I'm not clear on which car Aboudihaj was in, or whether Ham did something wrong himself, but he was also sued by Aboudihaj's family for negligence. Now Brandy is suing Ham and Ham is suing Brandy - each accusing the other of negligence. Brandy also uses her lawsuit to deny previous allegations made against her in previous litigation, and to assert her constitutional right against self-incrimination.

Outside of the civil courts, the San Diego Attorney's office is still deciding whether or not to charge Brandy with misdemeanour vehicular manslaughter in relation to the crash.

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JOEY RAMONE'S BROTHER HITS OUT AT DR MARTENS CAMPAIGN
More bad press for Dr Martens relating to that previously reported ad campaign featuring images of dead rockers sitting in heaven wearing the shoe brand's boots. As previously reported, the ads were created by London ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi, who claim they were given clearance to place them in London mag Fact. But a Saatchi employee also uploaded them to a US ad industry website and it's from there that the backlash against the campaign has come. The shoe brand have since dumped the ad campaign and the agency, claiming they never approved the ads and apologising to anyone who took offence at the artwork.

The first person to take offence was Courtney Love who last week hit out at the use of Kurt Cobain's image in one of the ads. Now the estate of Joey Ramone, one of the other dead rock icons used, have criticised the campaign. His brother Mikey Leigh says he was never approached by Dr Martens or Saatchi regarding the advert, and that he would never have approved the use of his brother in the ads if he had been. He also disputed claims by Saatchi that all the rockers featured were known to wear Dr Marten boots, saying that Joey never wore them.

Leigh told reporters: "Obviously, we are in the same position as Courtney Love, as well as the estates of the others depicted. We were never consulted about this ad. We were never asked for permission to use Joey's image, or paid for the use of it. As executor of my brother's estate I never would have approved this ad as Joey never wore these shoes. And, not that my brother was terribly religious, but the fact that he was Jewish, and this ad is not exactly Kosher, makes it that much more inappropriate, inconsiderate and contemptible".

The use of celebrities' images in ads like this is something of a grey area legally, of course, but technically speaking Saatchi did not need permission from the estates of the rockers featured to run the ads providing they properly licenced the use of the face shots from whichever picture agency owned them (which they did). However, the PR risks of such a move are clear for all to see. Of course if you buy the 'no publicity is bad publicity' ethos, the news coverage of this controversial ad campaign might actually benefit Dr Marten. Though if the collective fan bases of Cobain, Ramone and the other two artists featured, Joe Strummer and Sid Vicious, were to all start boycotting the shoe company then Saatchi's recklessness could cost them dearly.

Dr Martens have, of course, already issued an apology regarding the ads, telling reporters last week: "Dr Martens is very sorry for any offence that has been caused by the publication of images showing dead rock icons wearing Dr Martens boots".

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BLOOD RED SHOES GIRL ATTACKED BY BOUNCER
Laura-Mary Carter from Blood Red Shoes got involved in an altercation with a bouncer recently, according to reports. The incident, which occurred following a gig in Manchester last week, seemingly came about because the bouncer mistakenly thought that the singer, who was carrying a bottle of wine, was underage.

Carter says in a statement: "I left the backstage area carrying a bottle of wine to go and watch Pull Tiger Tail. The next thing I knew a bouncer grabbed my neck from behind and started to drag me out of the venue. When we got to the stairs he tackled me in a Johnny Wilkinson way and I fell and hit my head on the stairs and slashed my arm open".

Rumble Strips singer Charlie Waller apparently came to her rescue, however, and the bouncer in question has since been sacked. So all's well that ends well. Apart from for that bouncer, really.

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RAPPER JEEZY ARRESTED IN GEORGIA
And speaking of altercations, US rapper Young Jeezy was arrested following one at a strip club in Georgia last week. The hip hopper, real name Jay Jenkins, was apprehended by DeKalb County Police following a 3am incident at a club in the city of Clarkston, near Atlanta.

Police spokesman Michael Payne confirmed that the fracas took place, telling reporters: "Evidently there was some type of altercation in the club, someone didn't want to leave. It turns out one of the people in the group was Jay Jenkins or Young Jeezy. Evidently he was there with his sister and some friends".

Payne went on to explain that Jenkins and two male friends were both booked on disorderly conduct charges before being released, whilst the rapper's sister was given a citation for disorderly conduct, but not booked. He added that there was no physical fighting involved, and that the incident consisted purely of a verbal confrontation.

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BOB DIDDLEY SHOWS SIGNS OF RECOVERY
Bo Diddley's manager Margo Lewis has told reporters that the rock n roll legend is showing indications that he is recovering from his previously reported stroke. It's just two weeks since Diddley was taken ill, but Lewis says he's responding well to intensive occupational therapy.

Lewis says: "When he gets up in the morning he'll hum while he's brushing his teeth. And when he goes to breakfast he'll start humming along to a song. It'll just come to his head. He's not saying the words but he's humming the tunes".

She adds that Diddley has been listening to the local country radio station during his recovery in hospital in Gainesville, Florida. He is expected to leave the facility in two weeks time.

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THE CULT SIGN TO ROADRUNNER
Roadrunner Records have signed up the legends that are The Cult. All current members of the band - including founding members Ian Astbury and guitarist Billy Duffy - are back in the studio recording their first studio album since 2001, which should be released by Roadrunner in association with the band's own label New Wilderness in late September.

Commenting on both the new deal and new album, Astbury told CMU: "We have always dreamed of finding a label that allows us artistic freedom and has the muscle to get the music to the people. At the heart of this recording is an urban directness of savage rawness and an earnestness that is the centre of any great rock and roll band".

Meanwhile, Roadrunner A&R types Derek Oliver and Dante Bonutto said in a statement yesterday: "What's especially great about The Cult is their instinctive ability to live in the present, not just reflecting current taste but actually helping to shape it - something you can hear in Ian's contributions to the UNKLE project. They have a magnificent and hugely influential history, but when you bring the classic and the contemporary crashing together in the way that Ian and Billy can, it gives real potential for this new album to be their most exciting ever".

The Cult will tour Europe with The Who next month, as well as playing a number of headline shows and festival sets.

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GOODBOOKS DEBUT
I've been aware of GoodBooks for what seems like a very long time, so it's almost a bit of a shock to be reminded that they're still to release a debut album. But they are, and it's coming soon, hurrah! 'Control' is out on 30 Jul, preceded by the release of a single, 'Passchendaele' on 16 Jul.

Plus, here are the band's upcoming live dates:

30 May: London Bush Hall (with Hot Club De Paris)
31 May: Bristol Thekla (with Hot Club De Paris)
10 Jun: Manchester Academy 2 (with The Sounds)
11 Jun: Birmingham Academy 2 (with The Sounds)
12 Jun: Nottingham Rescue Room (with The Sounds)
13 Jun: London Mean Fiddler (with The Sounds)
5 Aug: Kent Electric Gardens Festival
10 Aug: London Underage Festival
11 Aug: London Field Day Festival

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MONKEYS TO RELEASE LIMITED EDITION SINGLE
Arctic Monkeys are to release a limited edition, white label 7" on 18 Jun, featuring two new songs not featured on recent album 'Favourite Worst Nightmare'. The tracks, 'Matador' and 'Da Frame 2r', were included on the Japanese release of the band's second LP, but thus far have not been released in the UK. Just one thousand of the copies of the vinyl will be sold via the Domino Records website.

The next standard single release is 'Fluorescent Adolescent' on 9 Jul.

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TWANG AND STREETS FILM VIDEO FOR REMIX
Mike Skinner and The Twang have filmed a video for The Streets' previously reported remix of The Twang's 'Either Way'. The promo was filmed on Brighton Beach, and also features rapper Professor Green.

Elsewhere in Streets news, Skinner says he hopes his new album will be released by Christmas.

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LENNON PIANO UP FOR SALE
A piano which sellers claim John Lennon played the day he died has been put up for sale at a cost of $375,000 - that's about £189,000 at current exchange rate. The upright grand piano, which has also been played by Bob Dylan and Don McLean, belonged to the Record Plant recording studios in New York, where Lennon recorded his 'Imagine' album, and it's said that the instrument was a favourite of the former Beatle's.

The Moments In Time memorabilia website are selling the piano, which has been in storage since the recording studio closed in the 1990s.

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FESTIVALS SIGN UP TO GREEN AGENDA
Organisers of the A Greener Festival programme have announced that numerous UK festivals have now signed up to their previously reported scheme to promote more environmentally friendly practices in the live music arena. The eco-championing group announced earlier this month that they were launching a new award scheme through which they would formally acknowledge festivals which improve their environmental efficiency, promote green issues and commit to an 'A-Z of green priorities'. Organisers said this weekend that Glastonbury, Latitude, Download, Wireless, Hyde Park Calling, Bestival, Truck, Workshouse, Summer Sundae Weekender and the Carling Weekend were among the live music events who had already signed up to the scheme. Talks are now ongoing with festivals in the US, Australia, Finland and Serbia with a view to them also signing up.

Commenting on the awards programme, A Greener Festival co-founder Ben Challis told CMU: "The Greener Festival 2007 award is to promote greening practices at music festivals. We don't expect festivals to be able to meet every single point on our check list but they must reach a minimum standard. They need at the very least to have a coherent transport and travel policy promoting public transport; they must consider ways to reduce waste and pollution; they must have recycling on site and they must protect the environment and protect wildlife. We also expect festivals to aspire to a 26 point action plan - our A-Z of going green - and by 2008 we really do hope that all UK festivals will have basic green policies and practices in place. Ultimately we expect all festivals to aim for a 'leave no trace' philosophy where their festival is totally green and leaves no impact on the environment".

Elsewhere in green festivals news, the Glastonbury Festival has announced it is supporting the I Count campaign which aims to combat climate change by encouraging individuals to reduce their carbon footprint. Representatives from the campaign will be at this year's festival to encourage festival goers to commit to making sixteen personal steps to reduce their environmental impact. Confirming their support for the programme, Glasto boss Michael Eavis told reporters: "We've put a lot of effort into focusing Glastonbury on the environment and climate change this year. We hope to see at least 100,000 new supporters sign up to the I Count campaign - and I'll be the first to put my name down".

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LIVE EARTH JAPAN LINE UPS ANNOUNCED
Live Earth Tokyo line up. Announced. AI. Ai Otsuka. Ayaka. Cocco. Genki Rockets. Kumi Koda. Linkin Park, Rihanna, Rize. Second Japanese show. Kyoto. Michael Nyman. Rip Slyme. Yellow Magic Orchestra. Live Earth. 7 Jul.

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REVEREND'S FOPP INSTORE
Reverend & The Makers are rather good, have we told you that? Well, they are, and they play Fopp on Tottenham Court Road in London on Saturday at 6pm. Don't got saying we didn't tell you. Entrance is free on presentation of a wristband which can be picked up from the store anytime from midday on the day.

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WOMBATS GIG CANCELLED
The Wombats have cancelled their gig that was due to take place at the 100 Club in London tonight due to illness. It will now take place on 11 Jun at Dingwalls. So, now you know.

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GOSSIP TOUR DATES
The Gossip have announced some new UK tour dates, one of which is Bestival. Have you seen Beth Ditto on the cover of NME? She's naked.

7 Sep: Birmingham Academy
8 Sep: Bristol Academy
9 Sep: Isle Of Wight Bestival
11 Sep: Cambridge Corn Exchange
12 Sep: Preston 53 Degrees
13 Sep: London Forum
14 Sep: London Forum
15 Sep: Brighton Dome

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MAXIMO PARK TOUR
Maximo Park have announced details of a new UK tour supported by Good Shoes and Blood Red Shoes. Seems to be a bit of a shoe theme there. Oh, hang on, no, the third support band is Theoretical Girl, which spoils it a bit. But I'm sure Theoretical Girl are very good, even if they don't have the word 'shoes' in their name. But perhaps they could change their name, just for this tour? Theoretical Girl's Shoes has quite a nice ring to it.

Anyway, I digress a little. Maximo Park're also doing a special gig in Newcastle just before Christmas. Here are the dates, tickets on sale this Friday.

2 Oct: Glasgow, Barrowlands (Good Shoes and Blood Red Shoes)
3 Oct: Dundee, Caird Hall (Good Shoes and Blood Red Shoes)
5 Oct: Doncaster, Dome (Good Shoes and Blood Red Shoes)
6 Oct: Manchester, Apollo (Good Shoes and Blood Red Shoes)
7 Oct: Cambridge, Corn Exchange (Good Shoes and Theoretical Girl)
8 Oct: Portsmouth, Guildhall (Good Shoes and Theoretical Girl)
10 Oct: Wolverhampton, Civic Hall ( Good Shoes and Theoretical Girl)
11 Oct: London, Brixton Academy (Good Shoes and Theoretical Girl)
12 Oct: London, Brixton Academy (Good Shoes and Blood Red Shoes)
15 Dec: Newcastle, Metro Radio Arena

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ALBUM REVIEW: The Pigeon Detectives - Wait for Me (Dance to the Radio)
Whether you love or hate their name, for word-lovers, it's the most imaginative thing about The Pigeon Detectives' debut. There are some genuine gems of lyrical clunkiness in sight - on 'Can I Control Myself' we get the awful and inexplicable: "You told me that you'd been here once before / You said I made you walk into a door". Arctic Monkeys' Alex Turner needn't worry. Elsewhere, despite the fact that the Leeds quintet sing about, like, relationships and girls and stuff, the PDs are surprisingly Neanderthal ("You know I love you / Take off your clothes / It's all right"), which would be fine if they sounded like AC-DC. But they don't, they sound like The View. But - and this is the kind of 'but' that signals the review taking a different direction, hopefully leaving the reader with a generally positive impression - their relentlessly perky tunefulness is hard to resist. Maybe that shoutalong style has been cribbed off The Cribs, but you won't care when you're chanting 'I Found Out''s "Going out with! Going out with!" refrain down the indie disco. Urgent and youthful, 'Wait For Me' offers anthems, not enlightenment. And that'll do for now. WP
Release date: 28 May
Press Contact: Motion [all]

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CD-WOW ORDERED TO PAY RECORD INDUSTRY 41 MILLION
As you may well have seen, with this CD-Wow story capturing a fair few headlines this morning, the damages the online CD seller have been told to pay the UK record industry is £41 million, which is quite a lot. As previously reported, the Hong Kong based etailer was accused of selling CDs sourced from cheaper wholesalers outside the EU to UK customers, in violation of UK copyright laws and a 2004 legal commitment made to UK record industry trade body types the BPI. CD-Wow bosses claimed any post-2004 incidents of them selling UK customers CDs sourced from outside the EU were isolated and down to human error, but the UK courts sided with the BPI, leading to last week's somewhat monumental damages ruling. The £41 million is made up of £37 million damages plus £4 million interest.

Needless to say, the boss of CD-Wow, Henrik Wesslen, said the ruling set a "dangerous precedent", while accusing cash rich major record companies of unfairly targeting his independent retail operation, and of relying on outdated copyright rules that ran counter to the emerging global market. He told reporters: "We are the little guys selling CDs to the UK market and they [the BPI] have picked on us for that reason. I fear what is happening is an attempt to use the combined brute force of the record industry to force the retailers and, in turn, our clients, to keep lining the pockets of the fat cat executives. It shouldn't matter whether we are buying from an official distributor in the UK, Europe or the Far East, what is important is that we are buying legitimate products from the record companies themselves".

As previously reported, BPI chief Geoff Taylor has welcomed the massive damages ruling, telling reporters yesterday: "CD-Wow is no consumer champion. The vibrancy of British music depends on a fair return on the investments that allow British talent to shine. This decision is an important step in ensuring that British music has a bright future".

The UK's Entertainment Retailers' Association, which represents most of CD-Wow's rivals, like HMV, Fopp and Amazon, also welcomed the ruling. Their Director General, Kim Bayley, told reporters: "It is vital that all retailers compete on a level playing field. Illegal imports threaten that level playing field and threaten British jobs".

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SANCTUARY SELL AIR-EDEL
Still struggling London music group Sanctuary has announced it has sold its stake in composer management and sync rights firm Air-Edel for just under half a million pounds. The company, originally founded by George Martin and Herman Edel in 1969 and acquired by Sanctuary off Chrysalis in 2002 for £590,458, has been acquired by a rival sync rights company, Cutting Edge Music.

Confirming the sale, Sanctuary issued a statement to the London Stock Exchange yesterday, simply confirming that it had "disposed of its interests in Air-Edel Associates Limited and Air-Edel Recording Studios Limited (and certain associated assets) to Cutting Edge Music", adding that Cutting Edge will pay the buying price in cash over an eighteen month period.

The Air-Edel purchase is part of Cutting Edge's ongoing expansion programme, which recently included the recruitment of experienced music supervisor Liz Gallacher to the role of Director Of Music Supervision. Commenting on that expansion and the Air-Edel purchase, Cutting Edge MD Phil Hope told reporters yesterday: "We are delighted to bring Air-Edel and their roster of fantastic talent into the Cutting Edge group of companies. Their unrivalled position in the provision of music to the worlds of film, television, games and commercials will be a tremendous asset to our business. Following our recent addition of Liz Gallacher Music Supervision this acquisition brings us closer to achieving our goal of becoming the pre-eminent provider of music to picture".

Air-Edel will continue to be led by existing MD Maggie Rodford within the Cutting Edge group.

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MCPS-PRS AXE GENERAL COUNSEL ROLE
Royalty collecting society types MCPS-PRS have announced they are axing their internal General Counsel role, which means incumbent Crispin Evans will leave the society with immediate effect. It's not entirely clear why the society feels a retained General Counsel is no longer required given all the high profile projects Evans has worked on in his two years with the organisation - including the much reported digital copyright dispute with the BPI, efforts to convince the European Commission the collecting societies are not operating monopolies within their territories, and in negotiating the new agreement between MCPS-PRS and the BBC.

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VIRGIN UNDERESTIMATING VALUE OF LOST SKY CHANNELS
Virgin Media have "underestimated" the value its customers place on the basic BSkyB channels that the cable TV company have lost because of their spat with the satellite broadcaster. Not my opinion, I should add, but the opinion of investment bank UBS, based in part on a survey of 1000 families by research types GfK. The bank says it reckons the cable network could lose up to 400,000 subscribers because of the loss of channels like Sky One and all those classic shows it carries like Mile High, Sex On The Beach and When Sport Stars See Red (oh, and a couple of American programmes too I think).

The conclusion comes in a UBS survey on the current and future state of the multi-channel TV market. They reckon that, despite taking the Virgin brand since their merger with Virgin Mobile, the company that was NTL/Telewest is still not especially attractive to consumers. Sky subscribers, they say, don't see switching to Virgin as a viable alternative; existing Virgin customers are very likely to switch if the BSkyB/Virgin spat continues too much longer; and Virgin will take another hammering if OfCom allow Sky to put pay to view channels onto the Freeview network (which UBS reckon they will). None of which makes great reading for Virgin Media types.

Whether that makes the phone/internet/mobile/cable company more or less prone to takeover (you'll remember there were talks of takeover last week) I don't know. But the UBS report will make happy reading over a Sky towers. They too are suffering from their spat with Virgin because the audience on their mainstream channels is down which will affect the advertising rates they can charge. But with reports like this one they'll be further motivated to weather that storm, increasingly confident that Virgin will, eventually, have to cave in and pay the asking price for the Sky channels. Because there is only so long the average cable viewer will wait for the latest edition of When Sport Stars See Red before they, well, turn red. Or, rather, switch to blue.

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GCAP COMMERCIAL GUY QUITS
GCap Media Commercial Director Duncan George has quit the company, the day before full-year financials - expected to show advertising and profit slumps - are published, which sounds as good a time as any to go. George says it's "time to move on and explore new opportunities", while GCap top bloke Ralph Bernard thanked George for his "instrumental" role in successfully merging the GWR and Capital Radio sales teams after the former's takeover of the latter.

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THEJAZZ HIRE EDITOR TO LAUNCH WEBSITE
Talking of GCap, a former Independent On Sunday reporter, Anthony Barnes, has joined the radio group's digital jazz music venture - TheJazz - to launch and run its website. I know this because TheJazz MD Darren Henley just said this: "We're very serious about building TheJazz into a major media brand and employing a journalist of Anthony's standing to edit our website is a major step along this journey". Barnes took voluntary redundancy from the Independent group last month after three years as the Indie On Sunday's art and media correspondent.

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NME COVERMOUNT VINYL
NME is giving away a covermount seven inch, its first vinyl giveaway in more than a decade, which is exciting. For vinyl fans. And White Stripes fans. It being a White Stripes single. The covermount record will feature 'Rag & Bone', a track from the duo's upcoming new album 'Icky Thump'. The b-side will have something etched into it, while the sleeve will be of the gatefold kind, with a slot for the vinyl release of the duo's upcoming single, also called 'Icky Thump', though NME readers will have to buy that one (clever clever, who wants a half empty gatefold in their collection? - I wonder what the chart rule people will make of that?). The free record will come in lovely red vinyl and will be, the NME reckon, the biggest ever pressing of a coloured vinyl record. Personally I always preferred the free flexi-disks magazines used to cover mount. There was something rather special about the way they slightly warped the songs that were pressed on to them. I've still got the Jets flexi-disk that came with Look-In somewhere. And a whole series of Number One magazine flexi-disks. And one that came on the side of a cereal packet somewhere. What was that about? Anyway, NME, White Stripes, red vinyl, all good.

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BRITNEY WRITES LONG MESSAGE ON HER WEBSITE
Britney Spears has written a long message on her website all about how she recently "hit rock bottom" and about how she's not surprised she did, given the circumstances, but that she feels very grateful that her fans still love her in spite of all that messing around and being mental and going into rehab.

She blames her divorce from Kevin Federline, obviously. She writes: "I had a manager from a long time ago come in and try to direct me and my life after I got my divorce. I was so overwhelmed I think that I was in a little shock too. I didn't know who to go to. I realised how much energy and love I had put into my past relationship when it was gone because I genuinely did not know what to do with myself, and it made me so sad. I confess, I was so lost."

She adds "I am 25 and I do still have a lot to learn, and I am going to make mistakes everyday, and I am sure every mistake I make will probably be on CNN or Good Morning America. I am only human people and I love you for still loving me".

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DOHERTY'S GATECRASHER NO SHOW
Ah, in this unreliable world isn't it nice when you find something reliable? Like Pete Doherty's unreliability. You can count on that. This time the Babyshambler has managed to no-show for a DJ booking. He was one of the indie stars due to be spinning disks at Gatecrasher last weekend (as I believe we previously reported). But he didn't show. Rather than going with an hour of dead air (which would have been very Pete Doherty if you ask me), organisers managed to get Ordinary Boy Sam Preston, fresh from his insightful insider guide to The Great Escape on last week's Transmission show on Channel 4 (which managed to not mention at all the wider Brighton Festival going on around TGE, with its wonderfully eclectic music programme), to spin some toons. Contact Music reports that some Gatecrashers felt conned that Doherty was a no show after paying forty pounds for their tickets. But, frankly, you've not got the real 'Doherty experience' if there's not a no show, so they should shut up. And anyway, anyone who goes to the Gatecrasher festival just to see Pete Doherty play some records deserves to be conned.

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WINEHOUSE'S MOTHER NOT HAPPY OVER MARRIAGE
Amy Winehouse's mother Janis is not best pleased, apparently, about the fact that her daughter secretly married fiance Blake Fielder-Civil. Neither she nor Amy's dad Mitchell were invited to the ceremony which took place earlier this month in Miami. It's not that she's sore about not being invited to the impromptu nuptials, it's that she's never met Blake and doesn't know what he's like.

This is what she says, according to reports, on the subject of the wedding: "That's Amy's style. It's happened, it's done. I wasn't there, finished. Of course I would have wanted to go. I don't know about the wedding - just what I read in the newspapers".

And here's what she says, according to reports, on the subject of the fiance: "I can't judge whether he's a nice guy or not. I'd like to meet Blake properly. Mitchell's met him and thought he was OK. Like anything with Amy, what will be will be. I don't know whether he will be faithful. I hardly know him".

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