CMU Daily - on the inside Tuesday 26th February
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Music bodies back Wishart's bill
- Blur man to run for parliament
- Britney sees boys again
- Phil Gernhard dies
- Hip hop can make sexists more vocal
- Frames man wins Oscar
- Kermode gives praise to non-Oscar nominees Greenwood and Riley
- White and Dylan collaborate
- Welcome To Our TV Show 2
- Dandys go indie on new release
- Kanye loves the Saints
- New Kate Nash single rather limited
- Adam Green single
- New Midfield General album
- Madonna's producer on new album
- Wood painting to be sold off
- New York Phil play North Korea
- Album review: Goldfrapp - Seventh Tree
- New REM dates
- World peace body approaches a-listers for peace championing gigs
- Jay-Z does turn at Linkin Park gig
- Album review: Chris Walla - Field Manual
- EMI communications chief steps down
- Warner digital job rejig
- EMI publishing recruit new A&R
- Universal sell some publishing catalogue to Dutch start-up
- Ticketmaster moves affiliate programme to
- Virgin appeal Competition Commission's Sky ITV stake ruling
- Scottish business types bidding for Xfm
- Cardiff student station goes digital
- BBC's Parfitt further expands remit
- Osbourne wants more cash from X-Factor
- Klaxons say time apart is good
- Gallagher flees Ibiza, Blunt
- Dana hates the turkey, fact


So, CMU's Same Six Questions returned to the CMU Music Network website last week and I have to say it's all going very well, with lots of great answers already on there from the likes of Sportsday Megaphone, Mystery Jets, Enjoy Destroy, Envy & Other Sins, Joe Lean And The Jing Jang Jong, Trash Fashion, Model Horror and Primary 1. Do go check:

But that's not why I am mentioning it here. I'm mentioning it here because loads of labels and PRs have been asking about how to get their artist featured in the SSQ slot, and I've been promising loads of people I'd send them the questions, but then forgetting who the hell I promised that to. So consider this a catch up response.

To feature your artists, just get them to answer these six questions and email the answers with a photo and plugging info to [email protected] Easy. Here are the Qs.

Q1> How did you start out making music?

Q2> What inspired your latest single?

Q3> What process do you go through in creating a track?

Q4> Which artists influence your work?

Q5> What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?

Q6> What are your ambitions for your latest single, and for the future?



Experienced national plugger wanted for established radio & TV promotions company working with a diverse range of mainly independent labels. We are looking for someone who is highly organised, reliable, dedicated, self-motivated and friendly. Must have excellent communications skills and a genuine passion for music and gigging. Will be responsible for managing campaigns as well as working as part of a team. This is an excellent opportunity for the right person. Please send CV with cover letter to [email protected]

Outpost is a successful music and events PR agency based in London. We currently have a vacancy for a radio plugger with a minimum of 1 year's experience. A varied role, the successful candidate will be looking after key radio projects, while assisting in the area of TV plugging.

You will be hardworking, motivated and intelligent with first-class writing skills and computer literate. An outstanding knowledge of cutting edge music is fundamental to this role, and you will have a bulging book of contacts. With a flexible attitude in terms of out of normal hours work, and an eye for detail, you will be a confident, team-player who would relish an opportunity to grow and develop with a young, dynamic and fast moving company.

Please apply via e-mail with CV and cover letter to [email protected] explaining why we're right for each other. Salary dependent on experience. Please put 'Outpost Job Vacancy' in the subject line.



Backstreet International Merchandise have desk space available for creative/music/media types looking for affordable workspace in central Camden. For enquiries please contact Steve Faye on 0207 428 1107 or email [email protected]



Envy & Other Sins on what they'd say to someone hearing their music for the first time: "Enjoy it, and think about it as much or as little as you like!"

Envy & Other Sins answer CMU's Same Six Questions online this week -



The next CMU recommended Remix All-Nighter takes over the seOne Club at London Bridge next month for a brilliant pre-Easter party.

There'll be three rooms of fun. In the Remix room you'll get live sets from The Whip and Vitalic, plus Remix chief Eddy TM on the decks and VJ Fay Buzzard doing visual stuff. Next up will be a room hosted by Orbital co-founder and general dance music pioneer Phil Hartnoll, named for and showcasing his new venture Long Range. And then, to top off all that, there will be a whole room of all things Ninja Tune, featuring no less than DJ Food & DK, Coldcut (Jon Moore DJ Set), Bonobo, Daedelus, The Qemists and VJ Mox. Oh, and they've just added Busy P (Ed Banger) to the bill too. This night is going to be storming.

It all takes place on 20 Mar. Full info from:

CMU and Remix All-nighter promoters have teamed up to offer students a special price for the night of just £7. To get the discount you need a special code for when you order your tickets, and you can get the code by emailing your name and university name to [email protected] But do it quick - there are a limited number of discounted tickets available.


It's the second odd musical trend in the SNAP column this week as, following yesterday's plugging of video artist Mr No Hands, today's link takes you to the page of 'trance hop' pioneer Wiz Khalifa. Indeed, following the success of Kanye West's Daft Punk sampling 'Stronger' and the Mitchell Brothers' courtship of Calvin Harris, it seems there's no better way for hip hop artists to go than to head for the synths and glitchy beats of electronic artists, though Khalifa's use of Alice Deejay's 'Better Off Alone' on new single 'Say Yeah' is perhaps at the less credible end of the trail. As such, I'm still toying with the idea of 'trance hop' being a success as a genre, yet with strong support from 1Xtra and Warner (his label) the single, at least, has potential to be the next 'Crank That'. Then we're back to the rise of 'shit gaze' for the rest of 2008. No, really.


Recording royalties body PPL, record label trade body BPI and the Musicians Union have all spoken out in support of former Runrigger Peter Wishart MP's Private Member's Bill which aims to extend the sound recording copyright term from fifty to seventy years, which isn't really a surprise, but I'm running it as the lead story anyway. Do you have a problem with that? No, good.

As previously reported, Wishart's Bill, if successful, would see the copyright term extended even though government policy on the matter is that the current fifty year term is adequate - an opinion based on the Gordon Brown commissioned Gowers report on copyright law. Wishart will lead a session at the Houses Of Parliament tomorrow to show that the copyright extension has cross-Parliamentary support - with Tories, Liberal Democrats and Labour MPs all supporting the SNP man's proposals - and also that the music industry backs his plans.

Keen to confirm that support, PPL boss Fran Nevrkla told reporters yesterday: "We shall spare no effort and leave no stone unturned by working closely with the rest of the music industry as well as our key supporters in Parliament, especially Pete Wishart MP, Michael Connarty MP and many others from all parties, until justice is done and the long overdue copyright parity is achieved".

BPI boss Geoff Taylor said that Wishart's Bill was "a further demonstration of the strong support within the UK Parliament for the rights of artists and the creative companies that invest in them".

And Musicians' Union General Secretary John Smith said: "The Musicians' Union welcomes Pete Wishart's Bill. The fact that performers rights are expiring during a performer's lifetime is indefensible and, we believe, morally wrong".

The "copyright parity" referred to in Nevrkla's quote there refers to the fact, of course, that the copyright term for the lyrics and musical score of a song are the life of the songwriter/composer plus seventy years, which is somewhat more than the fifty year term enjoyed by any recording of the song.

Wishart's bill is just one route being pursued by the record industry to get the sound recording term extended. As previously reported, European Union Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy recently said he thought the term should be increased to 95 years, bringing it in line with the US sound recording copyright term. Such talk at an EU level is important, even if Wishart's bill is successful, because some experts on the matter say that the European dimension to copyright would make it difficult for the UK to increase the term without similar measures being adopted across the EU.


Talking of pop stars in parliament, Blur man Dave Rowntree, known for his political passions, has confirmed he will run for parliament in the next general election. He has been selected by the Labour Party in the Cities Of London And Westminister constituency to contest the Conservative held seat next time we have a big vote. Current MP for the area, Mark Field, had an 8000 majority at the last election. As previously reported, last year Rowntree unsuccessfully stood at the Westminster City Council elections.


Britney Spears has been allowed to see her boys again, spending three hours with her sons Sean Preston and Jayden James at her Hollywood Hills home on Monday. The children were delivered to the house by Kevin Federline's bodyguard. The singer was, as previously reported, reunited with the two boys on Saturday, seeing them for the first time in two months, after having visitation rights revoked following her highly public breakdown at the start of last month. According to reports, Spears' legal team hopes to get the visits made a regular thrice-weekly event, and Federline's attorney, Mark Vincent Kaplan, says his client is hoping that that kind of arrangement will eventually develop. Kaplan's quoted as saying "These visitations with the boys will help to normalise the family environment. Kevin has always been rooting for Britney to regain visitation. If these visits go well, they will ramp up over time".

Elsewhere in Britney's life, lawyer John Eardley, who claims to be the "only person who represents Britney Spears", is continuing with that previously reported attempt to overturn the conservatorship awarded to the singer's father James, claiming that it violates her civil rights. As you know, because we've told you several times already, a conservatorship is awarded when an individual is deemed unable to be responsible for their own welfare and affairs, and Eardley has filed documents to the federal court on behalf of Britney, asserting that she is being held by her father against her will.

In legal documents filed last week Eardley said: "Mr Spears has now moved into her house and has taken control of her financial assets, as well as her physical custody, all without the benefit of a hearing where Ms Spears would be present". The lawyer goes on to say that Spears has never been on good terms with her father, and so he is now, therefore "concerned for the emotional and physical safety of Britney under these circumstances".

Eardly adds: "Certainly, at this point, it is likely that circumstances have changed and it is time that the conservatee be brought into court for a hearing, where the court can evaluate her in person and hear testimony directly from her".

James Spears has now responded to the action, stating in papers filed on Monday that Eardley may not represent his daughter because, as previously reported, a state court judge ruled that Britney Spears "lacks the capacity to hire an attorney and Mr Eardley cannot remove the conservatorship proceedings on his own behalf". The fact that Eardley has taken the case to federal court is now costing James Spears a lot of money, and he is hoping that the federal court will send the matter back to state court, and award him lawyers fees.

Of course, James Spears is credited with helping to bring about the arrangement for Britney to see the boys and suchlike, and appears to be acting in her interests. Eardley seems to claim otherwise. Asked when he had last spoken with his client, he said: "I talked to her a few days ago and someone wrestled the phone away from her. I've not talked to her since then".


Phil Gernhard, senior VP of A&R for Curb Records has died. He passed away on 22 Feb, but his age and cause of death aren't clear. Instrumental in the careers of the likes of Tim McGraw, Jo Dee Messina, Steve Holy and Rodney Atkins, Gernhard also produced many tracks, including Maurice Williams And The Zodiacs' 'Stay' and Lobo's 'Me And You And A Dog Named Boo', and composed and produced 'Snoopy vs. The Red Baron' by the Royal Guardsmen.

Friend and colleague, Curb Records chairman Mike Curb, said in a statement: "We've lost a very valued friend of over 40 years, who played a major role in the building of our company. Phil was one of those rare talents who had the ability to tell people the truth even when it wasn't popular, but that was what made him such a special contributor to the lives of every artist he touched. He will be greatly missed and there will be a tremendous void in all of our lives".


A study by two political science professors at North Carolina State University has concluded that while hip hop may make sexist people more prone to vocalise their prejudices, the music isn't the cause of the sexism itself. It also reckons that rap in general can give rise to more vocalised sexism, oblivious of whether the rap lyrics are in themselves sexist, though those who are the victims of the sexism are more sensitive to actual lyrical content.

Dr Michael Cob and Dr Bill Boettcher worked with three groups of young people - male and female - exposing the first to Eminem's rather misogynistic 'Kill You', the second to Beastie Boys' sexism free 'Sabotage', and the third to no rap at all. They found that men in the first two groups were more vocally sexist than the third group after being exposed to rap, but no more so when hearing 'Kill You' than when hearing 'Sabotage'. However, they felt that the hip hop was a catalyst rather than a cause of the sexism.

Cobb: "It's like hearing the word 'chocolate' and suddenly having a craving for a candy bar. Sexism is imbedded in the culture we live in and hearing rap music can spontaneously activate pre-existing awareness of sexist beliefs. Rap music, fairly or unfairly, has become associated with misogyny, and even minimal exposure to it can automatically activate these mental associations and increase their application, at least temporarily. In the absence of explicitly sexist language, the negative associations with rap music are still being primed".

On the reaction of women in the groups, he said they reacted more strongly to specifically sexist lyrics rather than just rap itself. Cobb: "When women listened to Eminem, however, the blatant misogyny is startling to them and it triggers a more careful interpretation and rejection of the premises in the song. Males, who are not the targets, are not as motivated to recognise the mechanisms at work".

Both Cobb and Boettcher, while recognising the catalyst role hip hop can have in making sexist men air their prejudices, said that their research showed that censorship of rap was not a solution, [a] because specific lyrics were not so important and [b] the music was simply amplifying existing sexism caused by much more complex factors that just music.


So well done to The Frames man Glen Hansard who won an Oscar on Sunday night for Best Original Song for 'Falling Slowly' from the indie flick 'Once', a song penned with his Czech girlfriend Marketa Irglova.

The latter nearly missed her chance to say her thank yous for the gong after the Oscar show band - famous for striking up to cut off overly long acceptance speeches - started playing after Hansard finished speaking and before Irglova had taken to the mic. But after the commercial break that followed the award presentation Oscars host Jon Stewart broke with convention and invited Irglova back to the stand to say give her speech. She used the opportunity to big up indie musicians the world over, telling the Oscars audience: "This is such a big deal, not only for us but for all other independent musicians and artists who spend most of their time struggling. The fact that we're standing here tonight is proof that no matter how far out your dreams are, it's possible... Hope connects us all, no matter how different we are".

On the win, Hansard later told RTE radio's John Murray: "What was really amazing for me was getting texts from family and friends, it was amazing beforehand, and then I got a text from Bono and I was like 'Ah, my God, that's just amazing'. For me it was just like getting a text off the King of the Tribe".

The other music based Oscar, for Best Original Score, went to Dario Marianelli for his score to 'Atonement', the only win for the seven times nominated British film. In a music related win, Marion Cotillard won the prestigious Best Actress prize for her performance as Edif Piaf in 'La Vie en Rose'.


Not quite sure why Mark Kermode gets to award his own rival film awards ahead of the Oscars, but he did, on the BBC's 'The Culture Show', and he gave prizes to Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood for Best Score for his soundtrack to 'There Will Be Blood' and to Sam Riley for his portrayal of Ian Curtis in Joy Division flick 'Control'.

Giving Riley his award, Kermode said: "As someone who didn't even like Joy Division, it gives me unknown pleasure to hand this award to Sam Riley". Riley responded: "This is definitely the most dapper statue I've ever seen and not a bad likeness, thank you for your support Mark... it hasn't even got my name on it. Were you just going to give it to whoever turned up?!"

Referring to that previously reported decision by Oscar bosses that he wasn't eligible for the Best Original Score prize at their awards, Kermode said of Greenwood: "The biggest travesty of this year's Oscar nominations was that the greatest score was deemed ineligible because sections of it had been screened previously". The Radiohead man responded: "I'd like to thank 'The Culture Show' and Mark Kermode for this wonderful award and, while I'm on the telly, I'd just like to quickly thanks Paul Thomas Andersson for asking me to do it and my wife for putting up with me while I was doing it and all the great musicians who played on it."

The Beeb's Kermode Awards aim to slap on the back film types that the Corporation's film critic rates but who were overlooked by the Oscar judges.


Jack White says he's working with Bob Dylan on his new album, a set of unfinished songs started by late country star Hank Williams. White is one of a number of high profile musicians Dylan has asked to contribute, writing lyrics for the incomplete tracks. Explaining that he had worked on the song 'You Know That I Know', White explained how other stars had been asked by Dylan to help out with around 25 different tracks. "He did one, asked Willie Nelson to do one, asked me to do one, and I think Lucinda Williams and Alan Jackson are on it too", he told MTV. "I think it might come out this year. It's a cool record".


A second episode of that previously reported on 'Welcome To Our TV Show' thing has gone live, featuring Jeremy Warmsley and Fay Buzzard. The video, which follows a first instalment featuring Noah & The Whale, Mystery Jets and Laura Marling, will again show performances by and chat with the hosts' favourite bands and artists, Lightspeed Champion and Emmy The Great amongst them. All episodes available at these here URLS:

More info from Solar Management.


The rather marvellous Dandy Warhols will release their next and sixth album via US indie World's Fair having completed their deal with former label, EMI's Capitol Records. The World's Fair deal will see the band form their own imprint label, Beat The World Records, which will release new Dandy stuff and some previously unreleased catalogue material, and will look to sign new artists too. No word yet on how the new long player, 'Earth To The Dandy Warhols', will be distributed over here.


The rework of Utah Saints' 'Something Good' is going down a storm - we really ought to get round to reviewing it. We hear sales are already going well, even though it's not properly released yet and is only available via a compilation that is on iTunes. And not only that but one Kanye West has started bigging it up, which could well win the Saints boys a few new fans ( With all that buzziness I'm not sure it really needs a CMU review now I come to think of it, though Marc is already on the case, so expect one sometime soon.


No, that's not a critical pronouncement, rather the news that Kate Nash's new single, which glories in the name of 'Merry Happy' will be limited to 1000 copies only per format. The track, which appears on debut album 'Made Of Bricks', is out on 24 Mar accompanied by three new songs across the various formats - two different CDs, plus a 7" version.


CMU favourite Adam Green's new single 'Morning After Midnight' will be out on 3 Mar via Rough Trade, download only. Hurrah. That it's out, not that it's download only. Not that I'm hugely bothered that it's download only, or anything. The single is taken from Green's hotly anticipated (by us) forthcoming album 'Sixes & Sevens', out on 10 Mar. Green says of his fifth solo LP: "We had so much fun making the record, so it is kind of inviting. I wanted to make an album that you could put in a car and drive across country to".


Midfield General - the DJ/Production alter-ego of Skint Records founder Damian Harris - is to release a new album, 'General Disarray', on 28 Apr, eight years after the release of debut 'Generalisation'. The new LP features guest contributions from the likes of Noel Fielding, Xavier from Justice, and Dave from Soulwax. Here's the tracklisting for you:

Self Referencing Intro
Disco Sirens (featuring Vila)
137 Piano
Bass Mechanic (featuring MC Ade)
Teddy Bear (featuring Ralph Brown)
Loving Laughter (featuring Pat Stalworth)
Love Thy Self (featuring Lucky Jim)
Dennis and My Sister
Seed Distribution (featuring Noel Fielding)
On The Road (featuring Robots In Disguise)
Self Referencing Refrain


Nate "Danja" Hills, who is working with Timbaland on the production of Madonna's new album, has been talking about the new LP and says they've come up with a "very different" sound for her. "She wanted up-tempo, dance, club music, and for everything to have a hip-hop underlining", he told Rolling Stone. He added that she: "She would just come in, sit in her chair in the corner and just vibe with us. She was very down-to-earth, very cool person, very easy".

A first single, co-written by Justin Timberlake and entitled 'Four Minutes To Save The World' was leaked in December and will be out in March. Pharrell Williams has also produced several tracks for the new LP, which as yet has no name.


A painting by Ronnie Wood is to be sold to raise money for London's Royal Academy of Arts this week. The Rolling Stone's picture, a sketch of ballet stars Carlos Acosta and Darcey Bussell, will be auctioned on Wednesday alongside thirty or so other works from the likes of Tracy Emin and Jen Howard.

Wood has been publicly showing his art since the 1980s, and said he was "honoured" to donate the picture. Speaking of the work, he said: "As an artist and art lover, I am devoted to the human form. I have had the privilege and excitement of standing in the wings of the Royal Ballet and sketching Britain's premiere ballet dancers. The precision of physical movement of these dancers is mesmerising".

Wood will also be a guest speaker for the event, and says the auction would help to "support artists through the Royal Academy Schools so people like me can continue to be inspired by new talent".


Well, this is a thing. The New York Philharmonic have gone to North Korea to play a concert in Pyongyang, to be broadcast live on local TV. It will signify the largest US presence to have been in the state since the Korean war, and has been organised by the US State Department, despite US disapproval of the country's nuclear programme. Pyongyang has meanwhile pulled out all the stops to accommodate the musicians, allowing 300 people to fly in for a 48 hour period and tearing down the anti-American propaganda that usually features on the streets of the city.

The Philharmonic's executive director Zarin Mehta says: "This journey is a manifestation of the power of music to unite people. It is our sincere hope that these concerts will aid in the beginning of a new era between the peoples of our nations". C

Condoleeza Rice, however, says of the event, during which the orchestra will perform Dvorak's Symphony Number 9: "I don't think we should get carried away with what listening to Dvorak is going to do in North Korea".

Some say that, if nothing else, the North Koreans will get to hear something from the outside world instead of all of that Kim Jong-il glorifying tosh that normally passes for culture in the country. Though others think it's a bad precedent to send a distinguished institution out to what's been deemed a 'rogue state' as it lends North Korea an unearned respectability. Well, I can see both sides of the argument there, I think. I think CMU might sit the fence on this one.


ALBUM REVIEW: Goldfrapp - Seventh Tree (EMI/Mute)
I'm a huge fan of Goldfrapp's electro glam sound so I was somewhat alarmed to hear about their change of direction but fear not it seems there is nothing to worry about. For sure there has been a radical change in their sound, from brash, bold electronics to something ethereal and distinctly folky. But this record proves that regardless of stylistic trappings, Goldfrapp's songs stand up by themselves. In fact without the fancy trickery it is perhaps easier to appreciate the quality of the songs. In particular Alison's vocals have never sounded so pure and impressive. On opening track 'Clowns' the gentle acoustic guitars and strings allow her otherworldly voice an opportunity to shine. This is a quintessentially English album suffused with an aura of dreamy romanticism. In a nutshell this is the Wicker Man meets Kate Bush. The key track is 'Cologne Cerrone Houdini' a big, dramatic Bond theme type number with sensual vocals, halfway between Marlene Dietrich and Karin from the Knife. The synths haven't been totally ditched; 'Happiness' is an up tempo tune with a psychedelic swirl of keyboards and 'Monster Love' features a multi-layered wall of sound. It would have been very easy for Goldfrapp to continue what they were doing and be very successful so kudos to them for branching out and conquering another genre; this is a triumph. JW
Release date: 25 Feb
Press contact: Pomona [RP]


REM have announced a series of UK shows for this summer, in addition to that previously reported one-off at the Royal Albert Hall and festival appearances at T In The Park and Oxegen. The dates will follow the release of their new album 'Accelerate'.

Here are the dates:

24 Aug: Manchester, Lancashire County Cricket Club
25 Aug: Cardiff, Millennium Stadium
27 Aug: Southampton, Rosebowl
30 Aug: London, Twickenham Stadium


An organisation called World Peace One, which is putting together a ten year campaign to promote peace, is reportedly talking to Led Zeppelin, U2, Madonna, Justin Timberlake, Celine Dion, Velvet Revolver and Timbaland about getting involved in a series of not-for-profit peace championing concerts. Hmm, a peace concert starring that little lot, war's suddenly sounding much more attractive. No, only joking. Word has it the peace body will start staging events around the world as soon as May this year.


Jay-Z made a surprise appearance with Linkin Park when they appeared at New York's Madison Square Garden last week. Towards the end of the show the rapper appeared on stage and joined the band for a rendition of 'Jigga Who, Jigga What'. Interesting.


ALBUM REVIEW: Chris Walla - Field Manual (Barsuk Records)
Chris Walla is probably best known as the guitarist/producer of Death Cab For Cutie, and also for his work with The Postal Service, but here he's in solo artist mode. 'Filed Manual' is laced with beautiful airy ballads with brilliant production, and then some upbeat soft rock tunes to ensure you stay awake. To be honest, it could be another Death Cab For Cutie album - there's a very similar vibe between the two - but that's not to say that it's not a good album. On the contrary, it's filled with great songs, very catchy songs, and if you are a DCFC fan then I think you'll be happy. There's part of me that had hoped Walla would do something a little different with his solo project, and if that's what you're looking for you'll be less satisfied, though tracks like 'A Bird Is A Song' and 'It's Unsustainable' are so good they probably justify getting your hands on a copy in themselves. JPR
Release Date: 28 Apr
Press Contact: ADA Global [all]


Another senior departure from EMI Music. Their UK Director Of Communications, Cathy Cremer, is standing down after sixteen years with the major where she managed the record company's corp comms and established and led an artist relations team.

As far as I can see Cremer won't be replaced. EMI Music UK's corporate communications function will report directly to Amanda Conroy, Senior VP Of Corporate Communications in the EMI Group (the bit that sits about both EMI Music and EMI Music Publishing), while the artist relations team will report to Caryn Tomlinson, EMI Music's Senior VP Artist Relations.

Confirming Cremer's departure, Conroy said this: "We thank Cathy for her great contribution to EMI. She has decided she wants to take a break and we wish her every success and happiness in the future".


Warner Music announced "a leadership transition of its digital strategy team" yesterday, which I've looked up in my Big Book Of Nonsense and apparently means someone's left and someone else has been given his job. Radical.

Doing the leaving was Alejandro (Alex) Zubillaga, the major's Executive VP, Digital Strategy And Business Development, who will step down in June. His colleague Michael Nash will be promoted and take over that job, reporting directly to Warner top man Edgar Bronfmann Jr.

He said this: "Over the past four years, Warner Music has established itself as a leader in the music industry's transition to the digital era with innovative initiatives at the core ofits corporate strategy. During that critical period, Alex helped set the company on the right course. Alex has brought a non-traditional approach to the music business based on his history as a venture capitalist and in building a successful media company. Most of all, his talent, imagination and enthusiasm, have been critical in enabling Warner develop its aggressive, industry-leading digital strategy. We are sad to see Alex leave but we wish him all the best in his next endeavours".

He added: "We are very pleased to have Michael Nash, one of the architects of our digital success and a professional of great experience and talent, assume Alex's role. Over the past eight years, Michael has demonstrated his ability to find the right opportunities, create the key partnerships and deliver on the deals that have become a cornerstone of this company's future. I am confident of his ability to successfully lead our digital strategy".


More from the major music company appointments file, and EMI Music Publishing UK has recruited Daniel Lloyd Jones, formerly a press and promotions exec at Warner, as an A&R Manager. He will report to Senior VP of A&R Kenny McGoff and EMI Music Publishing UK MD Guy Moot. He will also continue to do some PR projects through his own company Jonestown Media, which will now run through EMI Music Publishing.


Universal Music has fulfilled the EU regulator conditions of its purchase of BMG Music Publishing by selling off some of the publishing firm's catalogues. Among the catalogues regulators told the major it had to sell in order to merge the BMG publishing firm with its own Universal Music Publishing enterprise were Rondor, Zomba, 19 Music and 19 Songs. A bulk of those assets have been sold to Netherlands-based ImageMusic, a new venture involving independent publisher CP Masters and pension fund ABP. They are now reportedly looking to open a London office to manage their new publishing assets.


Ticketmaster has moved its UK affiliate programme to the online affiliate network. I don't really understand what that means, except I think they'll be a new widget that affiliates wanting to sell Ticketmaster tickets via their websites will be able to use.

Ticketmaster UK MD Chris Edmonds told CMU: "We are delighted to be working with in order to build on the success of our in-house programme, launched in 2001. Moving the affiliate programme to allows us to improve services and functionality for our affiliates and in turn bring more consumers to purchase tickets for our client's events". CEO Kevin Cornils added: "Ticketmaster is one of the largest ecommerce sites on the internet selling millions of tickets every year, and we look forward to helping them increase their online sales. With our EventEngine widget delivering a dynamic feed of available tickets to affiliates, we will work to ensure that affiliate sites are kept updated, conversion rates are increased and affiliates benefit from the ticket sales they generate".


Now Virgin Media are now also mounting a legal challenge to the competition regulator's ruling regarding Sky's stake in ITV.

As previously reported, Sky is appealing the ruling - which ordered Sky to reduce its stake in its rival from 17.9% to 7.5% - arguing the ruling was both unjustified and overly severe. Virgin are mounting a legal challenge because they say it's not severe enough - they want Sky to be forced to sell their whole stake.

As also previously reported, Virgin have been the most vocal critics about Sky's ITV share purchase - maybe because Sky bought into the broadcaster at the same time Virgin - then NTL - was talking about merging with it. An NTL/ITV merger probably wouldn't have happened anyway, but Sky's share in ITV definitely put an end to any merger ambitions, and cynics would say that was why they bought the shares in the first place (a combined Virgin Meda/ITV would be quite a big competitor for Sky).

Virgin's appeal against the Competition Commission says the regulator made "significant errors" in how it interpreted the Enterprise Act 2003 in reaching its conclusions.

A statement from Virgin Media reads: "While Virgin Media strongly supports the Competition Commission's conclusions that the acquisition has led to a substantial lessening of competition, it is appealing the Competition Commission's recommendation that a reduction of BSkyB's stake in ITV to 7.5% is adequate to address this problem. This is the first time these rules [the media plurality provisions of the Enterprise Act 2003] have been tested and Virgin Media believes the Competition Commission has made significant errors in interpreting and applying these rules".


Two Scottish business men are reportedly in talks to buy the three regional Xfm stations which are up for sale as part of parent company GCap's current business review, as outlined by recently appointed CEO Fru Hazlitt earlier this month. According to the Scotsman, Gordon Beattie and John Quinn are leading a consortium backed by a Scottish bank to bid for the stations, which includes Xfm Scotland.

Word has it that GCap want a quick sale of the stations, and that bosses there may even hand back the three Xfm licences (in Manchester, Central Scotland and South Wales) to media regulator OfCom if it can't find quick buyers. Bauer Radio - the new name for EMAP Radio - are also said to be interested, possibly to merge the stations into its Kerrang! brand, or to give its Q Radio station, which is currently being overhauled, an FM radio outlet.

As previously reported, GCap's competitors Global Radio are expected to make a second bid to buy the radio firm in the next week or so. It is unclear what impact a Global purchase would have on Hazlitt's plans to move GCap out of digital audio broadcasting and to sell all but the London Xfm station.


Talking of radio in South Wales and digital audio broadcasting, which we kind of were, Cardiff's student radio station, Xpress Radio, is set to start broadcasting on digital radio after securing a place on the Cardiff and Newport DAB multiplex, which is quite exciting. The college station's Station Manager, Richard Collins, told RadioToday: "The decision to broadcast on digital will push the boundaries of student radio and put Cardiff University on the media map".


The BBC's Andy Parfitt has further expanded his role by become controller of BBC Asian Network. He will run the Asian digital station in addition to overseeing Radio 1, 1Xtra and teen project BBC Switch. BBC Audio & Music chief Jenny Abramsky says: "From audience perspective it makes sense that the Asian Network which provides so much for young British Asians sits with our other youth stations, Radio 1 and 1Xtra. Andy Parfitt has done an excellent job in looking after the Asian Network these past few months and I am sure that it will flourish under his controllership".


There's been more speculation in the last week as to whether Sharon Osbourne will return on the next series of 'X Factor', partly because rumour had it she had been overheard back stage at the Brits saying she was quitting the show.

Gossipers say Osbourne is less keen to return to the show because of ongoing animosity between her and Dannii Minogue, who joined the expanded judging panel last series, of course. But other gossipers say it's all about the money, and Osbourne's future with the show isn't clear because it's not yet known if ITV will meet her increased financial demands. She, it's said, is even less willing to budge following her stint as Brits host - despite some criticism of that hosting - because she believes that job proved she doesn't rely on 'X Factor' for her public profile.

The Daily Star Sunday quote a source thus: "Until the Brits, Simon thought he had the upper hand and could dictate terms to Sharon. He wanted her back but he thought she needed the show more than it needed her. Now Sharon has other ideas. It has become an almighty battle of wills. Both Simon and Sharon are digging their heels in and, at the moment, it's difficult to see which way it's going to go".


Klaxons bassist Simon Taylor has said that some time apart from each other has been good for his band, after spending much of the last year on the road. He told 6Music: "After last year, we were just dead and we needed to stop and breathe and leave each other's side for a little bit".

He went on to say that although their break from each other had lasted longer than intended, they still expect to release a new album this year, the material for which he describes as "heavy and delirious and a bit all over the shop". Sounds... great.


Noel Gallagher is apparently going to sell his villa in Ibiza because he can't stand the fact that James Blunt has moved in down the road. He's owned the property for ten years, but has apparently put it on the market at £5.5m.

Some Gallagher 'source' speaking to some tabloid said: "Noel has been going to Ibiza every summer for years. But he wants to find a new holiday destination. He's fed up of hearing James Blunt bang on about Ibiza like he owns the place. It's taken the charm out of it for him so he's put his villa up for sale. It's very close to Blunt's place, and he says he can't stand the thought of Blunt writing crap tunes up the road".

Ah well, his departure might put the charm back into the place, for some people.


Former Eurovision winner Dana has said Ireland should pull out of the Contest this year rather than send people's vote winner Dustin The Turkey to represent them this year. "I just think it's making a mockery of the contest and if we think it's such a big joke then let's get out of it", she says. "Certainly don't put a turkey in a trolley up against singers who are desperately trying to make a way in their career".

"The problem is they love puppets in Europe". She adds "If, God forbid he wins, we'll probably have more puppets than people in next year's Eurovision".

I can kind of see her point. But I am still looking forward to seeing the kids' TV star performing 'Irelande Douze Pointes' on 20 May in Belgrade. And I'm not the only one. Bob Geldof and Terry Wogan are both backing the turkey. Geldof says: "It would be rank 'poultryism' should one of the greatest talents Ireland has ever produced be not allowed to represent our glorious musical heritage. If the Eurovision Song Contest is known for anything at all, it is for the vast number of turkeys it produces each year. The fact that Dustin is a turkey should give Ireland the edge. Ireland will gobble them up".

While Eurovision doyen Terry Wogan recycled the turkey comment he made about the UK contest the other week, telling The Sun: "Dustin the Turkey will wow them from Belarus to Reykjavik. After all, for the past few years, we've been picking a turkey for the UK".

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