CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 3rd July
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Allofmp3.com goes offline, but spin off launches
- Linkin Park stalker in court
- Doherty back in court again today
- In recess: Spector trial update
- Beverly Sills dies
- George McCorkle dies
- Hy Zaret dies
- Weller wants to release double for his fiftieth
- Mark Ronson has Bond yearnings
- PJ Harvey album soon
- Hard-Fi dates
- Goo Goo Dolls live news
- TCR BBQ this weekend
- Kylie for Dr Who
- Single review: Revolution - Light Up My Life
- Clarkson confirms new management
- Dragon funded mix service goes live
- Output catalogue goes to MRC
- Apple say Universal talks ongoing
- Loud music culture creating hearing loss timebomb
- Warner chief questioned about Universal share trading
- Sanctuary close US labels
- EC expected to approve Terra Firma EMI purchase
- Warner appointments
- Merlin putting board into place
- MusicTank Think Tank to consider legal P2P
- Live Nation re-launch UK website
- Virgin Media may be up for sale
- Commercial Radio Award winners
- Congress committee supports webcasters
- BBC to sell Maida Vale studios
- Chart update
- Sean Lennon says rock and pop are dead
- Police struggling already
- Britney's woes update

--------------------------------------------------

TOP BIT >>
So, I was in transit on Thursday night as Fopp's employees were being told that they need not come into work on Friday morning, so the first confirmation I got that the popular indie retail chain really was caput was when I arrived in Edinburgh and took the walk from the station up to the Royal Mile, past what for me was always the 'original Fopp store', on Cockburn Street (obviously the original Fopp was in Glasgow, and the original Edinburgh Fopp was in a different location on Cockburn Street, but this was the first Fopp I ever frequented, and for me was always the original). With the grills up and no sign of life, I had a little peer through the window to see if I could see anything going on inside. But there was nothing, and then the manager of the shop next door, having seen me being all inquisitive, came out to say "they've gone mate".

None of which is really all that relevant to anything really, except to say that I, like many people out there, always had a real soft spot for Fopp, and had been really pleased by their recent rapid growth from that little indie music chain North of the Border to the UK's number three record shop chain. All of which meant that I was actually a little bit sad looking at the now defunct shop unit in Edinburgh's Old Town, where I'd first flicked through Fopp's vinyl boxes some 12 years ago. Not as sad as the 700 Fopp employees who have just been formally made redundant, presuambly, but a little bit sad nevertheless.

It is interesting that Fopp's demise and HMV's somewhat disappointing year end financial report came out during the same week as the announcement that Prince had signed a deal to release his new album initially as a covermount on the Mail On Sunday, in return for an undisclosed fee. That announcement caused much outrage in music retail circles, of course, and you can see why. And some might say that promotions like the Prince covermount have contributed to the woes on the high street. But at the same time, and if you'll allow me to play devil's advocate for a moment, perhaps the mass distribution of an album via a national newspaper isn't the problem, but, in part, the solution.

As consumers demand more content for less money, clearly the conventional music retail model is on its way out, in the same way the conventional record label model will be eventually redundant. I'm not suggesting that colluding with the Mail On Sunday is a sustainable way for the entire record industry to survive long term - but it's a fact that the way content owners and music fans make, distribute and consume music is changing radically, and the record industry - labels and retailers - need to find new ways to do what they do in this changing environment. I'm not really advocating any particular new route to market, but we are going to have to find new routes sometime soon, and that means artists, managers, labels and retailers are going to have to be open to new ideas as and when they arise, and avoid the temptation to dismiss anything new as being detrimental to the wider music business just because it possibly opens you up to new competition.

Some reports of Fopp's demise suggested it was all down to the growth of downloading. In reality it is the supermarkets and online mail order set ups like Amazon which have really made things hard for specialist high street record stores. Which can only mean that when download platforms really start to take off as suppliers of albums things will get even harder to those in traditional music retail. All that said, I still believe there is a future for selling recordings, and for high street sellers of recordings, but I suspect there are still some radical changes to come before things settle down again. Which is no help to those 700 Fopp employees, of course, nor all those music fans who relied on Fopp for a different music retail experience. But let's hope we can find that "new way" (or the "new ways") sooner rather than later.

--------------------------------------------------

JOBS N STUFF>>

PRESS OFFICER/ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE - MATERIAL
Material is seeking a Press Officer/Account Executive to work on a leading Northern Irish contemporary music event. The successful candidate will be highly efficient and organised with strong writing skills, good knowledge of music, ability to work to short deadlines and a proven ability of working on live music and/or brand projects. Knowledge of Northern Irish media also beneficial. Computer literacy, including confidence with Microsoft Office is essential. The role is temporary, from July to September, and is based in Belfast. Please send a CV with covering letter to lauras@materialmc.co.uk by Tuesday 3rd July.

Advertise your vacancies in the CMU Daily for just £80 for five days. To book your space email ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk.

--------------------------------------------------

MYSPACE OF THE DAY: RICHARD HAWLEY

If you're anything like me (which some of you probably are in some ways, though not in others, clearly, as we are all unique) you'll have enjoyed former Longpig Richard Hawley's last solo album 'Cole's Corner'. It was reet good. Note my use of northern affectations in this MySpace Of The Day entry about a man from Sheffield. And now forget. Anyway, you all know who Hawley is, of that fact I am almost sure. But what you may not know is that his latest album will be with us shortly. 'Lady's Bridge' is out on 20 Aug via Mute, and it's preceded by a single, 'Tonight The Streets Are Ours' on 6 Aug. Now, the sad thing is that there's nothing from the new album previewing on the MySpace page just now but that's no reason to not visit, in order to reacquaint yourself with some of his earlier stuff, and also to make a note of his long list of upcoming September tour dates.

http://www.myspace.com/richardhawley

--------------------------------------------------

ALLOFMP3.COM GOES OFFLINE, BUT SPIN OFF LAUNCHES
Good news everybody. The rogue Russian download site allofmp3.com has seemingly gone out of business. Bad news everybody. The people behind the service have reportedly launched a new, similar service. Well, I use the 'good news' / 'bad news' tags that way round assuming that you're in some way sympathetic to the record labels whose content was illegally sold at cut price rates by the Russian download platform. If you care more about getting cheap MP3 downloads of major label music from a simple to use one stop shop, then feel free to swap the 'good news' / 'bad news' bits around.

Anyway, as much previously reported, Allofmp3.com was enemy number one for the record industry last year. Based in Russia, it sold major label music in DRM-free MP3 formats at very low prices. It claimed to be working within Russian copyright laws, but the record companies disagreed, and through politicians in the US and EC began to put pressure on Russian authorities to take action against the cut price service. In the end, however, it was the decision by the major credit card firms to stop accepted payments for the service that really reduced AllofMP3.com's customer base, whilst legal moves by the UK record industry against agents selling pre-pay AllofMP3.com vouchers brought to an end the company's remaining route to market.

It is not entirely clear when AllofMP3.com ceased trading, but the URL is currently not active and the Moscow Times reported yesterday that the download service had "quietly lost its battle for survival". However, a new site offering similarly cheap downloads called MP3sparks.com has launched and it is reportedly owned by the same company as AllofMP3.com - MediaServices.

Like AllofMP3.com, the new site claims to be a legitimate concern, telling users: "The availability over the Internet of the MP3Sparks.com materials is authorised by the license 31/ZM-07 of the noncommercial partnership Rightholders Federation for Collective Copyright Management of Works Used Interactively (NP FAIR). In accordance to the licenses' terms MediaServices pays license fees for all materials downloaded from the site subject to the Law of the Russian Federation 'On Copyright and Related Rights'. All these materials are solely for personal use. Any further distribution, resale or broadcasting are prohibited".

The new service also claims to accept credit card payments, though I have to say that when I tried to charge up an account with a credit card I got to a screen telling me that "this service is currently unavailable". So, it is kind of unclear whether there is any difference between AllofMP3.com and MP3Sparks.com in terms of the service's legality, or not, or whether the credit card companies are expected to play ball with the new service. I suspect 'not' in both cases, but time will tell I guess.

Though it would be good if they did get the credit card bit working. I never did get a copy of Calvin Harris' 'The Girls', and they are selling it for 15p.

--------------------------------------------------

LINKIN PARK STALKER IN COURT
As expected, that Devon Townsend has pleaded guilty to stalking Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington, and to illegally accessing personal information belonging to the nu-metaller by hacking into his phone and email accounts.

As previously reported, Townsend was first charged with cyber stalking Bennington last November, and pleaded no-contest almost straight away, possibly because police found messages and photos intercepted from the frontman's family's email accounts when they searched her home.

Presenting their case in court this week, investigators say Townsend accessed Bennington's email account and mobile phone voicemail and intercepted all sorts of messages, including family photographs, travel plans and correspondence between Linkin Park's record company and lawyer. Using phone numbers she had accessed, she also made threatening phone calls to Bennington's wife.

Eventually she started using the information available to her to physically stalk the singer. Townsend admits: "On at least one occasion, knowing that Chester Bennington was in Arizona, I travelled to Arizona solely for the purpose of trying to see him. While I was there, I monitored Chester Bennington's voicemails as a means of trying to locate where he might be eating".

The 28 year old could be jailed for stalking Bennington, though by entering into a plea deal she may get away with a significant fine. No date has been fixed as yet for sentencing.

--------------------------------------------------

DOHERTY BACK IN COURT AGAIN TODAY
You might say it's hardly news, but Pete Doherty is due in court again today to face yet more charges of possessing a class A drug, this time at West London Magistrates'. This particular incident relates to the incident back on 5 May when the Babyshambler was stopped in his car by police officers on Kensington High Street.

As much previously reported, Mr Doherty has appeared in court a great many times over the last year, and has been praised by Thames Magistrates' Court judge Jane McIvor for his apparent efforts to get over his drug addiction - although clearly, progress is slow, given that recent arrest.

--------------------------------------------------

IN RECESS: SPECTOR TRIAL UPDATE
So, just in case you wondered where you daily dose of Spector murder trial nonsense has gone, the trial is now in recess until 9 Jul. When the proceedings resume, the much discussed Dr Henry Lee, the celebrity forensics expert accused of moving a piece of evidence from the crime scene, will take to the witness stand to support the defence's claims that actress Lana Clarkson committed suicide at Spector's home that night back in 2003. Spector is accused, of course, of killing Clarkson.

--------------------------------------------------

BEVERLY SILLS DIES
Acclaimed opera star Beverley Sills has died from lung cancer at the age of 78. The singer was born Belle Miriam Silverman in New York in 1929, the daughter of Ukrainian and Romanian immigrants, and began singing lessons at the age of seven. She began her professional career on the stage in 1945, working with a number of different opera companies, gradually developing a high profile that saw her dubbed 'America's Queen Of Opera' by Time Magazine in 1971. The soprano also cultivated a mainstream appeal, recording eighteen operas before her retirement from singing in 1980, and making frequent appearances on US TV talk shows.

Sills also chaired the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Opera and The Lincoln Centre during the course of her long career, and also worked on a number of charitable concerns, in particular birth defect and infant mortality charity March Of Dimes.

--------------------------------------------------

GEORGE MCCORKLE DIES
Marshall Tucker Band founding member and rhythm guitarist George McCorkle has died from cancer at the age of 60. The musician wrote the band's first hit 'Fire On The Mountain', and wrote or co-wrote many other tracks, including the likes of 'Dreamlover' and 'Silverado'. He left the band in 1984 to become a full time songwriter, but in recent years returned to performance again, playing with a band called The Renegades Of Southern Rock, and making a one off guest appearance with the Marshall Tucker Band in Nashville last year.

--------------------------------------------------

HY ZARET DIES
Lyricist Hy Zaret has died at the age of 99 at his home in Connecticut. Born Hyman Zaritsky in 1907 in New York, Zaret will be most remembered for his lyrics to Unchained Melody, a track whose enormous and continued success ensured a lifetime of financial stability. He also co-wrote tracks for the likes of The Andrews Sisters, Jimmy Dorsey and Vaughn Monroe. He later specialised in educational songs for children, one track, 'Why Does The Sun Shine', aka 'The Sun Is A Mass Of Incandescent Gas', being covered by They Might Be Giants, as you might remember, back in 1994.

He is survived by a son, his wife, and one grandson.

--------------------------------------------------

WELLER WANTS TO RELEASE DOUBLE FOR HIS FIFTIETH
Paul Weller has said he'd like to get a double album out before he turns fifty next year. He told 6Music: "Ideally I'd like to put a double album out next year, before I get to fifty. That's my little gameplan".

Asked what he thought his biggest career achievement to date was, he replied: "Just to make music. Making my first record was an achievement. Still making records after all these years is an achievement for me. I never expected to still be making music at my age. Every day's an achievement".

--------------------------------------------------

MARK RONSON HAS BOND YEARNINGS
Mark Ronson has told Xfm that it would be a dream to produce a track for a James Bond film, and with that in mind he is determined to work with Amy Winehouse if she gets offered the gig for the next film, as has been rumoured.

He said: "It's my dream to produce a song for a James Bond film so I told Amy that if she gets offered the Bond thing, as has been rumoured, then she'd better let me produce the song, or I'll never talk to her again".

Of course, James Bond theme rumours always start early, and the earliest suggestions are frequently wrong. That said, I can't help thinking Winehouse would do a cracking Bond theme. So I definitely think they should ask her to do it.

--------------------------------------------------

PJ HARVEY ALBUM SOON
PJ Harvey has said that her seventh studio album will shortly be forthcoming. 'White Chalk', the follow up to 2004's 'Uh Huh Her', will be out on 24 Sep. And elsewhere in PJ news, the singer will be appearing at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester on 7 Jul - so fans will probably be hoping that she'll preview some of her new tracks.

--------------------------------------------------

HARD-FI DATES
Hard-Fi are set to play a number of intimate gigs to promote their upcoming new long player 'Once Upon A Time In The West', out 3 Sep. The band will preview album tracks at the dates, tickets for which will only be available via a lottery on the official Hard-Fi website. Here's when and where:

25 Jul: Southampton, Joiners
26 Jul: London, Dublin Castle
27 Jul: Stoke, Sugarmill
29 Jul: Manchester, Roadhouse
30 Jul: Edinburgh, Cabaret Voltaire

--------------------------------------------------

GOO GOO DOLLS LIVE NEWS
Goo Goo Dolls are all set to play T In The Park's main stage in Scotland this coming weekend, which is great, if you're going to T In The Park. But fear not, if you're not, there are other dates you can see them - other festival dates, plus a couple of headline gigs. Their new single 'Before It's Too Late' - which is appearing on the latest Spielberg blockbuster Transformers, FYI - is out 13 Aug.

Here are their live appearances. In a list:

7 Jul: Kildare, Ireland - Oxygen Festival
10 Jul: Sheffield City Hall (headline)
11 Jul: Manchester Apollo (headline)
16 Aug: Hammersmith Apollo (headline)
18 Aug: Staffordshire - V Festival
19 Aug: Hylands Park - V Festival

--------------------------------------------------

TCR BBQ THIS WEEKEND
Breaks types TCR will host their annual barbeque for all you breaks-heads out there this coming weekend - Saturday 7 Jul - at the Lockside Lounge in Camden. Needless to say, TCR top man Rennie Pilgrem will be your host, and he'll be doing some time on the decks too, as will Ellis Dee, JDS, General Midi, Blim, Vlad, DJ Tamsin, Diverted, Nine Lives The Cat, Tom Real and Larry Nelson. It's an all dayer kicking off at 1pm and running to 2am. Oh yes, and admission is free. Brilliant.

--------------------------------------------------

KYLIE FOR DR WHO
According to reports, the rumours are true - Kylie Minogue is set to appear in a Dr Who Christmas special. Writer and executive producer Russell T Davies says that she will take a significant role in the hour long show, which he describes as "the most ambitious and best Christmas episode yet".

Filming begins in Cardiff next month.

--------------------------------------------------

SINGLE REVIEW: Revolution - Light Up My Life (Kronologik Records)
I've been hearing this on various London pirates for a few months now and thankfully it's finally made it onto vinyl courtesy of Kronologik. Twin Brothers Joseph and George Mothiba are Revolution and they come up trumps here with this smashing 12 inch. They use a slightly menacing slowish tribal house bassline but manage to create a totally uplifting feel. And then there's the magic ingredient: the huge vocal talents of Maduva Madima - a South African lass who's no novice, with a solid track record that began with singing Gospel in Venda in the Limpopo Province. The vocals sit perfectly on this track - filled with energy, poise, and delivered powerfully. There is an a cappella on the flip, and an instrumental, but it's the A side that's truly the business. This will be a monster over the summer -
and it sounds best pitched up at +4, so I am hoping to hear it through a decent PA sometime very soon. Go and grab a copy. Right Now. PV
Release date: 25 Jun
Press contact: Kronologik IH [all]

--------------------------------------------------

CLARKSON CONFIRMS NEW MANAGEMENT
Kelly Clarkson has announced she has appointed the management services of Nashville-based Starstruck Entertainment, following her previously reported decision to part company with former manager Jeff Kwatinetz of LA based management giants The Firm.

--------------------------------------------------

DRAGON FUNDED MIX SERVICE GOES LIVE
One of the aspiring entrepreneurs who appeared on that Dragon's Den TV show thingimy is launching his new business this week, and I'm telling you about it here because it is a digital music type venture called MixAlbum.com, where you get to make your own mix album - ie you choose your favourite dancey tunes and then the MixAlbum.com system mixes it together for you. The aim is to provide a service for dance music fans who perhaps tend to buy mix albums rather than individual singles or artist albums but who always end up with some tunes they don't rate in the mix.

Founder Ian Chamings explains: "I think that some people have been put off buying dance singles for this reason - DJs can mix the tracks themselves, but end-listeners who can't mix - or can't be bothered - need to buy compilations, and most of the time there will be a few tracks you don't want. We've had so many emails along the lines of 'about time', or 'just what I was waiting for'."

Chamings took his idea for the DIY mix service to the BBC2 show where people with new business ideas get to try and persuade a bunch of rich people to provide the investment required to get their idea off the ground. Rich people Deborah Meaden and Theo Paphitis eventually invested in the music mix service.

On appearing on the investment TV show Chamings continues: "I was there for about 2 hours and it genuinely felt like 10 minutes. As I walked in, five well-lit and well-suited people were sat watching me intently. The pitch began OK until we got to the bit where I had to play a bad mix, as a comparison to our system: 'This is what a bad mix sounds like' ... I pushed play ... and there was silence - one of the sound crew had unplugged the speakers when they linked up their system. Luckily it all worked out in the end. I managed to give the Dragons a talk about patents which must have been fascinating - I'm surprised it didn't make the final cut".

--------------------------------------------------

OUTPUT CATALOGUE GOES TO MRC
London based independent music firm MRC has announced it has acquired the catalogue of Trevor Jackson's seminal label Output Recordings, which formally closed down last year. The catalogue includes releases from the likes of LCD Soundsystem, The Rapture, Fourtet, Fridge, Colder, DK7 and 7 Hurtz.

Confirming the deal with MRC, Jackson told CMU: "I am pleased that the Output catalog will remain intact and with MRC it has found a good home".

MRC co-founder Jaye Muller added: "We are delighted to be involved with the Output Recordings label. It is more than just a music catalog, it is a snap shot of musical innovation".

--------------------------------------------------

APPLE SAY UNIVERSAL TALKS ONGOING
Following the report yesterday, via Billboard, that Universal Music Group had told Apple it would not enter into a new long term relationship with iTunes, keen instead to keep its options open as the digital music sector develops, CMJ yesterday quoted an Apple spokesman as saying that Universal hadn't made a decision one way or another regarding its future iTunes relationship. They quote Apple representative Tom Neumayr thus: "We're still negotiating with Universal". With some seemingly translating (incorrectly, I assume) reports that Universal was refusing to enter into a long term agreement with iTunes as an indication they might pull their catalogue from the download platform completely, Neumayr continued: "Their music is still on iTunes. The rumor that UMG is not re-signing with [Apple] is not true".

--------------------------------------------------

LOUD MUSIC CULTURE CREATING HEARING LOSS TIMEBOMB
70% of clubbers, 68% of gig goers, and 44% of those who hang out in pubs with loud sound systems, display symptoms of hearing damage after a night out - including that irritating ringing in the ears and a dullness of hearing. Those stats, based on a survey of 1000 young music fans, come from the Royal National Institute For The Deaf, who are trying to raise awareness of the long term damage to hearing that can be caused by consuming excessively loud music.

RNID CEO Dr John Low told reporters this week: "We're all familiar with messages about practising safe sex and using suncream - but the lack of any guidance on loud music means this generation of music lovers could be facing a hearing loss timebomb. Our research shows most young people have experienced the first signs of permanent hearing damage after a night out, yet have no idea how to prevent it. With regular exposure to music at high volumes in clubs, gigs and bars, it's only too easy to clock up noise doses that could damage their hearing forever.

He continued: "Young people who love music need to be educated so they can make choices about the risk of exposure to loud noise and protect their hearing from premature damage. RNID is calling on the government to establish a recommended noise exposure level for audiences attending music venues and events, and to educate young people about noise as a public health risk".

--------------------------------------------------

WARNER CHIEF QUESTIONED ABOUT UNIVERSAL SHARE TRADING
According to French financial newspaper Les Echos, Warner Music top dog Edgar Bronfman Jr was last week questioned by French finance regulators about "suspect trading activity" in early 2002. The investigations are reportedly related to Bronfman Jr's dealing in shares in Universal Music owner Vivendi Universal, where he was still a board member at the time. No word on if there are any specific allegations against Bronfman Jr.

--------------------------------------------------

SANCTUARY CLOSE US LABELS
The Sanctuary Group has reportedly completely closed down its US label operations, meaning from this point onwards the North American recorded music division of the group will only deal with catalogue releases. The struggling indie's US label operations have been winding down ever since the group confirmed it was reviewing that part of its business back in April. Reports now suggest that a considerable revamp of the group's US artist management operations will now follow. As previously reported, the Universal Music Group is hoping to acquire Sanctuary.

--------------------------------------------------

EC EXPECTED TO APPROVE TERRA FIRMA EMI PURCHASE
Talking of takeovers, the European Commission is expected to approve Terra Firma's proposed takeover of EMI in the next two weeks - ie ahead of the new 13 Jul deadline that the private equity firm has now set for existing shareholders in the major to commit to sell their stake.

--------------------------------------------------

WARNER APPOINTMENTS
Warner Music International have announced the promotion of Rachel Evers to the role of Senior VP For Business Affairs, reporting to WMI Vice Chair John Reid. Here's what he has to say about her promotion: "This is a well-deserved promotion for Rachel - a seasoned professional whose broad skill-set that reflects the scope of her new position. Rachel has been instrumental in helping the Atlantic management team to develop new and innovative business models, and I am confident that the whole UK company will benefit from her strategic approach".

Elsewhere in the Warner Music empire, on the publishing side this time, Warner/Chappell have announced the appointment of former Sony Music exec Glen Brunman to the role of Exec VP/Head Of Creative US, where he will report to Dave Johnson, CEO of Warner/Chappell. Here's what Dave says: "We are excited to have an executive with Glen's experience join the first-rate team at Warner/Chappell. Today's music landscape offers publishers and their roster of songwriters an unprecedented number of music placement opportunities in all forms of media and Glen brings an impressive knowledge of the industry, an entrepreneurial spirit and close ties to the artist community. He also understands first-hand the workings of record labels and music publishers and has a proven track record promoting artists and their music across multiple media platforms".

--------------------------------------------------

MERLIN PUTTING BOARD INTO PLACE
Merlin, the new much previously reported globally focused indie label licensing agency, is in the process of finalising its full board, which will be announced in August. The new body's CEO, Charles Caldas, told the AGM of the Association Of Independent Music last week that the board will consist of fifteen members - five from the US, five from Europe and five from elsewhere. Nominations can be made until the end of the month.
.
--------------------------------------------------

MUSICTANK THINK TANK TO CONSIDER LEGAL P2P
The next CMU recommended MusicTank Think Tank event will be looking into that tricky challenge - of how to monetise music based filesharing - assuming, of course, such a thing is possible at all. The full panel for the event has now been announced. The keynote will come from MCPS-PRS Development Director Fred Bolza, while London Internet Exchange Head Of Public Affairs Malcolm Hutty, Tiscali Broadband content chief Jon Salmon, Playlouder MSP co-founder Paul Hitchman and IFPI Director Of Technology Richard Gooch will all also take part. This all takes place this Thursday, 5 Jul, at 6.30pm at Bertorellis in Soho, London. More info at http://www.musictank.co.uk

--------------------------------------------------

LIVE NATION RE-LAUNCH UK WEBSITE
The UK division of live music conglom Live Nation has revamped its website in a bid to ultimately create "the most comprehensive concert-related web service anywhere in the world".

Talking to Billboard about the website revamp, Live Nation's Senior VP Of Digital, International, Mark Yovich, said: "There isn't really a site out there that does that across Europe. We want to have every concert in any country on there, no matter who promotes it".

The new UK site is based in the main on Live Nation's current US-focused website, and will rely on the American service's technology at launch. The same format will be applied to the company's French and Italian sites in the coming weeks, with new sites in the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium and the Nordic and Eastern European markets, in the next year. New sites for Live Nation's Asian operations may also follow.

Yovich continues: "By the end of the year, users will be able to see [the details] of a whole tour in Europe. You will even be able to find the next concert in your specific area, the next ones in your country, and the next ones in the whole of Europe".

--------------------------------------------------

VIRGIN MEDIA MAY BE UP FOR SALE
After much chatter last week, Virgin Media has confirmed it has received a takeover approach and that it is seriously considering a sale. The ISP/mobile/TV company didn't confirm who the approach was from, though the finance press say it is from private equity group Carlyle.

Confirming the approach was for a 100% takeover, Virgin said yesterday: "The company has not engaged in negotiations with the offeror. The proposal is based on public information and is subject to various conditions, including a due diligence examination and a period of exclusivity. The proposal also states that it will be withdrawn if its terms are publicly disclosed. Prior to the receipt of the proposal, the company's board of directors had initiated a review with Goldman Sachs of strategic alternatives, including a process for a possible sale of the company. The proposal will be considered as part of the review. However, there is no assurance that any transaction will occur or, if so, at what price. The company does not intend to comment further on the process unless and until a definitive agreement is executed or the process is abandoned".

The Virgin Group, who have a healthy stake in the media firm following the NTL/Virgin Mobile merger that created it, are known to be open to offers to buy its stake, despite the rebrand of NTL to the Virgin name still relatively recent.

--------------------------------------------------

COMMERCIAL RADIO AWARD WINNERS
So, it was the Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards yesterday. And the winners were:

Commercial Radio Marketing Award: 100.7 Heart FM - Station Marketing
Local Sales Team of the Year: Wave 105
National Sales Team of the Year: Virgin Radio
Commercial Radio Station of the Year < 300,000 TSA: 107.4 The Quay
Commercial Radio Station of the Year 300,000 - 1 million TSA: Citybeat
Commercial Station of the Year > 1 million TSA: talkSPORT
Commercial Radio Programmer of the Year: Bill Ridley, talkSPORT
Commercial Radio Presentation Newcomer(s) of the Year: Tom Braham, The Saint
Commercial Radio Presenter(s) of the Year: Adam Catterall, 97.4 Rock FM
Commercial Radio Station Sound: 96.3 Radio Aire
Commercial Radio News Award: Key 103
Commercial Radio Programme or Feature of the Year: Welcome to Liverpool 8 - Radio City
Commercial Radio Station Creative Award: WYCR 'GPS' (106-108 Real Radio Creative Team)
Commercial Radio Technical Innovation Award: talkSPORT
Commercial Radio Digital Station of the Year: Gaydar
Commercial Radio Social Action Award: Star Cambridge 'Liam's Mile'
The Neil Robinson Memorial Award: Nikki Murray, 97.4 Rock FM
Newslink Special Award: Andria Vidler, Magic
Gold Award: talkSPORT
The RadioCentre Chairman's Award: theJazz

--------------------------------------------------

CONGRESS COMMITTEE SUPPORTS WEBCASTERS
US web radio companies won the support of the House Small Business Committee regarding their battle to stop the proposed rise in the royalties they have to pay the record labels, though the Committee didn't propose any particular action to stop the US Copyright Royalty Board's proposed royalties hike, instead encouraging the webcasters and content owners to find an independent solution.

The Committee was considering the royalty hike after the webcasters failed to convince the CRB to review its decision regarding the royalties they should pay to play music on their online services. Claiming that the proposed royalty rates were biased against online broadcasters, and that they would put many smaller webcasters out of business, the web radio sector has been putting its efforts into winning political support for their case - and as a result bills proposing more favorable royalty systems have been put forward by members of both the House Of Representatives and the Senate.

Committee chairwoman Nydia M. Velazquez said last week: "This is a new and exciting field with vast potential for growth, but the CRB regulations will be a major obstacle for expansion of the industry. If these regulations are put into place, the future development of the industry will be uncertain - we cannot allow that to happen". Despite those remarks, she said an agreement between the webcasters and content owners outside the legal or political domain would be preferable.

The Committee heard from representatives of both the webcasters and the record labels. Speaking for the latter, Tommy Boy Records founder Tom Silverman said that it was wrong to think of this dispute in terms of being about big record companies versus tiny webcasters. "They got people's attention, including some members of Congress, by claiming small businesses would be hurt. In all their rhetoric, I never hear anything positive about artists, who themselves are small businesses, or about the challenges facing independent labels".

--------------------------------------------------

BBC TO SELL MAIDA VALE STUDIOS
The BBC are reportedly going to close their Maida Vale studios, venue for many of the legendary John Peel sessions. The decision to close the studios follows a ruling at the Corporation that the North West London facility is unsuitable for the "21st-century digital age". Media reports suggest the complex will be sold off to developers, who are likely to turn them into apartments.

--------------------------------------------------

CHART UPDATE
Now, the more observant of you out there will have noticed we didn't run a Chart Update yesterday. This was because with Rihanna STILL number one in the singles chart, there didn't seem much point. But someone pointed out that that puts us in contravention of the UN/CMU Chart Charter, so I thought we better do a quick round up today.

New entries this week go thus: Kate Nash with 'Foundations' at 2, Enemy with 'Had Enough' at 4, Robin Thicke with 'Lost Without U' at 11, Avril Lavigne with 'When You're Gone' at 17, Timbaland ft Doe/Keri Hilson with 'The Way I Are' at 18, Gwen Stefani with '4 In The Morning' at 22, Cherry Ghost with 'People Help People' at 27, the brilliant Scouting For Girls with 'It's Not About You' at 31, Bon Jovi with '(You Want To) Make A Memory' at 33, Wombats with 'Kill The Director' at 35, Hadouken with 'Liquid Lives' at 36 and Mark Ronson and Lily Allen with 'Oh My God' at 40.

Albums wise, and those Editors go straight in at 1 with 'An End Has A Start' and Kelly Clarkson goes in at 2 with 'My December', pushing those Traveling Wilburys into third place. Other new entries go like this: Shirley Bassey 'Get The Party Started' at 6, Ryan Adams 'Easy Tiger' at 18, Gareth Gates 'Pictures Of The Other Side' at 23, Paramore 'Riot' at 24, Kelly Rowland 'Ms Kelly' at 37 and Andrea Corr 'Ten Feet High' at 38.

--------------------------------------------------

SEAN LENNON SAYS ROCK AND POP ARE DEAD
Not sure exactly what he means by this, but Sean Lennon says that rock n roll is over. See, it's not like it was when his dad was alive.

The singer says: "Rock 'n roll is already kind of played out. I wouldn't even be doing it if my mission was to be a pioneer. I'm only worried about creating beautiful songs. I'm not trying to reinvent songwriting. Pop music and rock 'n roll, it's not such a vital art form anymore in the way that it was in the '60s."

So there you go.

--------------------------------------------------

POLICE STRUGGLING ALREADY
According to reports, The Police are already heading for trouble, just months following their decision to get back together for a reunion tour. Well, it's Sting's son Jo Sumner who thinks that they might not last the course due to differences of opinion - presumably the same ones that split them up in the first place.

Sumner says: "We'll see if they make it through the year. They might beat each other to death. They are very passionate and have different opinions".

On a slightly more positive note, however, he concludes: "I think they'll put their differences aside in order to feel like rock stars one last time".

--------------------------------------------------

BRITNEY'S WOES UPDATE
Britney Spears' mother Lynne is saying she's hopeful that she'll be reconciled with her daughter soon, despite the fact that her eldest daughter was photographed handing her a piece of paper which was widely thought to be a letter asking her to stay away from her grandchildren Jayden James and Sean Preston.

It's thought that Spears' recent resentment of her family is due to their pushing her to go to rehab. Something she really ought to forgive them for, frankly, as in my humble opinion, she really needed to go. Anyway, despite all this, Lynne says, "Everything is going to be fine. I've got a strong family, and everything is going to be fine." Britney herself is not entirely ruling out a reconciliation either, it would seem. Asked by reporters if she thought she and her mother would be friends again, Spears said: "In time, who knows what will happen?"

Elsewhere in Britney's woes, according to reports, soon to be ex hubby Kevin Federline has refused to sign their divorce papers, apparently because he's concerned about the welfare of his two young sons, and Britney's recent and public return to the party scene. A source told US entertainment network E!: "It's not about the money. It's about her partying. It's her partying ways that is forcing Kevin to put his foot down".

yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

© UnLimited Publishing | subscribe at www.theCMUwebsite.com/daily