CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 18th January
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- EMI chief now interested in buying Chrysalis
- More on Victory's Virgin lawsuit
- +44 drummer sues drinks firm
- Border Breakers announced
- The Enemy win Xfm new music prize
- Maximo advice for new bands
- Lily Allen loses baby
- Britney's snapper woes
- Martin hits out at snappers, literally
- Fielder Civil threatens Amy with divorce
- Koopa sign to US indie
- Roxy Music video collection upcoming
- Later compilation upcoming
- Parton to play SxSW
- Delays tour
- Panic tour
- RIAA ordered to pay costs from unsuccessful P2P lawsuit
- HMV fortunes turn
- Woolies optimistic despite sales decline
- Independent deny freesheet rumours
- Clash ups frequency
- Emap channel to carry C4 music shows
- Britain's got bugs
- Weakest Link plan Britpop special
- Thurston Moore soundtracks adult film
- Doherty borrows bra for nipple protection

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TOP BIT
So, a second reminder that it's the time of year that we recruit another batch of CMU college correspondents.

This is a great chance for anyone out there in college press or college radio land to build their skills on all things music journalism, and to make connections in the wider music business. College correspondent positions are voluntary, but you will receive coaching on music review skills and have access to all kinds of releases, events and music business contacts.

To apply to become a CMU college correspondent just download the form at the URL below and email it to recruitment@unlimitedmedia.co.uk before the end of the month.

http://www.collegemedianetwork.co.uk/cmu/cmuappform.doc

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CMU FRIDAY TIPS

VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Swerve at The End
A long running drum & bass night which, back in the day, was down at the now defunct Velvet Rooms on Charing Cross Road ... hmm nostalgia. Spinning the liquid funk variety of d&b will be the Creative Source head honcho himself: Fabio. A consistently good DJ, he will be giving the quality sound system a test out for sure. He'll be joined by other resident Chris Intaface and Bristolian guest duo, Ben Payne and Joe Wills, aka The Insiders, who'll be taking a break from the studio to rinse out some dub plates. Solid stuff.

Wednesday 23 Jan, The End, West Central Street, WC1A, 10.30pm-3am, bargain £3 NUS before 11.30pm, then £5/£6, more at http://www.endclub.com

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EMI CHIEF NOW INTERESTED IN BUYING CHRYSALIS
Do you remember the days when there wasn't a big EMI story every single day of the week? No, me neither. Today's big story is that new EMI boss Guy Hands has now made a bid to acquire Chrysalis Music, one of UK's bigger independent music publishing houses, which owns the publishing rights to songs by the likes of Blondie, Leonard Cohen, David Gray, Roy Ayers, Siouxsie & The Banshees and early David Bowie.

As previously reported, Chrysalis has been through its own significant restructuring in the last year, most notably selling its radio division to Global Radio. Following the business review that led to the radio asset sale, the company's board have also let it be known they may consider offers for the company's music assets, in particular its publishing catalogue.

Of course through his purchase of the EMI Group, as well as acquiring the somewhat troubled EMI recorded music company, Hands also became owner of the world's market leader music publishing firm. His interest in Chrysalis suggest that while the new EMI owner is keen to initially streamline the recordings business, growth is the short term aim in publishing. However, he'll find growth through acquisition in the stronger publishing sector harder, because there will be more competition in every sale, from rivals in both of his businesses - ie Terra Firma's private equity competitors, and EMI Music Publishing's major rivals, in particular the acquisition hungry Warner Chappell and Sony/ATV. Plus Chrysalis founder and Chairman Chris Wright is known to value his publishing company highly and, while open to a sale, is reportedly willing to delay any deal until the market can deliver the best possible price.

EMI and Terra Firma are yet to comment on their interest in Chrysalis Music.

Just to ensure there's no confusion, by the way, EMI already own the Chrysalis record label, not that it really exists anymore. Chrysalis' original recorded music company was sold to EMI in 1991. 'Chrysalis Records' became a division of the major for a few years, before being rebranded as EMI:Chrysalis. The Chrysalis name was later dropped altogether, so that former Chrysalis artists are now released under the EMI Records banner. Except, I think, Robbie Williams who, if I remember rightly, is still officially a Chrysalis artist. None of this should be confused with Echo Records, the small label established by the Chrysalis Group after the sale of Chrysalis Records to EMI, which was most prolific in the late nineties, and which now operates primarily as an 'incubator label' for Chrysalis Publishing's singer songwriters. No word on what would happen to Echo should Chrysalis Publishing be acquired by a major publishing house.

Elsewhere in EMI news, the Times reports that Hands will continue to be, erm, hands on at the major throughout the upcoming restructuring, which is now expected to take six months. Word has it the Terra Firma chief had originally intended to appoint an EMI Group CEO to take on day to day control early this year, but consensus is that he won't now recruit a Chief Exec until after the big downsize is complete, possibly so the company's new leader doesn't get tarnished by all the bad shit that's about to happen. It will be interesting to see who does become CEO in the summer though - ie whether Hands will recruit a music business veteran, or another outsider.

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MORE ON VICTORY'S VIRGIN LAWSUIT
OK, some clarity for you on the latest chapter of the Victory Records v Hawthorne Heights dispute that we reported on earlier this week. As previously reported, the US independent launched legal proceedings this week against EMI's Virgin US division over those much previously made allegations that the major interfered in the indie's still-in-force contractual arrangement with the emo rockers by offering them an alternative recording contract, and assistance in getting out of their Victory deal.

The story was a bit confusing because Victory had already launched a lawsuit against Virgin in relation to this squabble back in November 2006. But, according to Billboard, it seems that the original lawsuit, filed in the Chicago courts, was voluntarily dismissed by the indie last July, but with a proviso that new proceedings could still be filed. The new lawsuit has been filed through the New York courts.

Why the indie decided to dismiss the original lawsuit, why they have re-filed through a different court, and whether they deliberately timed the second lawsuit for a week when all eyes were already on EMI, isn't clear.

At the time of the original lawsuit against them EMI said they did not believe Victory had a case. The major's lawyers are sure to point out Hawthorne Heights have never actually recorded anything for Virgin, and therefore the EMI Group cannot be accused of actual third party interference in the indie's contract with Hawthorne Heights.

Recognising that fact, Victory's press release on the matter this week noted that by merely negotiating with the emo types the major destroyed the Victory team's personal relationship with the band, which has prevented them from collaborating with them on a new album, even though the band are contractually obliged to deliver one. The press statement read: "Although the band never recorded for Virgin/EMI for unrelated reasons, the lawsuit notes that the band's relationship with Victory has been irreconcilably cloven and the damages to Victory had already occurred due to the actions of Virgin/EMI".

As also previously reported, Victory's legal spat with the band themselves continues to work its way through the Chicago courts.

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+44 DRUMMER SUES DRINKS FIRM
Elsewhere in the pop courts, former Blink 182 and current +44 drummer Travis Barker has filed a lawsuit against an energy drink company claiming they put a picture of him drinking one of their drinks on their website, implying some kind of official endorsement, which he hadn't given.

According to the Associated Press, Barker's lawsuit claims that Rockstar drinks are guilty of invasion of privacy, unfair competition and misappropriating his likeness to promote the product by posting the picture on their site, adding that the website not only featured the picture but "identified him and his endorsement by name".

The drinks company are yet to respond.

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BORDER BREAKERS ANNOUNCED
The winners of this year's European Border Breakers Awards have been announced. These will be presented at the start of Midem to the ten European artists who have been most successful in reaching audiences outside their own country, based on chart data from Billboard. The ten winners (with country of origin) this year are...

The Fratellis - Costello Music (Universal/Island) - UK
Cascada - Everytime We Touch (Zooland Records) - Germany
Sunrise Avenue - On The Way To Wonderland (EMI/Honest/Bonnier) - Finland
Ayo - Joyful (Universal/Polydor) - France
Dolores O'Riordan - Are You Listening? (Sanctuary) - Ireland
Basshunter - LOL (Warner/Extensive) - Sweden
Miguel Angel Munoz - MAM (M6 Interaction) - Spain
Reborn - Fools Rush In (Universal/ARS) - Belgium
Dune - We Are In There, You Are Out Here (Iceberg Records) - Denmark
Hemp Gru - Klucz (Prosto) - Poland

The European Commission organises these awards, and their Commissioner For Culture Jan Figel told reporters yesterday: "The EBBA Awards underline the importance of creativity and an open attitude towards cultural diversity in a globalising world. By honoring the award-winning groups and artists, alongside their record companies and publishers, the EBBA Awards also clearly show the inter-linked nature of the process of musical creation and how this is a necessary element for cross-border success".

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THE ENEMY WIN XFM NEW MUSIC PRIZE
More awards, and The Enemy have won the previously reported Xfm New Music Award, which was presented at Koko in Camden on Wednesday night. Which was presumably a bit amusing given the show was presented by Xfm breakfast host Alex Zane, who last year banned the band from his radio show after frontman Tom Clarke said he hoped the DJ would be "hit by a bus on [his] way home". Though Clarke did the decent thing and didn't join his bandmates at the awards bash, so there were no fist fights on stage. Disappointing really. The Enemy were selected as the winners by a team of pundits based on a shortlist of ten selected by Xfm listeners.

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MAXIMO ADVICE FOR NEW BANDS
Having been one of the judges on the Xfm new music prize, Maximo Park's Paul Smith has offered some advice for aspiring new bands.

Smith told reporters: "I think there's too many people trying to be like something else to fit in and to make some money and stuff. I was never in a band to make money, I was in it to do the best for myself and to play alongside four other people who have the same ideas".

He continued: "Whatever kind of music that you make, you've just gotta do it for the love of it and feel like you're not being taken advantage of because there's always music industry types who try and get you to change your songs".

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LILY ALLEN LOSES BABY
Singer Lily Allen has had a miscarriage and lost her baby by boyfriend and Chemical Brother Ed Simons.

The story broke in The Sun, who quoted a source close to the singer as follows: "The bad news has been really difficult for them to take and they are absolutely heartbroken. Lily's entire outlook on life changed after she found out she was pregnant. She was looking forward to being a mum and starting a family with Ed. She had turned her back on the party girl image and turned over a new leaf".

An official spokesman has now told reporters: "We can confirm that Lily Allen has suffered a miscarriage... and we ask that her privacy be respected at this difficult time".

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BRITNEY'S SNAPPER WOES
LA police have arrested four paps after a late night car chase involving good old Britney. Reports suggest police stopped both Britney and the photographers after witnessing what appeared to be a high speed car chase. The snappers were reportedly speeding along at quite a speed and overly close to Spears' Mercedes. A police spokesman confirmed officers questioned Britney about the incident, and that the four paps were booked and could be officially charged.

Elsewhere in Britney related photo news, the troubled popstress is reportedly planning on suing a photographer called Dani Brubaker after private shots of the singer and her two children Sean Preston and Jayden James appeared in the US edition of OK! magazine last week.

The singer reportedly hired the photographer to take the photos last November, intending them for private use. But under copyright law Brubaker, as the photographer, owns the copyright on the photos, and it seems she didn't sign any formal confidentiality agreement with Britney which is presumably why she felt legally entitled to sell the shots to the c'leb mag. However, according to PageSix.com, Britney's people are expected to claim there was an informal agreement between the singer and the snapper that the pictures would not be made public, and it is on those grounds she will sue.

PageSix.com also reports that when word got out that Brubaker had taken the photos she received various offers from the tabloid magazines. She seemingly initially knocked back the approaches, but then hired a broker to hawk the pics. Britney's lawsuit could top $1 million.

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MARTIN HITS OUT AT SNAPPERS, LITERALLY
Also having pap problems is Coldplay's Chris Martin, who was videoed lashing out at a photographer outside a US hospital this week. Martin was at the medical centre with wife Gwyneth Paltrow, who is rumoured to be pregnant again. Photographers were snapping and filming Paltrow and her driver as they made their way to the celebrity couple's car.

Martin followed shortly behind, and reacting angrily when he saw the snappers, pushing one to the ground and telling him to "show some respect". The whole thing was videoed and posted online within hours. Any paps out there can check it at the URL below - and should consider it a warning, head guards and extra padding is recommended for anyone planning on snapping he Coldplay frontman or his missus in the future.

There has been no official word on exactly why Paltrow was admitted to hospital, with a spokesperson saying simply that it was a "personal matter".

The vid is here: http://www.tmz.com/tmz_main_video?titleid=1380784843

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FIELDER CIVIL THREATENS AMY WITH DIVORCE
Amy Winehouse's dad has said he fears his daughter's other half is seriously considering divorcing the singer. Blake Fielder Civil, behind bars over allegations of perverting the course of justice, of course, is reportedly pissed off at his wife spending Christmas in the Caribbean with an ex-boyfriend, and over (much denied) rumours she has been getting romantic with producer pal Mark Ronson. Those matters, it's said, have led to rows when Amy has visited her husband in jail.

Mitch Winehouse has confirmed the tensions, blaming Fielder Civil's mother for putting ideas of divorce into her son's head. He told Grazia: "Blake threatened to issue divorce proceedings when they were having a row. Unfortunately, Blake is influenced by things his mother has said. I think Georgette [Fielder Civil] wants them to divorce, but it's up to them. From Amy's point of view, she would stick by him not matter what. But he has said things like, 'I want a divorce'".

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KOOPA SIGN TO US INDIE
Essex band Koopa who, as those of you who are paying attention will remember, were the first unsigned band to get into the Top 40 thanks to the change in chart rules at the start of last year (allowing digital sales to count without a physical release), have signed a worldwide record deal with a Nashville based independent label called Pied Piper Records. The band will go into the studio to start work on a new album in mid-March, following a gig in Moscow in February and another appearance at SxSW in early March.

Confirming the deal, the band's bass player Joe Murphy told CMU: "All the hard work creating history by having three chart successes as an unsigned band was definitely worth it. It will be great to have a successful label behind us and 2008 promises to be a massive year for Koopa, you can bet your bottom dollar!"

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ROXY MUSIC VIDEO COLLECTION UPCOMING
A Roxy Music DVD collection will be released next month. Actually, I think this has been out before, but it definitely has a 5 Feb release date on the schedules, so either I made that up, or it's a re-release. Anyway, it's an impressive collection of promo videos, concert clips and TV performances made between 1972 and 1982. Here's the line up. 'The Thrill Of It All: A Visual History (1972 - 1982)' will be released by EMI.

DVD 1 (1972-1976)
Re-make/Re-model - 06/72 (Royal College Of Art)
Ladytron - 06/20/72 (Old Grey Whistle Test)
Virginia Plain - 08/24/72 (Top Of The Pops)
For Your Pleasure - 11/25/72 (Full House)
Do The Strand - 04/03/73 (Old Grey Whistle Test)
In Every Dream Home A Heartache - 04/03/73 (Old Grey Whistle Test)
Editions Of You - (Live) 04/29/73 (Golden Rose Festival)
Pyjamarama - 01/23/74 (Musikladen)
Amazona - 01/23/74 (Musikladen)
Psalm - 01/23/74 (Musikladen)
All I Want Is You - 10/04/74 (Top Of The Pops)
Both Ends Burning - 10/75 (Empire Pool, Wembley)
Love Is The Drug - 10/09/75 (Supersonic)
The Thrill Of It All - 01/23/76 (Stockholm)
Mother Of Pearl - 01/23/76 (Stockholm)
Nightingale - 01/23/76 (Stockholm)
Out Of The Blue - 01/23/76 (Stockholm)
Street Life - 01/23/76 (Stockholm)

DVD 2 (1979-1982)
Dance Away - 04/16/79 (ABBA In Switzerland)
Manifesto - 05/06&07/79 (Manchester Apollo)
A Song For Europe - 05/06&07/79 (Manchester Apollo)
Still Falls The Rain - 05/06&07/79 (Manchester Apollo)
Ain't That So - 05/06&07/79 (Manchester Apollo)
Angel Eyes - 08/79 (promo video)
Trash - 1979 (promo video)
Over You - 05/15/80 (Top Of The Pops)
Oh Yeah! (On The Radio) 08/07/80 (Top Of The Pops)
Same Old Scene - 11/80 (promo video)
Rain, Rain, Rain - 12/19/80 (Rockpop In Concert)
Flesh And Blood - 12/19/80 (Rockpop In Concert)
Jealous Guy - 02/81 (promo video)
The Main Thing - 08/27/82 (Frejus, France)
While My Heart Is Still Beating - 08/27/82 (Frejus, France)
Avalon - 08/27/82 (Frejus, France)
My Only Love - 08/27/82 (Frejus, France)
More Than This - 04/82 (promo video)
Avalon - 06/82 (promo video)
Bonus Track: The Main Thing - 1982 (promo video)

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LATER COMPILATION UPCOMING
Everyone in CMU land loves 'Later With Jools' presumably, so we must mention that a two CD compilation of 'Later' performances is released by Rhino on 28 Jan. Tracklisting speaks for itself. Press info from PPR.

CD 1
Arctic Monkeys - Brianstorm
Amy Winehouse - Tears Dry On Their Own
Kate Nash - Foundations
Kaiser Chiefs - Ruby
KT Tunstall - Black Horse & Cherry Tree
Gnarls Barkley - Crazy
Mika - Grace Kelly
Adele - Daydreamer
The Fratellis - Henrietta
Hard-Fi - Suburban Knights
Stereophonics - It Means Nothing
Richard Hawley - Valentine
Scott Matthews - Dream Song
Seasick Steve - Doghouse Blues
The Flaming Lips - Yeah Yeah, Yeah Song
CSS - Let's Make Love
Damien Rice - Coconut Skins
King Creosote - Admiral
Muse - Knights Of Cydonia

CD 2
The White Stripes & Jools - My Doorbell
Lily Allen - Smile
Razorlight - America
Paolo Nutini - Last Request
Editors - Smokers
Bernard Butler with Duffy - Rockferry
Keane - Crystal Ball
The Strokes - Last Nite
James Morrison - You Give Me Something
Primal Scream - Country Girl
David Gray - The World To Me
Kings Of Leon - Bucket
Jose Gonzalez - Heartbeats
Mutya Buena - Just A Little Bit
Estelle - Wait A Minute (Just A Touch)
Ray Lamontagne - Trouble
Green Day - American Idiot
Kano featuring Damon Albarn - Feel Free
James Blunt - Same Mistake
Kasabian - Empire

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PARTON TO PLAY SXSW
A quick SxSW update for ya. Dolly Parton, yes, Dolly Parton, has been confirmed as a performer for the annual music business fest. She joins a bill that already boasts REM, Dizzee Rascal, NERD, Black Mountain, The Raveonettes, Yeasayer, Does It Offend You, Yeah?, Jens Lekman, The Cribs, The Black Crowes, Nada Surf, The Black Keys. and Tapes 'n Tapes.

Talking of Parton, she's just announced some UK tour dates too, as follows...

27+29 Jun: Glasgow SECC
28 Jun: Manchester MEN Arena
1 Jul: Nottingham Arena
2 Jul: Birmingham NEC
4 Jul: Cardiff Arena
5+6 Jul: London O2

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DELAYS TOUR
Oh, oh, Delays tour everybody - hurrah! These precede the much anticipated (by me, anyway) release of the band's third album 'Everything's A Rush', coming out via Fiction. Dates as follows...

14 Feb: Wolverhampton Little Civic
15 Feb: Bristol Louisiana
19 Feb: Newcastle Cluny
20 Feb: Edinburgh Liquid Rooms
21 Feb: Aberdeen Moshulu
24 Feb: York Fibbers
26 Feb: Hull The Lamp
27 Feb: Cambridge Graduate
2 Mar: Northampton Soundhaus
4 Mar: Nottingham Bodega
7 Mar: Belfast, Spring & Airbrake TV Show Filming
9 Mar: Dublin Sugar Club
11 Mar: Oxford Academy
13 Mar: Stoke Sugarmill
14 Mar: Leeds Cockpit
16 Mar: Gloucester Guildhall

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PANIC TOUR
Fans of the exclamation mark wishing to protest at Panic! At The Disco's previously reported decision to become Panic At The Disco can picket the following just announced UK gigs...

9 Mar: Birmingham, Carling Academy
10 Mar: London, Roundhouse
12 Mar: Manchester University
13 Mar: Glasgow, Carling Academy
14 Mar: Leeds University
15 Mar: Nottingham, Rock City

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RIAA ORDERED TO PAY COSTS FROM UNSUCCESSFUL P2P LAWSUIT
A woman sued by the Recording Industry Association Of American over P2P file sharing allegations, whose case was dismissed for lack of evidence, will have her legal fees paid for by the trade body.

A magistrate judge ordered the trade body to pay Tanya Andersen's legal costs when the P2P action was originally dismissed for lack of evidence, but the trade body appealed. According to the Recording Industry V The People blog, a District Court judge has now affirmed that decision, though the amount to be paid is still to be ascertained.

Andersen's previously reported countersuit against the RIAA, claiming the trade body breached privacy laws in monitoring her internet use, is still pending.

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HMV FORTUNES TURN
After years of doom and gloom, some good news from the HMV Group. The retailer says its pre-tax profits this year will be at the upper end of market expectations, with the HMV stores seeing a 14.1% year on year increase in pre-Christmas sales. The increase follows those much previously reported restructurings at the entertainment retail group, so needless to say bosses are claiming their new strategy is working.

CEO Simon Fox said in a statement: "Less than a year into our transformation programme, the initiatives we are undertaking to revitalise our business have helped to deliver a highly successful Christmas. Having stabilised the business, we will continue to focus on revitalising our store propositions as well as growing new channels to market and carefully managing margins and costs. The Group is, therefore, well positioned for the next phase of its turnaround".

With HMV rivals Zavvi also reporting an overall increase in pre-Christmas sales are we seeing an uplift in music retail? Probably not - DVD and gaming sales are still increasingly important to both high street retailers - though the pre-Christmas uplift in physical music sales does remind us that despite declines CDs are, for the time being, still an important part of the business.

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WOOLIES OPTIMISTIC DESPITE SALES DECLINE
But don't go thinking that that means there's good news for everyone involved in music retail. CD seller Woolworths reported that sales for the 49 weeks ahead of 12 Jan were down 3.2% amid rumours it had had a bad pre-Christmas period. That said, top man Trevor Bish-Jones remained optimistic, despite his company's share price slumping following the release of the latest finanicals, and amid concern that the high street is going to find trading even harder this year. Bish-Jones said Woolies was "used to managing through tough times" adding: "We will be relatively relaxed if there is a downturn in consumer confidence as we have a number of unique weapons". He also stressed that the firm's strategy at the moment was to boost profits rather than sales, so the slump in sales wasn't so big a deal.

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INDEPENDENT DENY FREESHEET RUMOURS
The Independent's Editor In Chief Simon Kelner has denied those reports his paper was considering launching a free edition, which figures, I mean, that would be exciting, and you don't get excitement at the Inde (though to be fair they were first broadsheet to go tabloid, which was quite exciting).

Responding to reports in the online Media Guardian of the Inde freesheet, Kelner told the media website yesterday: "It's utter rubbish. And I think it's shameful journalism on the part of Guardian Media that you present unsubstantiated gossip as news". So, that's them told.

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CLASH UPS FREQUENCY
Independent music and lifestyle mag Clash has announced it is stepping up its output and will now publish ten issues a year, instead of the original six. The increase follows the relaunch of the mag's website last year.

The magazine's publisher, John O' Rourke, told CMU: "We have achieved excellent results in 2007, outperforming the sector significantly. Having two dynamic platforms and increasing to ten issues, we can now provide much higher value with far greater exposure. This creates motivation and we are planning further expansion in 2008 through events, media partnerships and projects overseas. We now have a far broader range of opportunities to offer our clients and advertisers through events, ClashMusic.com and Clash Magazine".

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EMAP CHANNEL TO CARRY C4 MUSIC SHOWS
EMAP's music channel The Hits will air Channel 4 music programmes each Sunday evening following C4's previously reported acquisition of half of EMAP's music TV division, Box TV Ltd, last summer. 4Music Sundays will include various shows from Channel 4's music programming archives, including concerts by the likes of Take That, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera and Kylie. It will also feature the next series of the Album Chart Show.

The Programme Director of EMAP's Box TV division Dave Young told reporters: "4Music Sundays is our first major initiative since forming the Box TV joint venture business between Emap and Channel 4. It brings together the no. 1 music TV channel with the UK's leading terrestrial music broadcaster. I'm incredibly excited about the quality of programme mix we're about to deliver".

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BRITAIN'S GOT BUGS
Police were called to auditions for the new series of the Simon Cowell produced talent show 'Britain's Got Talent' after a bugging device was found under the judges' table. It's suspected that a freelance journalist planted the device hoping to get scoop from being able to hear the auditions take place. But the listening device was detected when it started interfering with the TV show's maker's own recording equipment.

Confirming police had been called to check out the bugging device, Cowell told reporters: "This shows the extent to which people will go to get inside knowledge on what is going on".

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WEAKEST LINK PLAN BRITPOP SPECIAL
Talking of cheap TV, members of Oasis and Blur are rumoured to be considering getting involved in a Britpop special of 'The Weakest Link'. The tabs report that producers have approached both Gallaghers plus Damon Albarn and Alex James in a bid to recreate the big Britpop feud on the special edition of the programme. It's unclear if any of the Britpoppers are seriously considering the show, though Noel Gallagher is reported to be a big fan of the programme. The Anne Robinson fronted quiz is set to replace Neighbours in the half five slot when the Aussie soap goes to Five next month. A Britpop edition would be good, though surely can't eclipse the peak that was the puppets special on over Christmas.

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THURSTON MOORE SOUNDTRACKS ADULT FILM
Sonic Youth type Thurston Moore has penned the soundtrack to what you might want to call an 'adult film' - though I think it's more 'art-house erotica' than all out porn. Called 'Extra Action And Extra Hardcore', it's described as containing "unpretentious, unadorned, and definitely undressed real women" who "roll around and do something interesting for a few minutes". The film is directed by a previous Moore collaborator Richard Kern, who directed the videos to 'Death Valley 69' and 'Scooter And Jinx'.

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DOHERTY BORROWS BRA FOR NIPPLE PROTECTION
And one more from the tabs. Pete Doherty is reportedly in training for the London Marathon, which is pretty big new in itself, though the tabloid angle is that he has borrowed a bra off model girlfriend Portia Freeman to stop his nipples getting sore while training. The Star quotes a source as saying: "He's doing so well [with his running]. He's really serious about kicking drugs and this is really testing his will power and giving him a goal. All that is putting him off are his amazingly sore nipples, but Portia's underwear is really helping. Pete is showing the same devotion to the marathon now as he did do to drugs. [But] it's a much healthier obsession than heroin". Both Doherty and Freeman plan to run the marathon in April.

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