CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 27th March
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Billy Corgan comments on Smashing lawsuit
- Inquest planned into Rae's death
- Moss possibly engaged to Kills man
- Bon Jovi guirist arrested for DUI
- Soulja Boy windscreen gets smashed
- LA Times Tupac story may be based on forged FBI documents
- Universal find their Gregorian chanters
- Indie Idle finalists announced
- Madonna opts for dominatrix look on new album cover
- REM play new tracks and more obscure classics at Apple store gig
- More Download additions
- Zoo fest announce line up
- Emily Eavis on decline in ticket registrations for Glasto
- Sex Pistols warm up show announced
- Raffle for stage side seats at Muse charity gig
- Dion cancels gigs because of throat condition
- Diddy plans to showcase quality DJ talent a WMC event
- Edge invest in Dorrell's new live music company
- eMusic say they're still the number two download store
- Lee & Thompson man launches own artist services companies
- Deadline extended for Global GCap deal
- GMG Radio appoint deputy CEO
- Equity types sue banks as Clear Channel bid flounders
- Kiss go green with Branson
- Five recruit BBC exec to PD role
- Hear'say girl on the hard times
- Sugababe on Timbaland, Timberlake and no Madonna
- Stones welcomed back to Blackpool

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TOP BIT - CMU SOCIAL LAUNCHES NEXT WEEK
Have I mentioned the CMU Social yet? I can't remember. It's not something I talk about much. But hey, it's happening next week, hurrah. This is the new monthly night form CMU, offering all you out there in CMU land the opportunity to meet, greet, chat, cheer, network, socialise and to enjoy some damn fine music.

As you already know, we have long term CMU faves Big Strides headlining. And it give us great pleasure to announce that we will also have a set from one of our favourite artists of the moment, Mr Sportsday Megaphone.

As far as we're concerned, Sportsday Megaphone is one of the main reasons to be excited about music in 2008. We first discovered Hugh Frost proper at Bestival 2007 where his quirky laptop-meets-guitar-meets-jumping-about-a-lot live set was without doubt one of our highlights of the weekend. Now signed to Bestival's sister label, Sunday Best, we await his debut long player with considerable anticipation, and will be able to enjoy a snippet of it all when he takes to the stage at the CMU Social. Bring on the laptops, guitars and jumping about a lot, that's what we say.

You can find out why you should be getting excited about Frost at the CMU Social. Don't forget, this night is free to all CMU Daily readers, to come just email your name and the names of any guests you plan to bring to social@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk asap. And see you there.

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JOBS N STUFF

DIGITAL ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE, SHINE COMMUNICATIONS
Shine Communications is an award winning consumer PR agency based in London. We are looking to expand our digital team and have a vacancy for an account executive. This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone looking to enter into digital pr and work across music, film, fashion, gaming, events etc. Our clients include PlayStation, EA Games, Paramount Home Entertainment, Vodafone Music, GHD and Ebay to name a few see www.shinecom.com for further details. Applicants must be team players committed to delivering outstanding results. They must have at least one years experience in PR and an excellent understanding of digital media such as blogging, social networking, seeding and viral. Please apply by email to david.farrer@shinecom.com with a CV and covering letter which explains why you're right for us. Salary dependant on experience. No calls or follow up emails please, successful candidates will be contacted for interview.

ONLINE PROMOTIONS
Independent rock label looking for an online promo person with experience of social networking sites (Facebook, Myspace, Bebo, Rec Center, Last Fm, Habbo Hotel etc) and online music promo for download sites. Additional responsibilities would be viral marketing, maintaining and expanding the label and band street teams, club promotions, newsletters etc. Basic knowledge of Photoshop. Flash, HTML would be useful. Must be an all rounder and happy to get involved with all aspects of an expanding label with substantially successful artists. Please send an email with CV, covering letter and current salary to: Julie Weir - Julie@visiblenoise.com. Closing Date is Thursday April 3rd.

OUTPOST FREELANCER/TEMP REQUIRED
Outpost is a successful music and events PR agency based in London. A raft of new business wins means we are looking for a freelancer/temp with AT LEAST 6-12 MONTHS MUSIC PRESS/PR EXPERIENCE to assist in some of our key music and event campaigns. You will be tenacious, enthusiastic and willing to get stuck into a variety of projects. Computer literate and possessing first-class writing skills, you will also have an outstanding knowledge of cutting edge music. The post is temporary in the first instance and may lead to a more permanent role.__Please apply in writing to letitia@outpostmedia.co.uk, with cover letter and CV explaining why we're right for each other!

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CMU CLASSIFIEDS

ALIVE ADVERTISING - ACCESS ALL AUDIENCES
Reach the audience of Camden Crawl via advertising in the official programme or placing your swag in the official goodie bag. Deadline for this highly targeted opportunity is this Friday and we have just a few opportunities available starting at just £195. Call us now to find out about advertising opportunities in Plan B, Fact, Loud and Quiet, Disorder and Super Super, plus over 20 festival programmes this season starting with the Camden Crawl. Contact Gary@alive-advertising.com 07966 555 857

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BILLY CORGAN COMMENTS ON SMASHING LAWSUIT
Smashing Pumpkins main man Billy Corgan has spoken to Billboard about his band's previously reported lawsuit against their former record label Virgin, saying he's sure the EMI division put his music forward for inclusion in a Pepsi download giveaway "full well knowing they did not have the right".

As previously reported, the Pumpkins are pissed off that their former label included their tracks in the high profile Pepsi Stuff download promotion which was designed to promote the US launch of Amazon's new MP3 download store, and which included music from three of the major record companies. Now free agents in label terms (though they most recently worked with Warner's Reprise), the band claim that their contract with Virgin regarding their back catalogue allow the major to sell their music but not to allow its use in branded promotions.

Speaking to the trade magazine from Australia, where he's on tour, Corgan admitted that he had been feuding with Virgin for years over his band's back catalogue, but said that giving away their music via Pepsi "crossed the Rubicon". He continued: "You're going to see more of this playing fast and loose with the rules, hoping they don't get caught. At face value, it's not a huge deal. But in terms of precedent, it is, because there will be much more of this coming".

Corgan claims that he has approached Virgin in the past about interesting back catalogue re-release projects but that the major showed little interest, though at the same time, he says, resisted any talk of him buying the rights to the old releases. He concluded: "We've made offers to buy it all. 'Look, you have no interest. Let us just buy it'. But they won't put a number on it. They've atrophied the catalogue down so low that they probably hope we'll crawl back and ask for cash".

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INQUEST PLANNED INTO RAE'S DEATH
An inquest into the death of the husband of Corinne Bailey Rae, Haggis Horns saxophonist Jason Rae who, as previously reported, was found dead at his Leeds flat on Saturday, will take place at Leeds Coroner's Court.

It is thought that the musician died from a drugs overdose, but police say they are awaiting the results of a toxicology test before reaching any further conclusions after a post-mortem proved inconclusive. A man was arrested at the weekend on suspicion of supplying controlled drugs to Rae, but he has since been released on bail pending further enquiries.

Fans have continued to pay tribute to Jason and to pass on their condolences to Corinne via both the Haggis Horns and the Bailey Rae website.

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MOSS POSSIBLY ENGAGED TO KILLS MAN
Hmm, deja vu here. Kate Moss is rumoured to have got engaged to a trendy indie guy. Yes, the tabs report that the supermodel has got engaged to current boyfriend, The Kills bloke Jamie Hince. Apparently Moss told onlookers in Amsterdam over the weekend that the couple would "tie the knot soon". The news has apparently been well received by Moss' friends, so much so one of them felt the urge to tell the tabs: "Everyone was worried she would end up with Pete [Doherty, obviously], who we thought was no good for her. We were convinced that, for some unknown reason, she saw him as the love of her life. Jamie looked like it could have been a bit of a rebound thing at first, but now it seems like it's the real deal".

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BON JOVI GUIRIST ARRESTED FOR DUI
Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora has been arrested for drunk driving in California. According to TMZ.com, he was pulled over by police after they saw him driving "erratically". He was taken to a near by police station where he reportedly took a blood test and was seemingly over the limit. He was promptly release on bail. As previously reported, the guitarist had two stints in rehab last year, one in June at UCLA Medical Center and one in September at Cirque Lodge in Utah.

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SOULJA BOY WINDSCREEN GETS SMASHED
More vehicle related traumas, and the windscreen of the tour bus of Soulja Boy was smashed last week after a twelve year old threw a rock at the pop rap star. The window smashing incident occurred after the rapper had played a show at the US Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington, Illinois. Police reportedly arrested the twelve year old who promptly admitted to throwing the rock in the rapper's direction, explaining "I hate Soulja Boy". No one was hurt by the rock or the smashing glass. Soulja Boy hasn't commented on the incident. Presumably he's not all that keen on the twelve year old either now.

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LA TIMES TUPAC STORY MAY BE BASED ON FORGED FBI DOCUMENTS
More on that LA Times report last week which made formal allegations against Sean P Diddy Whatnot Combs and Czar Entertainment chief Jimmy Rosemond in relation to the 1994 shooting of Tupac Shakur, an incident that some say led to the escalation of tensions in the US hip hop community in the mid-nineties that ultimately led to the murders of both Shakur and the Notorious BIG.

Allegations about Combs' and Rosemond's prior knowledge of and possible involvement in the 1994 attack have been made before (not least by Shakur himself), but in the LA Times last week Pulitzer prize winning reporter Chuck Philips claimed to have seen FBI documents which he alleged gave credence to the allegations that Combs and Rosemond were in studios near where Shakur was shot in 94, and both had advance warning that an attack on the rapper was about to take place.

Both Combs and Rosemond quickly denied those allegations, meanwhile the SmokingGun.com website yesterday alleged that the FBI documents on which Philips based his article were in fact fake. They claim the docs were manufactured by one James Sabatino, a former Combs associated who, as previously reported, launched a lawsuit against Diddy last Autumn claiming he was owed money relating to projects he funded involved the late Notorious BIG. Sabatino was himself mentioned in Philips article, in particular as the man who gave Combs and Rosemond the advance warning about the attack on Tupac.

In his latest rebuttal of the Philips story, Rosemond told reporters the new allegations were an attempt by Philips, the Times and "dishonest government informants" to damage his reputation, adding: "In this peaceful time in hip hop, the LA Times' false accusations are as serious as when J Edgar Hoover deliberately sent false hate letters to chapters of the Black Panther Party to create mistrust, violence and mayhem. Chuck Philips irresponsibly did the same thing by creating a potentially violent climate in the hip-hop community".

According to the latest reports, Philips stands by his story, though the LA Times are reportedly looking into his sources to check the SmokingGun's allegations about forged documents.

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UNIVERSAL FIND THEIR GREGORIAN CHANTERS
Universal Music's previously reported mission to find a group of monks to record an album of Gregorian chants has ended with success, and the signing of a group of Austrian monks recently visited by the Pope. As previously reported, the major put adverts in various religious publications, including the Catholic Times and The Catholic Herald, in a bid to find some suitable monks, and over 100 interested parties reportedly responded. The winning monks submitted their entry via YouTube (go see http://tinyurl.com/22vrt4), and are now about to head into the studio to record their debut album.

Confirming the signing of the monks of the Stift Heiligenkreuz monastry in the middle of the Vienna Woods, Universal Classics A&R Manager Tom Lewis told reporters: "They are, quite simply, the best Gregorian singers we have heard. They make a magical, evocative sound which is both immediately calming and deeply moving".

On the perceived public demand for Gregorian chants, which Music Week reckon may be in part down to the use of such chants on the soundtrack of X-Box game 'Halo', Lewis adds: "Whenever people hear the sound of Gregorian Chants, they seem to identify with it and immediately react. 'Enigma' is a classic example. It is also appealing in this time of increased anxiety. People find it calming and spiritual".

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INDIE IDLE FINALISTS ANNOUNCED
Music website Gigwise have revealed the names of the twenty unsigned bands who have made it through to the next stage of their Indie Idle competition. Online voting will now get the top twenty down to ten, who will get to compete in the final stage of the competition as part of the Camden Crawl on 18 Apr.

The finalists are: Yezza, Medicine Show, Grand Pocket Orchestra, We've Taped Over Your Cassettes, Ice Sea Dead People, My Name Is Red, BearKnuckles, Catalan Corruption, Little Things, The Muscle Club, Guildean Gang, The Ramblings, Kick Box Riot, My First Tooth, Skyhorse, The Gin Riots, The Shame, Love Ends Disaster, Soft Toy Emergency, The Dirty Backbeats.

You can listen to songs from each and vote for your favourite here:
http://www.gigwise.com/news?contentid=41760

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MADONNA OPTS FOR DOMINATRIX LOOK ON NEW ALBUM COVER
Madonna is preparing for her fiftieth birthday by getting all leathered up on the cover to her new album 'Hard Candy', which is out on 28 Apr. She has opted for a dominatrix look for the new LP's artwork, which you can see at this URL if you so wish: http://tinyurl.com/2dz55k.

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REM PLAY NEW TRACKS AND MORE OBSCURE CLASSICS AT APPLE STORE GIG
Talking of new albums from classic artists released by Warner, which we sort of were, REM showcased tracks from their new album 'Accelerate' at the Regent Street, London Apple Store yesterday, part of the new iTunes Live From London whatnot. The set included various tracks from the new album, which is released by Warner next week, including lead single 'Supernatural Superserious'. They also played the intimate audience of fans some classic tracks too - though mainly lesser known REM tracks, mainly from the pre-'Out Of Time' eighties albums - though the fan voted 'big hit' of the set was from 1992's 'Automatic For The People' - the fans voting for 'Man On The Moon' over 'Losing My Religion'. In an aside remark that was sure to please the Apple marketing men paying for the gig, frontman Michael Stipe observed of the Apple Store around them: "I have an eye boner cos I'm kind of a Mac guy. Once you go Mac, you never go back".

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MORE DOWNLOAD ADDITIONS
Into the sometimes dangerous realm of festivals news, and Biffy Clyro, Fightstar and Madina Lake have all been added to the bill for this year's Download festival which, as I'm pretty sure we've told you before, already includes Kiss, Motorhead and Lostprophets. Download takes place at Donington Park from 13-15 Jun. Also on the bill are Jimmy Eat World, ex-Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell, Korn singer Jonathan Davis, Kid Rock, The Subways, 36 Crazyfists and Job For A Cowboy. More at http://www.downloadfestival.co.uk.

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ZOO FEST ANNOUNCE LINE UP
Another new festival for you to add to your lists (you all keep lists of festivals, right?). The Zoo Thousand Festival will take place at Kent's Port Lympne Wild Animal Park in July. Tormenting the animals (not really, I'm assured they'll be safely away from the loud PAs) in the fest's debut year will be The Cribs, British Sea Power, The Young Knives, The Rascals, Lethal Bizzle, MSTRKRFT, Hadouken!, Friendly Fires, Does It Offend You Yeah? and The Rumble Strips. The festival will have a capacity of 60,000 over the three days, with room for 20,000 campers, making it quite a big event. For each ticket sold a donation will be made to the Aspinal Foundation charity to help pay for the upkeep of the animals and their enclosures at the Park, and for animal rescue programmes around the world. More at http://www.zoothousand.com.

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EMILY EAVIS ON DECLINE IN TICKET REGISTRATIONS FOR GLASTO
Emily Eavis has given her take on why the number of ticket registrations for this year's Glastonbury Festival are down. As previously reported, the number of people registering so to be eligible to buy Glasto tickets when they go on sale on 6 Apr is down on last year.

Michael Eavis had admitted that this year's headliners - The Verve, Kings Of Leon and Jay-Z - weren't quite so headlining grabbing as in some past years, and thought that might be behind the slight fall in registrations. But daughter Emily - possibly of the probably correct opinion that people don't go to Glasto based on line up - reckons the registration fall is down to last year's terrible weather, with some Glastonbury regulars possibly rethinking about going this year after spending last year's fest dodging the mud baths and not being able to sit down for three days. She told NME: "I'm sure it's because of the weather. People only remember the last festival, so if it was really muddy...I don't blame them, to be honest. Everybody needs a rest".

While some reports say registrations for Glasto are "down considerably" on last year, it will probably still completely sell out in about a minute when tickets go on sale. This year's Glastonbury takes place from 27-29 Jun. Ticket registration is now closed.

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SEX PISTOLS WARM UP SHOW ANNOUNCED
The Sex Pistols will warm up for their headline slot at the Isle Of Wight festival by playing a gig at the Birmingham Academy on 11 Jun. Tickets go on sale tomorrow.

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RAFFLE FOR STAGE SIDE SEATS AT MUSE CHARITY GIG
Muse are offering fans the chance to win some of the best seats in the house at their previously reported Teenage Cancer Trust show which takes place at the Royal Albert Hall on 12 Apr. All the £70 tickets for the show have now sold out, but fans who can name the Devon town where the band originally formed can enter a raffle to win a pair of tickets in the choir seats right next to the stage. It costs a tenner to enter the raffle - and of course you're not guaranteed to win. But all cash goes to the Trust, and the fifty lucky winners will get a pair of ringside seats at the special gig which, as previously reported, is set to be a more stripped down affair to the band's usual shows. You can enter the raffle at this URL, and have until Sunday to do so...

http://www.seetickets.com/tct/price.asp?code=300389&filler1=tct&filler2=MUSE

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DION CANCELS GIGS BECAUSE OF THROAT CONDITION
Celine Dion has been forced to pull out of two Australian concerts due to ill health. Lucky Australia. No, only joking, Though we're assured it's a minor throat infection causing Dion problems, so hopefully we're not being too sick to mock her for it. Confirming that this week's show in Brisbane and Melbourne were being postponed, Dion told reporters (one would assume in a croaky voice): "I've been looking forward to doing this show in Brisbane for so long. I'm really sorry to disappoint my fans tonight". Fans won't have to wait too long though, the shows have been rescheduled for next week. Sydney and Perth dates shouldn't be affected.

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DIDDY PLANS TO SHOWCASE QUALITY DJ TALENT A WMC EVENT
God, these conventions and festivals and annual events come round quickly these days don't they. Does that mean I am getting old? It's Winter Music Conference time in Miami as we speak, but those of you who dig the WMC presumably already know that and are already there. The Ultra Festival that runs alongside the dance music convention takes over Miami's Bicentennial Park tomorrow and Saturday.

Also happening tomorrow at WMC is an event that has been getting quite a bit of coverage being staged by that P Diddy fella and Mixmag. Diddy, who, for a hip hopper, hangs out more than most at these dance music events, hasn't done anything at the Miami bash for a couple of years, and is coming back with an event designed to champion rising DJ talent. Diddy will DJ alongside three Mixmag selected DJs - Claude Von Stroke, The Martinez Brothers and Steve Angello.

Commenting on the event that Diddy is calling, modest as ever, The Main Event, Resident Advisor quote the hip hopper thus: "Honestly, the reason I'm doing The Main Event is because I'm not impressed with what I've been hearing recently. A music conference is supposed to be about freshness and innovation and a remarkable music experience. Sadly, I feel that the last couple of conferences have lacked innovation. This party is not for commercial dance music muthfuckas!"

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EDGE INVEST IN DORRELL'S NEW LIVE MUSIC COMPANY
That Edge Performance investment fund has announced it is investing a cool million into a new live promotion company being headed up by artist manager/music producer David Dorell. Edge will get a 50% stake in the new company, to be called Hear No Evil Promotions Ltd, and which has entered into a co-promotion relationship with live music firm SJM, who will also take a stake in the new outfit.

Confirming the new company and investment, Dorrell told CMU: "Every music fan knows there is nothing to match the excitement and uniqueness of live performance which is why the live events business continues to boom. I am delighted to have the support and guidance of the Edge Performance VCT in my new venture".

Edge man David Glick adds: "David Dorrell has been one of the music business's great innovators and tastemakers for three decades. Edge is pleased to be investing in his new venture Hear No Evil Promotions".

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EMUSIC SAY THEY'RE STILL THE NUMBER TWO DOWNLOAD STORE
Independent download platform eMusic have disputed claims by USA Today that Amazon's US MP3 download platform is already the number two digital music store (in the US presumably). eMusic claim to be second in the market after iTunes, and they say that that hasn't changed despite Amazon's high profile entry into the market. Digital Music News quote eMusic top man David Pakman thus: "Outside of iTunes, no one sells more music digitally than eMusic, and we don't plan on giving up that title anytime soon". Of course measuring releative market dominance, even within just the US digital music market, is difficult, not least because eMusic have a slightly different business model to iTunes and Amazon (ie a bundled track subscription model, rather than a pay per track model). Plus most download firms aren't that forthcoming on how many tracks they've sold - Amazon are yet to release any stats for their US download service.

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LEE & THOMPSON MAN LAUNCHES OWN ARTIST SERVICE COMPANIES
Music lawyer Robert Horsfall has announced he is leaving legal firm Lee & Thompson to set up two new companies of his own - the first a business management outfit called Connected that will work alongside artist managers on the business affairs of various artists, the second an artist focused legal, accounting and royalty auditing business called SoundAdvice, which will provide those services to both Connected clients and others. Among the other people involved in the ventures are Sonia Diwan and Rita Pilling, royalty experts Mike Skeet and Gill Sharp and lawyer Alan Lander.

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DEADLINE EXTENDED FOR GLOBAL GCAP DEAL
As expected, the deadline for Global Radio to complete their takeover talks with rivals GCap has been extended to 31 Mar - the second deadline set by the City's Takeover Panel regarding the bid was yesterday, the third deadline is designed to enable Global to complete its negotiations with GCap bosses, who are increasingly expected to recommend the offer despite initial resistance to the plan.

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GMG RADIO APPOINT DEPUTY CEO
More radio news, and GMG Radio, who own the Smooth Radio, Real Radio and Century Radio franchises, have promoted Stuart Taylor to the job of Deputy CEO, supporting and reporting to CEO John Myers. He will do the new job in addition to his existing roles of Commercial Director for GMG Radio and MD for Smooth Radio London. Busy man.

Confirming the appointment, Myers said this: "As our business grows it's important to ensure we have the appropriate structures and succession plans in place. Stuart has had a hugely positive impact within the business since his move from our sister company Guardian News & Media. He is one of the most highly regarded executives within the media industry and will have a big part to play in the future development of GMG Radio".

Taylor himself added: "GMG Radio is a great operation, with market-leading brands and the best radio people in the business. My enhanced role will be to ensure there is enough support in depth across our division to underpin our ambitions for future development".

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EQUITY TYPES SUE BANKS AS CLEAR CHANNEL BID FLOUNDERS
More radio news, and more on those reports yesterday that the bid by a consortium of equity types, led by key Warner Music shareholders Thomas H Lee, to buy US radio group Clear Channel were faltering.

Word has it that the attempt to take over Clear Channel, which has been ongoing since November 2006, could collapse because banks who had committed to provide a bulk of the cash to enable the purchase are getting cold feet, mainly because of this 'credit crunch' business journalists insist on talking about.

Well, Thomas H Lee and their partners Bain Capital Partners yesterday filed lawsuits against a number of banks, including Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Deutsche Bank and Wachovia, claiming that the banks have breached an agreement with the equity types regarding backing the takeover, and that while they are technically allowed to pull out according to the contracts relating to the deal, doing so relies on "poison provisions" which the plaintiffs argue the banks should never have out into the documentation. Clear Channel themselves have also reportedly file a lawsuit in home state Texas. The banks are yet to respond.

But I think its fair to say things are looking very wobbly for the drawn out acquisition of the radio conglom. 'Wobbly' being a technical term, obviously.

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KISS GO GREEN WITH BRANSON
One last bit of radio news, and dance station Kiss has announced it has hired Sam 'son of Richard' Branson to become its "green ambassador", a job which will see Branson Junior participate in a number of shows on the station designed to persuade its youth audience to do their bit to save the planet. Possibly by using his father's airline less often. And by using his not always useless train service instead of flying around the UK. He will also write an eco-friendly blog for the station, using only recycled binary code.

He's told reporters his relationship with Kiss began when he asked the station to cover a 1400 mile dog sled expedition he is undertaking across the Canadian Arctic in a bid to highlight global warming. He told reporters: "I approached Kiss to cover the trip because it reaches millions of people my kind of age. Kiss and I agreed it [global warming] is the biggest issue of today but also that it can all get a bit technical like some boring science lesson. We thought it would be cool to do it [promoted the issue] together, kind of live and as it happens, so we can share the stories as we go along. Just as we're all hooked on our favourite music, it would be great to get a few of the listeners hooked on the trip, and what I'm doing".

Kiss Radio boss Steve Parkinson explained why he is taking his yoof station down the green route: "Kiss listeners have told us that the future of the planet is incredibly important to them. We wanted to highlight the important message about global warming in a way that would be relevant and engaging to our listeners, so we're delighted to welcome Sam on board as our first green ambassador".

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FIVE RECRUIT BBC EXEC TO PD ROLE
Telly news anyone? Five have announced the appointment of BBC Commissioning Editor Ben Gale to the job of Director Of Programmes where he'll, erm, direct the station's programmes. Five's MD of content, Lisa Opie, said this: "I'm delighted that we have secured such a talented and creative executive as Ben to this key role at the channel. This is a tremendously exciting time at Five, both in terms of creativity and ratings success, and I know Ben is the right person to take the main channel onto even greater heights".

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HEAR'SAY GIRL ON THE HARD TIMES
Former Hear'Say girl and, I'm reliably informed, most recent 'Dancing On Ice' winner Suzanne Shaw, has told reporters that after the Popstars band collapsed she almost went bankrupt. The financial woes got worst shortly after her split from Darren Day, apparently. She told Hello!: "I was told by four different debt advisers that I had no option but to go bankrupt . But I refused. I crawled on the floor to hide when bailiffs came knocking". On being broke while bringing up a young child, she continued: "I went without food so Corey could eat and kept a penny jar, where I would save enough to make sure I could buy bread and milk when I ran out of food. At one point my mum, Janet, who was living in New Zealand, had to order food parcels from a British website". Poor girl. Still, the ice dancing victory should guarantee her a few quid in the coming months, enabling her to replenish that penny jar.

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SUGABABE ON TIMBALAND, TIMBERLAKE AND NO MADONNA
Sugababe Amelle Berrabah has been talking about spending time with Timbaland and Justin Timberlake last year - the girl band got to socialise with the uber-producer and his pop star friend because they were all working in the same studio complex, Timbaland and Timberlake on the new Madonna album. Berrabah says that the Babes got on well with both the 'Tims', but missed out on an encouter with Madge.

Berrabah: "Timbaland [is] keen on us. He actually asked us to do stuff with him before. We ended up spending a lot of time with him and Justin last year. We'd have lunch and dinner together in between recordings. They were great company - very funny. We couldn't get any Madonna goss out of them, though. They were secretive about her new music. I knew she was with them but I never saw her".

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STONES WELCOMED BACK TO BLACKPOOL
Good news for the Rolling Stones. The band have been given the all clear to play Blackpool. The band have been blacklisted in the seaside town ever since a 1964 gig at the town's Empress Ballroom at which fans smashed crystal chandeliers, tore seats and smashed a Steinway grand piano. Bottles and stones we're thrown around and fifty odd fans ended up in hospital. The band haven't been welcomed back in the town ever since, but a council leader has now said he'd be more than happy for Jagger et al to gig there.

Metro quote Blackpool council leader Peter Callow thus: "We are writing to the group to say the ban has been lifted and they are welcome to play here again".

Yay, bring on the chandelier smashing, seat tearing and piano trashing, that's what I say.

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