CMU Daily - on the inside Friday 29th February
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- AEG / Ticketmaster / Cablevision alliance rumoured
- Live Nation losses down
- More Maxim made up review shenanigans
- Another good night for Arctic Monkeys at NME awards
- Mike Smith dies
- Boy George pleads not guilty
- Fielder Civil due in court today
- Blue boy also due in court
- Vampire Weekend drummer hurt in traffic incident
- Spice Girls sign off on website
- Muse Wembley gigs get cinema showing
- Beastie Boys working on new album
- New dEUS album
- Carly Simon signs to Hear Music
- Hed Kandi announce Miami parties
- Creamfield Global dates announced
- Ting Ting tour
- Single review: Late Of The Pier - The Bears Are Coming
- Universal buy Univision
- Facebook Music launches
- Heat editor stands down
- Jazz FM returns on digital
- Britney pregnancy rumours
- Former Crue producer says Sixx is deluded
- Keith Richards on Led and Mick
- Lennon flavoured ice-cream, anyone?


Another very very busy week. We've got some very exciting announcements to make in the Top Bit next week, but thought we'd clear the decks of outstanding stories with one of those catch up Top Bits today.

Some artist news that's been clogging up my desk first. Defected Records have announced they've signed Shapeshifters, and both parties have been bigging up the other - Shapeshifters Simon Marlin and Max Reich told CMU: "Today is the start of a new relationship with Defected Records as our record company and the next chapter for us as recording artists and DJs. We have been long time fans of the label and admirers of [Defect chief] Simon's A+R ethos".

Next up Coldplay, who have been talking some more about their new long player, which they are currently busy working on with Brian Eno. And Chris Martin and Johnny Buckland have been promising us something rather different, which would be a relief all round really. Buckland: "We felt like the first three albums were a trilogy, and we finished that. So we wanted to do something different". Martin: "Whether or not it's good, we certainly started to use more colours. It's impossible to please everybody, and it took us a while to learn that".

Live music now, and Radiohead have said they are not playing Glastonbury, and implied they decided not to do Glasto this year because they have eco problems with the festival, mainly because of the lack of public transport links. Speaking to The Sun (I think) at a Friends Of The Earth bash in Brussels, Thom Yorke said: "What we're trying to do now is only play in areas that have a public transport infrastructure in place. So that rules out Glastonbury for this year. Maybe we can work out a plan for the future. They're probably sick of the sight of us anyway". He's right you know. On the need for better public transport at Glasto, I mean. Not the 'sick of the sight' thing, although...

On to the web, and more news on Chinese search engine Baidu who we've reported on lots because of their controversial MP3 search function that gives direct access to all sorts of illegal music. Legal action to have the service stopped has been unsuccessful in the past, though the music industry is trying again because [a] a change in Chinese rules would possibly mean a different court decision this time and [b] a similar case against Yahoo! China since the rule change went in the label's favour. Anyway, the news is that the Music Copyright Society Of China (representing songwriters) and digital music distributor R2G has now filed litigation against the search company, and are lobbying advertisers to stop working with Baidu while the alleged infringement continues.

Talking of Yahoo! - though Yahoo! proper, not the Chinese version - and some of the web firm's shareholders have sued the company's board over their handling of that previously reported takeover approach from Microsoft. They are pissed off Yahoo! bosses so quickly dismissed the offer, saying doing so did not properly represent the interests of shareholders. Microsoft have not made a second higher offer, but are reportedly looking into staging a hostile takeover and the fact that some of the web company's shareholders are so down on the board may well help with that.

We've kind of got into media news, and here's some more that I'm sitting on. As you may have seen, former BBC 1 controller Peter Fincham, who quit the Beeb after the hoo hah that followed that carelessly edited Queen documentary trailer, has only gone and got a top job at ITV - who presumably are looking for more controversy (or possibly inaccuracy) in their trailers. Fincham will replace Simon Shaps as ITV's Director Of Television.

More telly, and the government is reportedly considering giving Channel 4 a stake in the Beeb's commercial division BBC Worldwide, something that is being considered as a "clever alternative" to help the public broadcaster have a more secure future. It's certainly interesting, and possibly clever.

And that's it, backlog wise, accept for the news that dodgy former Telegraph owner Conrad Black will be locked up on Monday after failing to delay the start of his six and half year jail term which follows him being found guilty of all kinds of fraud from his days atop his own little media empire. His expensive lawyers had tried to have the prison sentence postponed while Black starts planning his appeal, but the courts said no. So, to the slammer he must go. So, there's a happy thought for your weekend. Shame he isn't a rapper with an album in the pipeline really - then at a least the jail time could be seen as a marketing initiative. You never now, six years inside is plenty of time to get an album together - MC Black coming at you. Can't wait.



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.


Do you have a passion for arts, culture and luxury brands? Boster Group is a unique strategic arts consultancy with a blue chip client list. We are looking for a PA to work with our Managing Director. You will enjoy real variety and be responsible for diary management and drafting correspondence, along with managing the office and assisting with events. You must be bright, articulate and well presented with excellent attention to detail, a real interest in the arts and a positive attitude. Previous administration experience would be an advantage. To apply, please send your CV and covering letter to [email protected] quoting ref: SS13


We are an innovative events and marketing company who identify and broker music and cultural partnerships, and develop and deliver experiential brand programmes. We have two high profile retail theatre productions currently in development, in partnership with major brands and are pursuing other exciting opportunities in this growing market.

We need an enthusiastic, organised and conscientious manager to join our team to:
- coordinate the production and logistics of our up coming events
- to identify and capitalise on additional commercial opportunities presented by these activities
- to identify and pursue new partnership and event opportunities

The right candidate will have experience in planning and managing large scale music and/or event projects, and will be brimming with both commercial and creative ideas. Some new business or business development experience will be an advantage, as will language skills, especially French. It may suit someone who has worked in recorded music looking to branch into the live arena, or someone working in the live sector interested in the potential of creating and delivering spectacular Live Brand Experiences with and for prestigious brand partners.

If you are interested email a CV to [email protected]



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]



Sam from The Vice on what he'd say to someone hearing his music for the first time: "It might save your life. I bet The Fray said that too, so probably just 'enjoy, and let's get 60's'.

Sam answers 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.


Planning a slightly early thirteenth birthday by my calculations, the Milk and 2 Sugars crew are gonna properly lift the lid off at The End tonight. Kenny 'Dope' Gonzalez, half of the Masters At Work, will be jetting in for a three hour set - dropping house infused with jazz, funk, and a li'l of that NuYorican soul. MN2S resident CJ Mackintosh, who really should need no introduction, will also be doing the business. In the lounge will be Joey Negro, aka Dave Lee, Z Records head honcho, solid, solid DJ and all round nice bloke (he even had time for a bit of banter with me at Christmas at Canvas). He'll be joined by the London based DJ duo The Jinks. Expect house - old school, classics, and I'm sure a few Chicago styles to boot.

Friday 29 Feb, The End, 16A West Central Street, London WC1A 1JJ, 10pm-6am, £10 NUS £12, info at , press info from Phuture Trax or Gin at The End Promotions or


Billboard are citing various sources who say that Ticketmaster and Madison Square Garden owner Cablevision are about to enter into a partnership which will in turn buy a 49% stake in live music conglom and The O2 owner AEG Live.

The deal would create a powerful force in live entertainment encompassing venues, tours, ticketing and media. AEG would bring venues and tour promotion to the table, Ticketmaster a global ticketing network and high traffic website, and Cablevision not only its venue interests but also the Fuse TV cable music channel, which is expected to be relaunched under the AEG Live banner should the deal go ahead.

The alliance would strengthen AEG in its battle against its main competitor Live Nation, who have themselves been expanding their operations, particularly into merchandising, soon into ticketing, and, through their Madonna deal, into other strands of the music business, including recordings. AEG have already said they won't actively move into the record label or artist management domains that Live Nation are dabbling in, keen to position themselves as the company labels and managers can work with on live projects without fearing they are aiding a future competitor. However, an AEG / Ticketmaster / Cablevision alliance would mean AEG was similarly multi-faceted alongside an expanding and evolving Live Nation.

No one from AEG, Ticketmaster or Cablevision have commented on the rumours, though, strangely, Live Nation chief Michael Rapino has. According to Billboard he commented on the rumours during an investor's conference call yesterday, and he said: "If those rumors are true and there's investments made into a competitor like AEG, for one it validates the frenzy around the live business. Everybody wants to figure out how to get control of that content and ticket to build upon their business model. [But] we're very confident that we're ahead of the curve in the industry right now, because we're not talking about change. We have the structure that can execute the new business model today. It's about moving forward and fine-tuning the model".


Rapino was speaking to investors because Live Nation's figures for the final quarter of 2007 have just been published. The company saw its revenues fall by 4% to $1 billion - mainly because, they say, the US live sector slowed down during the quarter. The firm's net loss was $18.4 million, which is rather a lot, though less than the same quarter in 2006 when net loss was $33.1 million. And in operating terms (ie before interest and tax payments and the like) they made a profit of $4.2 million compared to an operating loss of $14.7 milion a year earlier. For the whole of 2007 the live music conglom made a net loss of $11.9 million compared to £31.4 million in losses in 2006.

Make of that what you will, Rapino was upbeat: "We believe Live Nation today is a significantly stronger organisation strategically and financially than just one year ago. Our business strategy is crystal clear: to create a vertical integrated distribution platform that capitalises on the live experience, and directly unites artist, fan and sponsor".

Perhaps most interestingly in the investor conference call, Rapino also spoke about the new Live Nation Artists division, which will look to work with artists on projects other than live activity, including recordings. Since its high profile signing of Madonna last year speculation has been rife regarding future signings to this division, and Rapino confirmed yesterday: "We are currently in discussions with several major artists. We offer a partnership based on highly transparent and predictable revenue streams in an industry going through a major transition. Through these diversified rights partnerships, we expect to build cross collateralized opportunities in which both the artist and Live Nation benefit from higher margin revenue streams".


The whole Maxim made up review debacle ain't going away.

As previously reported, The Black Crowes revealed earlier this week that the magazine had given their new album a lacklustre 2.5 out of 5 review despite the fact the LP hadn't been serviced to the media and therefore the reviewer couldn't have heard it. Maxim admitted the piece was a 'guesswork' review, and on Tuesday their Editorial Director, James Kaminsky, admitted that the inclusion of the star rating had been a mistake because the magazine does not normally rate albums that their journalists had not "heard in their entirety".

But The Black Crowes manager Pete Angelus was not impressed with those comments, saying that the issue wasn't just the star rating, that not only had the Maxim reviewers not heard the album in its " entirety" but that they could, in fact, have only heard one song, and that therefore the entire piece should have been clearly labelled as speculation. He also said he thought his band was due a formal apology from the mag.

Kaminsky has been talking about the whole thing more in an interview with the Associated Press, possibly making things better by making a more explicit apology to The Black Crowes, but possibly making things worse by admitting his magazine's review of Nas' new album was made up too.

Kaminsky: "I will be the last person to mince words here: this was a mistake. There should be no blurry line between what's a preview and what's a review. But it's a mistake that won't happen again, and it's not a mistake that appears in other parts of [the magazine's entertainment section]". He added that to the best of his knowledge the magazine had never before masqueraded preview pieces as reviews, saying: "We have often run previews, which are based on the fact that an album is coming out ... but [those in the March issue] should not have had star ratings attached to [them]. There was a bit of a breakdown that led to that happening and I'm looking into it and, as I've said, we've already put measures in place to ensure that that will not happen again".

The AP have been on the phone to editors of other big US music magazines to get their take on the whole debacle. While they have been quick to stress their mags would never do anything so dodgy, they have generally avoided gloating too much, and have admitted it is increasingly difficult for magazines with long lead times to cover albums upfront because record labels are sending them to journalists later and later because of paranoia that the hacks will leak the albums onto the net (even though we all know its studio hangers on who do most of the leaking, way before press types get their copies of new releases). Rolling Stone Exec Editor Jason Fine told AP: "It's becoming more and more difficult for publications to review records because the big records are the most difficult ones to get. The record labels are increasingly worries about leaks".

Commenting on the Maxim review of his album, Nas says he's still finishing the long player, which has a scheduled release date of 22 Apr. AllHipHop quote his thus: "I'd prefer [a review from] Playboy. That kind of stuff doesn't reach my radar or effect anybody around me. I don't know what a music rating from Maxim is...I don't know what it even means really".

Angelus, meanwhile, remains unhappy, despite Kaminsky addressing The Black Crowes issue more explicitly in the AP interview. In a statement addressed at Kaminsky, Angelus wrote yesterday: "After three public statements made by your publication, I feel that offering an apology through an Associated Press writer without addressing the band directly is offensive. Although my comments may be perceived as unforgiving, the fact remains: Maxim has yet to issue a public apology directly to The Black Crowes".


Those Arctic Monkeys had another good awards night last night taking three whole gongs at the NME Awards in London, not that people win partial awards, but you know what I mean. The Monkeys took the NME reader voted awards for Best British Band, Best Track and Best Video. Well done them.

Best Album went to Klaxons for 'Myths Of The Near Future', while Kate Nash got the best solo prize. As you'd expect, Muse won Best Live Band, cos they always do, while those The Killers took Best International Act which is interesting - I didn't know they were still that popular. Outside the world of music, that Noel Fielding fella equalled the Monkeys by picking up three gongs - for Best Dressed, Sexiest Male and, alongside partner in crime Justin Barratt, Best TV Show for the Boosh. As we already knew, the Manics got the Godlike Genius gong.

In the negative categories, Amy Winehouse, despite being about to launch a fashion range, was voted Worst Dressed, and poor old Britney Spears won worst album for actually rather good long player 'Blackout'.

Anyway, enough of that, have a full list of winners on us.

British Band: Arctic Monkeys
International Band: The Killers
New Band: The Enemy
Live Band: Muse
Solo Artist: Kate Nash
Philip Hall Radar Award (New Act): Glasvegas

Album: Klaxons - Myths Of the Near Future
Track: Arctic Monkeys - Fluorescent Adolescent
Best Dancefloor Filler: The Wombats -Let's Dance To Joy Division
Video: Arctic Monkeys - Teddy Picker
Best Music DVD: Nirvana - Unplugged In New York
Best Album Artwork: The Good, The Bad & The Queen - The Good, The Bad & The Queen

Venue: Wembley Stadium
Live Event: Carling Weekend - Reading and Leeds Festival

Radio Show: Zane Lowe (Radio 1)
Best TV Show: The Mighty Boosh
Best Film: Control
Website: Facebook
Band Blog: Radiohead (
Music Blog: The Modern Age (

Best Dressed: Noel Fielding
Worst Dressed: Amy Winehouse
Sexiest Male: Noel Fielding
Sexiest Female: Kylie Minogue

Worst Album: Britney Spears - Blackout
Worst Band: The Hoosiers

Hero Of The Year: Pete Doherty
Villain Of The Year: George W Bush

Godlike Genius Manic Street Preachers


Mike Smith, lead vocalist with The Dave Clark Five, has died in hospital in Stoke Mandeville at the age of 64. He was suffering from pneumonia, the result of complications from a spinal cord injury Smith sustained back in 2003, leaving him paralysed from the waist down. Following several years in hospital, he was released last December to live in a nearby home with his wife. He was readmitted to hospital on Wednesday with a chest infection.

His US agent Margot Lewis is quoted as saying: "I am incredibly saddened to lose him, his energy and his humour. But I am comforted by the fact that he had the chance to spend his final months and days at home with his loving wife, Charlie, whom he adored, instead of in the hospital, and that he was able to attend a recent concert in London by his good friend, Bruce Springsteen".

The Dave Clark Five had 19 UK top 40 hits, of course, and were one of the few beat bands to come close to competing commercially with The Beatles. Part of the so-called British sixties 'invasion' of the US, the group are due to be inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame on 10 Mar this year. As previously reported, bandmate Denis Payton died in 2006 from cancer, but he is survived by the remaining three members of the group.


Boy George, aka George O'Dowd, appeared in court yesterday and pleaded not guilty to imprisoning 28 year old Norwegian Audun Carlsen at his home last year. As previously reported, Carlsen claims he was handcuffed to a wall when he visited the singer's east London apartment in April last year, apparently on duty as a 'photo model'. O'Dowd was bailed following his initial arrest, until a trial takes place at Snaresbrook Crown Court in November.


Amy Winehouse's husband is, as previously reported, to appear in court today accused of GBH with intent and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. He and four other men, including pub landlord James King, the alleged victim and co-conspirator, will be present at today's hearing at Snaresbrook Crown Court. Busy with music related stuff at the moment, Snaresbrook.


More court dates, and former Blue star Lee Ryan is also appearing in court today in Redhill, in relation to that alleged assault the singer is accused of perpetrating against a taxi driver in Oxted, Surrey. The incident, which took place on New Year's Eve, apparently took place following a minor traffic accident.


Chris Tomson, drummer with Vampire Weekend, has sustained a head injury after colliding with a car in London last night. To be honest, it's not clear whether it was just him that did the colliding, or if he was in a car that did the colliding, but I suspect it was the latter. The musician had apparently attended the NME Awards prior to the incident, which took place outside the Hoxton Hotel some time after midnight. Reports suggest there was a fair amount of blood at the scene, so I hope he's okay. He was taken to the Royal London Hospital for treatment.


The Spice Girls have posted an emotional, some might say cheesy, farewell message on their official website following their final tour date in Toronto on Tuesday night.

The statement thanks fans for their support, and goes on: "Our time is up...we've come to the end of the road... there are tears of both sadness and joy. Look how far we've come! Who would have thought that our reunion could have turned out to be this amazing? It just shows what can grow out of an exciting thought, an idea, a hope, a dream. So we look to the future with hope and imagination and let 'Girl Power' live on through all of you as it will continue in us and the future generations to come. We have learnt so much through you and through each other".

They sound like they're really saying goodbye, don't they? Reports are suggesting that the girls might return, however, for a one-off appearance this summer. Incidentally, Mel C has an album out shortly, 'This Time', due for release on 2 Apr. And I like Mel C, and I've liked her solo stuff, and so I think you should all take note of this, okay?


The concert film of Muse's 2007 Wembley gigs is to be shown at selected Vue cinemas to coincide with the release of the DVD on 11 Mar. The selected venues are: Acton, Birmingham, Bristol Longwell Green, Bury, Carlisle, Cheshire Oaks, Edinburgh Ocean Terminal, Fulham Broadway, Islington, Leeds Kirkstall Road, Leicester, Manchester Lowry, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Oxford, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Southport, Staines, Worcester and tickets can be booked, I think, at


The Beastie Boys have entered their lower Manhattan studios to start a new album. The trio's Adam Yauch confirmed to Rolling Stone that work is in progress, saying "It's in the early stages of development, but it sounds cool to me."

Speaking about the recording process he added: "we make music and eat lunch. Sometimes we fantasize about how cool it would be if we had a chef that cooked lunch every day".


Belgian indie rockers dEUS are set to release a new album, 'Vantage Point', on 28 Apr via V2. The new LP, their sixth, features guest appearances from Elbow's Guy Garvey and The Knife's Karin Dreijer.


Carly Simon is the latest classic artist to sign up to Starbucks' Hear Music label - she will release new long player 'This Kind Of Live' via the coffee company's music business in late April. Word has it the new album has a Brazilian influenced sound, and has been recorded with Jimmy Webb and Frank Filipetti who also worked on Simon's 1997 album 'Film Noir'


Hurray, love a good party. Except that these parties are happening at the Miami Winter Music Conference at the end of March and the chances of my being there are pretty slim. Anyway, that's not anyone's fault, so let us get on with the news that Hed Kandi have announced that they'll be heading off to the US later this year for two WMC events featuring regulars David Dunne, Phil Faversham and Wez Clarke. The first party happens at Miami's Nikki Beach venue on 29 Mar, whilst the second, an exclusive invite-only event at the Shore Club, will take place on 30 Mar.


The Creamfields people have announced they will stage no less than 13 festivals around the world this year, which is rather a lot. The flagship UK festival on the August Bank Holiday, now held in Daresbury, Cheshire, will celebrate its tenth birthday. The Cream team have been staging events in other countries around the world since 2000, when the first Creamfields international bash was held in Ireland. Four brand new Creamfields festivals are among this year's 13 events.

Announcing this year's global line up, Cream CEO James Barton told CMU: "The reputation of Creamfields is globally recognised as a quality festival that delivers great line ups, great production, a great atmosphere and gives people a memorable experience, its taken a lot of hard work, thought and energy to get to this point and the strength of the brand continues to grow. The UK are leaders in the global festival market and with a 10 year heritage Creamfields is at the forefront. This being our 10th anniversary year was the perfect time to take Creamfields to new territories and we look forward to working with new partners around the world and establishing the Creamfields brand further".

The dates for each of the Creamfields are as below (specific dates for some of the November ones are tbc) - the new ones are marked with a *.

28 Jun: Creamfields Malta*
12 Jul: Creamfields Central Europe (Czech Republic)*
2 Aug: Creamfields Vigo (Spain)*
2 Aug: Creamfields Romania*
9 Aug: Creamfields Andalucia (Spain)
16 Aug: Creamfields Poland
23 Aug: Creamfields UK - 23rd August Bank Holiday Weekend
8 Nov: Creamfields Argentina
Nov: Creamfields Chile
Nov: Creamfields Rio (Brazil)
Nov: Creamfields Belo Horizonte (Brazil)
Nov: Creamfields Peru
Nov: Creamfields Mexico


The Ting Tings have announced an eleven date tour of the UK to follow a North American tour and appearance at SxSW in March. Tickets on sale now, dates as follows:

3 Apr: Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach
4 Apr: Exeter, Phoenix
5 Apr: Northampton, Soundhaus
7 Apr: Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms
8 Apr: Coventry, Kasbah
9 Apr: Nottingham, Bodega
12 Apr: Belfast, Spring & Airbrake
13 Apr: Dublin, Village
14 Apr: Glasgow, King Tuts
16 Apr: York, Fibbers
17 Apr: London, ULU


SINGLE REVIEW: Late of the Pier - The Bears Are Coming (EMI/Zarcorp)
They come from Castle Donington but they have not come to rock as such. Previous singles by the Nottingham quartet have been stern Numan-esque synth rock. This, their third single, is a bewildering kaleidoscope of noises. It features unusual percussive rhythms (bamboo sticks?), a dazzling array of strange and wonderful electronic sounds and samples, and stilted vocals. The single, which is co-produced by Erol Alkan, ends with the sound effects of a party, and it has a real feel-good vibe. Great stuff. JW
Release date: 3 Mar
Press contact: EMI IH [all]


Universal Music Group has announced it is buying Univision Music Group, the music business of Hispanic media firm Univision Communications, which has been up for sale for quite a while now.

The takeover will be subject to regulator approval but, if it goes ahead, will see Univision recording and music publishing companies fall under Universal's existing Latin division, headed up by Jesus Lopez, CEO Of Latin American and Iberian Peninsula for the major. The deal will make the always dominant Universal especially dominant in the Latin music sector, Univision being the biggest Latin label in the US.

As part of the deal Universal's Latin music bit will enjoy a special relationship with Univision's TV networks, which the Univision music firm has always enjoyed with its sister company.

More announcements about the future and structure of Univision within Universal are now expected.


Facebook will properly unveil its new music section today. The social networking whatnot has been developing its artist proposition for a while, but it is now ready to launch properly.

The move is obviously Facebook's attempt to take on MySpace, the Rupert Murdoch owned social networking outfit still dominating in the artist social network page domain. As a result much of the MySpace Music functionality can be found on Facebook's artist facility, though the big difference is probably design - while MySpace gives artists quite a bit of freedom to design their page, Facebook will restrict artists within the standard Facebook template. While this won't give artists so much artistic freedom (and the marketing advantage that freedom can offer), the idea is that there will be less off the screen, wobbling, silly font, bright pink background pages, making the service more user friendly.

Among the high profile artists with Facebook pages at launch are Alicia Keys, Avril Lavigne, Bruce Springsteen, Carrie Underwood, Coldplay, Dave Matthews Band, Foo Fighters, Justin Timberlake, Matchbox Twenty, Rodrigo y Gabriela, The Decemberists and Wyclef Jean.


The Editor In Chief of Bauer owned Heat is leaving after more than ten years with the celebrity title.

Mark Frith joined Heat as Deputy Editor before it even started. But he was promoted to the top job shortly after the magazine's lacklustre launch, and transformed it from a mediocre entertainment weekly into the gossip filled c'leb mag we all know and love. He will leave the title in mid-May to dedicate time on writing a reveal all book called 'The Celeb Diaries', set to tell all on a host of celebrities including Victoria and David Beckham, Jude Law, Amy Winehouse, Take That, Geri Halliwell, Jonathan Ross and Ewan McGregor.

Confirming his departure, Frith told reporters: "Taking Heat from sales of 65,000 a week to over half a million has been an exhilarating experience. The Heat team is truly exceptional and I wish them all the best for the future. I'm extremely excited about the book and look forward to a brand new challenge when I've finished it".

Julian Linley, editor of the Heat website and a former Deputy Editor of the magazine will take over as an Acting Editor until a full time replacement can be found - Linley seemingly doesn't want the job long term.


Jazz radio has never really taken off in this country, certainly not commercially, though people do keep trying. The Guardian's radio division, GMG Radio, has announced plans to relaunch Jazz FM as a digital station broadcasting via DAB.

The GMG decision follows that recent announcement from their rivals GCap who confirmed they were closing their barely a year old digital jazz service theJazz as part of its withdrawal from the world of digital audio broadcasting. Jazz FM, which used to broadcast via FM in London and Manchester but was dropped to make way for Smooooooth Radio, has existing as an internet only service in recent times.

Confirming the DAB plans, the radio group told reporters this week: "GMG Radio believes Jazz FM is a niche listen and with the demise of theJazz, this is an opportunity to provide listeners with their own jazz station 24 hours a day, rather than have it squeezed into the Smooth Radio output through the night".


Gossips are saying that Britney Spears is pregnant by paparazzo boyfriend Adnan Ghalib. It would seem like an insane thing to do, but then... well, I'll let you finish that thought.

They're quoting an anonymous source as saying: "Adnan's boasting that he's going to be a dad - and that Britney wants a baby girl just like her. He knows that if he has a child with her, he'll be made for life. She has been telling people how much she loves Adnan and crowing about having a baby with him".

Honestly, poor Britney.


Ex Motley Crue producer Tom Werman says that Nikki Sixx's new memoir - 'Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star' - is a load of crap. Agreeing with a crit by rock journo Alan Light, who called Sixx "bratty and self-destructive", he told The New York times that Light is "on the money, but having been there and having read the book, I would go with 'totally deluded' or perhaps 'stunningly inaccurate'".
He continued: "As the producer of three Motley Crue albums over a four-year period, I found Sixx's allegation that in the recording studio he did 'all the work' with Vince Neil's vocals while I chatted idly on the phone not only humorous but pure fiction. If this distortion of reality is the result of Sixx's past heroin habit, then his diary is truly nothing more than a pipe dream, and the events to which this book refers may simply be the needle-induced fantasies of an attention-starved junkie."

So that's him told.


Keith Richards doesn't like Led Zeppelin. He even claims not to know they had a reunion show last year. Asked about the reunion, Richards said: "They had one? Well, well done Jimmy and Robert... 'Stairway To Heaven' don't make it for me, baby".

He also called Mick Jagger a maniac. Look: "Mick's a maniac. He can't get up in the morning without knowing immediately who he's going to call. Meanwhile, I just go 'Thank God I'm awake' and wait for three or four hours before I do anything".


Ben & Jerry's have created a new ice-cream inspired by John Lennon and his imaginings. You know, all that idealistic world peace stuff. The new flavour is called Imagine Whirled Peace, and has toffee cookies and fudge peace signs in it.

The company's website says this: "When Ben & Jerry's wanted to talk about peace, we couldn't think of a better person to exemplify the message than John Lennon. Through his art and lyrics he imagined a world without war and asked us all to 'Give Peace a Chance'. We hope this whirly mixture of toffee cookies and fudge peace signs enlightens your bellies and souls and makes you ask what you can do to promote peace in your lives".

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