CMU Daily - on the inside Wednesday 30th April
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

In today's CMU Daily:
- Arizona court takes narrow view on P2P infringement
- Bounty Killer banned from Guyana
- UB40 stage press call over new members and free album
- Ill Nino cancel show after support electrocuted
- Chris Martin talks new album and Jay-Z
- CSS release free download single
- Yorke on free downloads and MTV's EXIT campaign
- Jimi Hendrix sex tape to be released
- Guns N' Roses came close to reuniting
- More on that hearing loss campaign
- Feeder album news
- John Lennon lyrics go up for sale
- Little Man Tate naming competition
- Fake Reading/Leeds website exposed
- Rival Schools reform
- Peas will not cancel China appearances, says
- Townshend stalls Who plans
- Yoda tour - Koko date sold out
- More on Most Musical City band contest
- Majors get some MOG
- Clear Channel launch new more eclectic radio service
- Banks fail to delay Clear Channel takeover case
- eMusic launches in Canada
- GMG radio announce new independent shows
- Dawn Airey returns to five
- Friends Reunited relaunches
- OFT expresses concern over Kangaroo
- IPC appoint new marketing head for NME and Uncut
- Noel on Sven and Man City and stuff
- Ne-Yo turned down Spice Girls
- Madden writes song for Hilton
- Reward put up for Coachella pig


Now, as I'm sure I mentioned right here a few times in the last few weeks, I was one of the judges on the rather brilliant INDY Awards again this year, which involved checking out the shortlisted bands in the Punk/Ska, Indie, Rock and Alternative categories, and trying my best to form an opinion on who I liked most. It was quite tricky actually, because most of the sixteen bands I was judging on were rather good, but one stood out in particular - The Penny Black Remedy - and presumably my fellow judges in the Alternative category agreed because PBR won that award. And hurrah for that.

But the story doesn't end there. We liked them so much that having watched them play a short set as part of the INDY Awards on Friday night we quickly invited them to play the CMU Introducing slot at the May edition of the CMU Social, the slot reserved for brand new bands that we reckon you should all be checking out. And so we can confirm that The Penny Black Remedy have been added to the bill for next Tuesday's Social. They're great, and if being winners of the 'Best Alternative' award doesn't give you much insight into their sound (which it doesn't, I suppose), then we suggest a visit to their MySpace where you can check out their tunes. They're rather good, and add to that the fact these guys have already got themselves a reputation for being great live.

The Penny Black Remedy are added to a CMU Social bill that already includes a headline set from A.Human, who will be celebrating the release next week of their brilliant debut album on Wall Of Sound, 'Third Hand Prophecy'. And don't forget, you need to come early for the happy hour, CMU Social Burger Bar and the all new CMU Pop Quiz.

This all takes place at 229 next to Great Portland Street tube station on Tuesday, 6 May, from 7pm. It's free for you lot, just email [email protected] with your name and details of any guests you plan to bring.



Experienced Freelance PRs needed for our busy summer schedule. Credible experience across Events, Bands and Brands a must.Dynamic, creative, well connected team players required. 6 month to full time contracts. Please send CVS to [email protected] ASAP


Though unsigned in MySpace status, Naked And The Boys certainly have some sort of deal with indie du jour Young And Lost Club, the same label behind perennially name-dropped folksters Noah And The Whale and rising singer songwriter Johnny Flynn. While they don't quite elicit the same excitement for me as either of these acts, the radio-friendly pop of 'If You Find Love' will certainly set fans of The Kooks' taste buds alert in all its jangly loveliness and do-do-doo-doo-do-do-do-ba-bas. It's straightforward, infectious indie for people that want their music uncomplicated and hummable; indeed, NATB couldn't be closer musically to the aforementioned Brighton posse and fellow chart botherers Athlete if they'd been trying to (and it's a possibility that this was always their plan). The MySpace link below is your first point of call.


An interesting technicality was raised in a US court hearing relating to one of the Record Industry Association Of America's P2P lawsuits this week. It's a technicality that has been raised before, but it was the court's ruling on the matter that was interesting, because in theory it reduces the scope of the RIAA's lawsuits a little.

The case was against Pamela and Jeffrey Howell who are accused of illegally sharing music via the Kazaa file sharing network. The labels are suing them for copyright infringement.

The technicality is as to whether merely placing music files into a Kazaa folder on your PC in itself amounts to copyright infringement. Generally speaking courts have been willing to say "yes" in the past - so that if a defendant puts music in a Kazaa folder, and a label's agent is to download a track or two from it, then infringement has been assumed in relation to all tracks put in that folder.

However, the court in Arizona hearing the Howell's case wasn't keen to extend the definition of infringement that far. It said that a copyright was only infringed if there was "actual dissemination of copies or phonorecords" - ie infringement took place when someone downloaded a track from the Kazaa folder, but not when the tracks were first put into the folder.

It's a subtle distinction, though one that's not without ramifications. The RIAA's agents had downloaded 12 files from the Howells' Kazaa folder, but were suing for infringement on all 54 tracks they found in the folder. Given their narrow definition of infringement, that meant that in the eyes of the court there was only evidence of infringement on the 12 tracks the RIAA had themselves accessed, nothing could be proven on the other 42.

Of course moving forward, if this ruling was accepted elsewhere (and it's only really relevant for other Arizona cases) the RIAA could overcome it by always downloading a copy of every track being shared by its P2P targets, though that does extend their workload somewhat, and could be problematic for lawsuits pending where all tracks have not been specifically accessed.

Responding to the ruling, the RIAA said they thought the Arizona courts had failed to follow precedent set in other US courts on this matter, and that as a result they were reviewing their options. Their statement read: "This is a strange decision that is outside of the mainstream and inconsistent with countless court rulings on these issues. We are currently considering all options going forward".


The Interior Minister in Guyana has banned reggae artist Bounty Killer from performing in the country, after trouble at a recent concert there. Bounty Killer, real name Rodney Price, is used to being banned, mainly because he is accused of inciting violence against the gay community in his lyrics, and a campaign against those homophobic songs by gay rights groups have led to many venues in Western countries being unwilling to host his live shows. The Guyanese minister, Clement Rohee, doesn't mention homophobia as a reason for banning Price from performing there, instead pointing to a gunfire incident at the reggae man's most recent gig there, adding that his lyrics "promote violence" and "celebrate criminal behaviour". Another Jamaican singer, Movado, was also banned from performing in the country.


UB40 are holding a press conference around about now in which they are expected to announce details of two new vocalists and give more details about their new album, which is set to be given away by the Mail On Sunday this weekend.

As previously reported, UB40 frontman Ali Campbell quit the band earlier in the year. The initial statement from the band said he was leaving to pursue a solo career, but Campbell then issued his own statement saying he had quit over concerns with the way the band's finances and affairs were being handled by their management. Said management denied any wrongdoing and claimed the rest of the band were happy with their work, though keyboardist Michael Virtue subsequently announced he too had concerns and was leaving the group.

Replacing founder member Campbell as the frontman of UB40 isn't going to be easiest of tasks, given his three decades with the band - which is possibly why the band have decided to split that job between two people. There have been rumours Maxi Priest may replace Campbell though the band's management have said that while he would collaborate with UB40 on a song, he wouldn't necessarily become a fulltime member of the group.

The new album, 'Twentyfourseven', still features Campbell on vocals, and will be released in this country as a free covermount with the ever popular Mail On Sunday, in much the same way as Prince distributed his new album last year.


Metal bands beware, supporting Ill Nino, who are touring the UK to promote their fourth album 'Enigma', is a dangerous business.

On Monday, support act one Forever Never failed to make it to the Central Station venue in Wrexham after their van crashed. The band said on their MySpace blog, "[We had] a blow out on the A12 and the van basically rolling over about 3 or 4 times. Everyone is okay, and very lucky to be alive". The band have now cancelled their remaining dates with Ill Nino.

As they say, though, the show must go on. So, second support Die So Fluid took to the stage in Wrexham, but only briefly. The band said: "[We] managed to play one song before [singer and bassist] Grog was electrocuted onstage! She is fine but very lucky after the stage was tested and found to have a live current of 240 volts running through it". That discovery, needless to say, forced the rest of the show to be cancelled.

All remaining shows will (fingers crossed) go ahead almost as planned.


Coldplay's Chris Martin was interviewed by Jo Whiley yesterday after she gave his band's new single 'Violet Hill' a first airing on her Radio 1 show. Asked about the band's new album, 'Viva La Vida', he said the aim with the new long player was to "get better, as opposed to bigger". Just to stress that point, they made the new album shorter than its predecessors - Martin: "I think you can say what you like about our record, but its brevity is its strongest feature".

Speaking about his hopes for the new LP, he said: "It's colourful and it's short which is what these things should be. The intention was to try and be good and get better as opposed to bigger. We felt incredibly hungry to prove why people have heard of us. I wanted it to be okay to be that 16 year old who says they like Coldplay in the playground. Hopefully with this record they won't get teased so much".

On working with Brian Eno, the producer of the new album, he continued: "Brian Eno is an absolute magician. First of all you learn about life and sex and all that kind of useful stuff for outside the studio. Then you learn about music and how to make music. He really freed us up. If you didn't really like Coldplay because of me I think you might be more encouraged to know that our new music has a lot more of everybody else on it. That's the thing that I'm proud of".

As is compulsory at the moment, the interview eventually moved onto the issue of Jay-Z and Glastonbury. To be fair to Whiley, Martin brought up the issue after being asked why Coldplay weren't playing the festival this year. "Why would we need to appear at Glastonbury given that the best musician on the planet [that's Jay-Z] is headlining it? I find it pretty embarrassing - the whole palaver about it. We came back to England the other day from being on a trip somewhere and there was all this hoo-ha. Coldplay not playing Glastonbury and Jay-Z playing. It is exactly what needs to happen to keep the world a good place. He's the best rapper in the world".

So, there you have it, that's that debate resolved, ended and brought to conclusion. 'Violet Hill', by the way, is being made available as a free download, and can be downloaded for free all this week from The free track is set to be followed up by two free gigs, one in London and one in New York, details of which will be posted on that there website sometime soon.

LP 'Viva La Vida' will be released on 12 Jun, a little earlier than previously announced and, the more observant of you will notice, on a Thursday - apparently it is being released everywhere in the world on the same day. Very global.


More free music. CSS will be back this summer with a new album, 'Donkey', but to get you in the mood, they've released a track from it as a free download. 'Rat Is Dead (Rage)' is available to download right now from

The album will be released on 21 Jul and the first official single will be 'Left behind' on 14 Jul.

The album's tracklist is this:

Jager Yoga
Rat is Dead (Rage)
Reggae All Night
Give Up
Left Behind
Beautiful Song
How I Became Paranoid
I Fly
Believe Achieve
Air Painter


And talking of free music, Radiohead's Thom Yorke has been talking to the Hollywood Reporter about his band's much hyped 'pay what you want' download promotion for last album 'In Rainbows'. And he reckons the whole venture was a 'moment in time' project, rather than a viable long term alternative business model for the record industry.

Yorke: "It was a one-off in terms of a story. It was one of those things where we were in the position of everyone asking us what we were going to do. I don't think it would have the same significance now anyway, if we chose to give something away again. It was a moment in time". He added, rightly methinks, that promotions like the honesty box download principle are more appropriate for established rather than new artists. He observed: "We are about that direct relationship [now] because we are big enough to establish that".

Yorke has been doing some media this week to promote his band's involvement in a new worldwide MTV campaign to highlight and stop child slavery and sex trafficking. Called EXIT - End Exploitation And Trafficking - the MTV campaign will launch with a special video jointly produced by the TV channel and the band for their song 'All I Need', which will premiere on MTV around the world tomorrow.

Explaining his support for the initiative, Yorke told the Reporter: "All power to MTV for taking this on because it's obviously going to be difficult for them in terms of the advertisers. If you talk about slave labour, then the issue of cheap goods from the East is all about that. With the ['All I Need'] video their lawyers had to beg to make sure there wasn't a single white [trainer] with a logo on it because the implication would be a little too close. But the implication is still there. If [MTV] are able to break the taboo of enslavement and put it onto the agenda then it's a good thing. If they get people to think in terms of the profits we make in the West because of cheap labour, then that's a good thing".

In an official statement on the EXIT campaign, MTV boss Bill Roedy told reporters: "We are always looking for more creative, innovative ways to talk to our audience about key issues and we aim through this highly visual campaign to raise awareness of Human Trafficking. Trafficking is a crime which violates the basic rights of its victims: the rights to freedom, equality, and dignity. We endeavour to support and advocate these rights - and empower our audience - through initiatives like MTV EXIT and other MTV projects".

As I understand it, MTV is encouraging other broadcasters to air programming from its EXIT campaign, including the Radiohead video, to give the campaign the widest possible reach. There's more information on it all at


Porn producers Vivid Entertainment have revealed that they plan to release a video, which they claim shows Jimi Hendrix having sex with two women, reports the New York Times. The film, which has no sound, apparently features a naked man who resembles Hendrix in a dimly lit room with two brunettes, although he only faces the camera briefly with his eyes closed.

Vivid, who have also released various celebrity sex tapes, including the infamous Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee film, will release a DVD later this year, entitled 'Jimi Hendrix: The Sex Tape', which features the 11 minutes of sex footage and a brief retrospective of the guitarist's career. The DVD will cost $39.95 and will also be available as a download.

The tape has apparently been circulated around Hendrix fans for many years. However, experts and former associates of the guitarist have disputed its authenticity. Vivid claim that they have conducted an extensive inquiry with the help of private detective agencies and say they are certain it is the real thing. The company's co-chairman Steven Hirsh said: "I believe that we did our due diligence, and as a result of that clearly believe that it's him. If they said that it wasn't him, I would never have put it out". He also said that they had spoken to the man who shot the film who vouched for its authenticity, but that no one was able to identify the women who appear in it.

The film features commentary from Pamela Des Barres, author of 'I'm With the Band: Confessions Of A Groupie', and Cynthia Albritton, aka Cynthia Plaster Caster, who is known for making plaster casts of rock stars' genitals (including Hendrix's). Arbitton said: "I'm 100 percent sure it's him. The facial bone structure is the same. The eyebrows and the moustache are true to the style he was wearing in 1970".

However, others who have seen the tape are not convinced. Kathy Etchingham, a former girlfriend of Hendrix's said: "It is not him. His face is too broad and nose and nostrils too wide for Jimi. Also, the hair is too low on the forehead. He would never have allowed anyone to see that. In private he was very shy and would cover up". Biographer Charles R. Cross added: "It doesn't add up to Jimi" and said that the film was "horrible to watch" as the man in it appears to be heavily intoxicated. "I don't want that to be what I think about when I think about Jimi Hendrix," he said.

The film was apparently discovered in a tin marked 'Black Man' amongst other items of rock memorabilia bought at an auction in London. Recognising Hendrix, the owner attempted to sell the tape on eBay unsuccessfully before it was sold to distributor Howie Klein, who in turn sold it to Vivid Entertainment.


Former Velvet Revolver frontman Scott Weiland, who acrimoniously split from the band earlier this year and has recently been sentenced to eight days in jail, has been speaking to Classic Rock about his ex-bandmates who, of course, are all former members of Guns N' Roses.

Asked about what he thought his former bandmates should do now that he has quit Velvet Revolver, he said: "I think they should get Guns N' Roses back together, to tell you the truth. I think that would be the greatest thing that they could do. I think the world would be very happy. If they could stop talking trash about Axl [Rose, GNR frontman] in the press. It almost happened. The pens were ready to sign. With the 'Greatest Hits', there was a possibility [of a reunion], but there was too much stuff being said. But it was a close call. I would love to see that happen, as a Guns N' Roses fan. I'd pay to see it".


A number of celebrities, including the likes of Amy Winehouse, Rod Stewart and Joss Stone, have all had their photographs taken by Bryan Adams (yes, the singer) as part of that previously reported Hear The World campaign to educate the public about hearing loss. They join the likes of Annie Lennox, Dionne Warwick, Smokey Robinson and Moby in lending their support to the venture. The images, which depict each of the music stars pictured cupping their ear, will go on show in New York on 1 May.

Rod Stewart has revealed that he himself has suffered from a degree of hearing loss: "I have to put the TV up a bit loud and Penny always has to turn it down." Joss Stone meanwhile said: "My hearing is so important to me. I couldn't imagine my life without it, which is why I want to help raise awareness. Hearing loss is one of the world's most preventable disabilities, but it is also one of the most common. If I can help just one person to protect their hearing then I am happy."

More info on this from


Feeder have announced that their sixth studio album, 'Silent Cry' will be released on 16 Jun, preceded by the release of a single, 'We Are The People' on 10 Jun. A full tracklisting will be released shortly, so we'll all be waiting with bated breath for that.


John Lennon's original handwritten lyrics for 'Give Peace A Chance' will go up for auction at Christie's on 10 Jul and are expected to fetch between £200,000 and £300,000.

The lyrics are being sold by comedy writer and presenter Gail Renard. According to Christie's, as teenagers Renard and a friend snuck into the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, where Lennon and Yoko Ono were staging their famous 'bed-in' and managed to meet the famous couple. While there, Lennon gave Renard some mementos, including the lyrics, and told her "One day they will be worth something". It seems he was right.


Little Man Tate have announced that they're going to hold a competition to name their new album, out in August. As well as getting to give a name to the new album, the competition winner will also get a pair of tickets for an upcoming gig, a name check on the album sleeve and a signed copy of the album. Explaining their reasons for the contest, which anyone registered with the band's website can enter, singer Jon Windle said: "We owe our fans massively for all their support so far, and want them to feel a big part of this new record that we're really proud of. The album is a thank you to them, and we know they're going to love it".

The group, who release new single 'What Your Boyfriend Said', on 2 Jun, go on tour next month, dates as follows:

15 May: Oxford Academy
17 May: Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall
19 May: Manchester Academy
20 May: Norwich Waterfront
21 May: London Astoria 2
22 May: Leeds Met Uni
23 May: Sunderland Independent
24 May: Glasgow ABC


Reading/Leeds organisers are warning people not to contact a MySpace page called Festival Unlocked. The page claims to be running a competition for six unsigned bands to win the chance to play the festivals in August. However, Reading/Leeds organisers say that the page is a hoax and in no way affiliated with them. A message on the page itself says: "Please do not contact this page asking if you can take part, all bands will be contacted by us". So, if they do contact you, don't write back.


Post-hardcore supergroup Rival Schools have announced that they have reformed to record a new album and will tour the UK in June. The band, which features former members of Quicksand, CIV, Gorilla Biscuits, Institute and Youth Of Today, originally formed in 2001 but split in 2003, after releasing a split EP with Jonah Matranga's Onelinedrawing and an album called 'United By Fate'. No official release date for the new album has yet been given.

Tour dates:

11 Jun: London, Kings College Students Union
13 Jun: Download Festival
17 Jun: Birmingham, Academy II
18 Jun: Leeds, Cockpit
19 Jun: Glasgow, King Tuts Wah Wah Hut
21 Jun: Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms


PEAS WILL NOT CANCEL CHINA APPEARANCES, SAYS WILL.I.AM says the Black Eyed Peas will not cancel their upcoming appearances in China, despite public pressure to pull out. The group, who are planning to tour the country in June, don't want to "punish a whole country", apparently. explains: "If America really wants to make a difference, it should stop importing China's products and pay back its debt. If you boycott China, when do they boycott America for what we're doing in Iraq?"


Pete Townshend has changed his mind about plans for the The Who to record a new album and go on tour later this year. He originally announced via a fan newsletter that he had agreed to head into the studio in September, but, just days later, has released a statement explaining that he doesn't want to do it anymore, and not really giving any tangible reason why. The statement read "I've emailed everyone [in The Who] to tell them I've changed my mind. I'm not mad. I'm not selfish. I really have to be strong enough to admit that today, I really do not have a clue what to do next".


The rather fine DJ Yoda has sold out his upcoming Koko show, which is a bugger for anyone without tickets who were hoping to see the innovative producer's Magic Cinema Show, which will be a definite audio visual delight. Some tickets are still available for the following regional dates though...

1 May: Koko - London
2 May: Digital - Brighton
3 May: Junction Theatre J2 - Cambridge
4 May: Warehouse Project - Manchester
8 May: Thekla - Bristol
9 May: Ifor Bach - Cardiff
10 May: The Custard Factory - Birmingham
13 May: Tuesday Club - Sheffield
15 May: The Arches - Glasgow
16 May: Stiff Kitten - Belfast
17 May: Digital - Newcastle
23 May: Rescue Rooms - Nottingham
24 May: [email protected] the Pod Dublin
25 May: Gatecrasher Summer Sound System - Northampton
25 May: Metropolis @ Leeds Victoria Works - Leeds
29 May: Barfly - Liverpool


The promoter of the End Of The Road festival has been bigging up the previously reported unsigned band competition being run as part of the Art Council's Most Musical City initiative, the prize of which is a slot at the festival, which takes place from 12-14 Sep.

End Of The Road Festival organiser Simon Taffe told CMU: "Supporting new acts is very important to us, and that's not just out of a sense of musical conscience, but simply because they provide many of the festival's most exciting musical moments. This year we've booked some of our favourite bands of all time - Mercury Rev, Calexico and Dirty Three to name a few - and seeing them will be a dream come true... but being completely blown away by a rising star who's never played a festival before, that's really what it's all about".

Bands can register for the competition via


Another one of those music biased social networking services, called MOG, has received $2.8 million in second round funding. According to reports, among the new investors are Universal Music and SonyBMG. Those reports follow news earlier in the month that Universal had invested in social networking based blog platform Buzznet. Whether all this social network investment is part of some clever digital strategy by Universal et al, or some 'erm, better get some net assets me thinks' panic buying, I don't know and wouldn't wish to comment on it. MOG is similar in many ways to, and was founded by former Gracenote boss David Hyman.


US radio giant Clear Channel have launched a new service called erockster, a JV with Eric Szmanda, better known for playing Greg Sanders in TV show 'CSI'. The new station differs from Clear Channel's usual radio stations in that it has a much wider and more eclectic playlist, currently containing 1000 songs, and due to contain 5000 songs eventually. As I understand it what music gets played will also be influenced by an online network of music fans. The service is available from website, and will also be offered as an online service via the websites of some other Clear Channel stations, with plans to also offer it as a satellite channel and to syndicate a two hour erockster show on the radio group's terrestrial stations. The whole thing piloted last weekend with broadcasts from the Coachella festival.


More Clear Channel related stuff, and back to that lawsuit relating to the attempts by equity types Bain Capital and key Warner Music shareholders Thomas H Lee to buy the radio firm.

As previously reported, their attempted takeover of Clear Channel has been especially drawn out - mainly because it took a long time to persuade some of the radio group's shareholders to sell. By the time an acceptable deal had been struck between buyers and sellers the banks which had committed to fund the takeover had got cold feet (credit crunch and all that) and are trying to pull out. Bain and Lee say that doing so breaches past agreements (and, they say, if there are clauses in contracts which allow such a pull out, they shouldn't have ever been included).

The whole matter is now going to court, with Bain, Lee and Clear Channel on one side, and the banks on the other. Cases are being pursued through both the Texas and New York courts. The banks had asked the Texan court to delay the court hearing, due to start on 2 Jun, until January 2009, but Judge Lori Massey refused the request yesterday. A spokesman for Clear Channel yesterday welcomed that ruling, telling reporters: "Hopefully the banks are running out of delay tactics, and they will soon face a Texas jury who will make them take responsibility for their actions".

All of which means this case of lawyers representing financiers suing banks, all in the name of music radio, should go ahead the month after next.


Independent download platform eMusic launches in Canada today. I know this because eMusic chief David Pakman has just said this: "We are excited to introduce the most diverse catalogue of independent music in the world to Canadian music fans and provide a download service that not only caters specifically to their needs, but offers great value and tracks in the universally compatible MP3 format".


The Guardian's radio company, GMG Radio, has announced a number of new programmes that will be made by independent producers for its radio stations, which include the Smooth, Century and Rock Radio networks. The programmes come after the radio company announced it had set up a £1 million fund to commission independent productions.

Among the shows are two music documentaries from Smooth Operations, one called 'Rolling River of Rock' looking at the music heritage of cities along the Mississippi River, and another called 'Rock In The Dock' which, needless to say, will look at famous cases from the pop courts. Something Else will make a six part series called 'Banned in the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s', UBC will make a documentary about music and culture in 1968, while Wise Buddah will make two series, one on rock stars who went broke called 'Where Did All the Money Go?', and one called 'Heroes' Heroes'. Smooth Operations will also make a special programme for Remembrance Sunday called 'Blogs From The Bunkers', telling the stories of soldiers serving in Afghanistan.

Confirming the new programmes, GMG Radio CEO John Myers told reporters: "GMG is committed to providing listeners with new and compelling programming and, thanks to the support of the Scott Trust, we have chosen a fantastic array of programmes that we know will be enjoyed by our audience. This is only phase one of our commissioning process and we look forward to ordering more early in the summer".


ITV's MD Of Global Content, Dawn Airey, has quit the job just a year after taking it. She is set to return to Five, where she first came to industry wide attention as Director Of Programmes. She is expected to become Chair for the channel, as well as working on other projects for parent company RTL - one of which, some gossiper say, may involve a takeover bid for ITV.


Talking of ITV, the TV firm has relaunched one of its main web assets, Friends Reunited, you know, that social networking website we all used before we knew what social networking was. The main innovation is that the service is now free - previously some premium services required a subscription. The service itself has changed a bit too, though, with most reviewers saying the whole thing has become more Facebook like. The service's chief, Jon Clarke, admitted that the revamp is to encourage users to use the site to communicate with friends on a regular basis, rather than to just check their school list on occasion to see if any new friends have signed up. Asked whether this put Friends Reunited into Facebook territory, Clarke tried to distance his service from his competitors by saying their target audience tended to be older than other social networking sites, a comment which has led some to redub Friends Reunited "Facebook for old people".


The Office Of Fair Trading has flagged up potential competition concerns with Kangaroo, that previously reported TV on demand platform that is in development and which would involve the BBC, ITV and Channel 4. The OFT has expressed concerns that a JV between BBC, ITV and C4 in the on-demand space would give them unfair advantage over Virgin Media and BSkyB, who are both developing their own on demand services. The Office is giving any interested parties the opportunity to comment on the Kangaroo proposals before 14 May, and based on those comments will decide whether to refer the venture to the Competition Commission.


IPC have announced the appointment of Tim Pearson to the job of Head Of Marketing for music titles NME and Uncut. Tim joins the media firm from marketing agency KLP, where he worked on music marketing partnership type things with the likes of Bacardi and Orange. Prior to that he worked in a similar role at Cake where he played a key role in Carling's music sponsorship activity

He will report to IPC Ignite Publishing Director Paul Cheal, who told CMU: "Tim brings a new and complementary skill set to the portfolio at a time when our brands are moving into different markets and onto new platforms. His track record makes him the ideal person for this role".

Tim himself added: "The music industry is currently going through one of its most exciting evolutionary periods with NME and Uncut at the forefront as always, and so it is an honour to be given the opportunity to join the team at such a time".


Does football news become music news when Noel Gallagher passes comment? The Oasis man has been talking to Radio Five Live about rumours that Manchester City owner Thaksin Shinawatra is planning to axe manager Sven-Goran Eriksson. Speaking in his expert capacity as a Man City fan, Gallagher told the radio station: "To get rid of him [Eriksson] after the best season I can remember is ridiculous. It can't be for any footballing reasons. For a club that's been going nowhere fast for the last 25 years, with a manager who's the best out there bar Jose Mourinho... he turned it around and gave us a bit of style and dignity and grace. He bought some great players. The fans have got pride back in the club... I just think it's beyond a joke. We've got a manager who's got style".

He continued: "If the owner thought they could come in and qualify for the Champions League straight away then he's tripping. It'd be like sacking David Moyes at Everton or Martin O'Neill at Aston Villa because they didn't qualify. It takes more than one season. Eriksson is a graceful and dignified man. This guy Shinawatra has come in and he seems like a bit of a nutcase. The only thing that will get him off the hook is if he's got Mourinho lined up. Apart from Mourinho Eriksson's the best thing out there. I'd be amazed and appalled if I met a City fan who thought getting rid of Eriksson was a good thing. They all love him up there. I'd give him a big kiss and say, 'You know what, you take them to the cleaners'".


Not like that, o ye of filthy minds. Apparently Ne-Yo was asked to write a track for The Spice Girls, but had to turn down the job because he was too busy with Rihanna. Not like that, writing songs for her, you animals. The singer and songwriter told the Daily Star: "Spice Girls asked me to write some songs but I couldn't find time. They wanted something to put on their comeback album but I never got round to getting it done. I was recording songs for Rihanna at the time".

He's apparently a bit of a fan, though: "Scary Spice is my favourite all day long, although I like Posh too. She and Beckham are a real power couple in the US. Even if they just go to dinner it's a big thing".

Ne-Yo's own album, 'The Year Of The Gentleman', is out in June


Paris Hilton says that her boyfriend, Good Charlotte's Benji Madden, has written a song for her. Sick bucket anyone? The professional celebrity is quoted by the gossips as saying: "He actually wrote me a beautiful song, and actually recorded it in the studio. He surprised me with it. It's called, 'Shine Your Light.' It's this really beautiful love song about me. It was the sweetest thing that anyone has ever done for me".

She continues: "He's just different from any guy that I've ever been with. I just trust him completely, and I know that he'd be there for me, no matter what. My life's a lot different now, I'm very much at peace, and I'm so happy, and in control, and so very excited about life".

Well, that's lovely. I expect I'll sleep better than ever tonight, knowing that.


The Coachella festival are reportedly offering $10,000 and access to the festival for life to anyone who can return the rather large inflatable pig which appeared as part of Roger Waters' headline set at the festival last weekend, before breaking loose and floating off into the Californian sky. The graffiti covered pig apparently has sentimental value to the festival's owners. Anyone with any information that could lead to its safe recovery should send an email to [email protected]

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