CMU Daily - on the inside Thursday 15th May
yesterday's Daily - Daily archive

- Winehouse not charged over crack video
- Cook drops Fatboy Slim
- Nate Dogg definitely not dead
- Another Britney car bump
- Coldplay sticking to major label model
- Fuller honoured at MMF awards
- Nas discusses controversial new album
- Akon may go country with next album
- Annie pulls Girls Aloud song
- Weezer shift album release date
- Metallica to headline one date Ozzfest
- EP review: Andy Abraham - Even If
- Boris announces Cultural Director
- We're all doomed. Well, not necessarily. New digital report
- Virgin artist forms partnership with Next
- SonyBMG profits up
- Universal parent sees sales goes up but profits fall
- Qtrax sign up Warner Chappell
- BBC to end West End talent search shows
- Sirius would walk away from XM deal if FCC too demanding
- Video on demand service to get silly name
- Dolly Parton not happy with Stern voice edit sketch
- Beckham retires from singing
- Beyonce pregnancy rumours
- Wentz and Simpson to marry this weekend?

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TOP BIT - SEE YOU AT THE GREAT ESCAPE
Yes, The Great Escape kicks off today, and Team CMU will be doing some special stuff there this afternoon - which means we better get this Daily published and get ourselves down to the seaside. Meanwhile, if any of you are in Brighton today, why not check out one of the following?

12.30-2.00pm - CMU & unicornjobs.com Guide To Making It In Music
A beginners guide to working in or with the music business, for anyone looking to work in the industry, or hoping to make it as an artist. Find out how the music industry works, what jobs are available, and who aspiring artists should be looking to meet, and where they'll find them. Run by Chris Cooke, Co-founder and Editor of music business news service the CMU Daily, and Publisher of unicornjobs.com, the new graduate careers website. To come to this free workshop just email your name and number to tgeworkshop@cmumusicnetwork.co.uk

2.30-5.30pm - CMU-Tube from The Great Escape
We'll be interviewing bands and industry people taking part in The Great Escape for CMU-Tube, the new video interview channel that is coming very soon to the CMU Music Network website. We'll be chatting to all of the following - feel free to call by, watch the interviews and throw in some questions yourself...

2.30pm: Johnny Foreigner
2.45pm: Chris T-T
3.00pm: Terry McBride, Nettwerk Music Group
3.30pm: Jamie Collinson, Big Dada
3:45pm: The Laurel Collective
4.00pm: Maths Class
4.30pm: The Futureheads
5.00pm: Peggy Sue & The Pirates
5.15pm: The Go! Team

6pm-8pm - Come Say Hello to CMU
Come meet us. Yes, us. And we'll tell you all about our tenth birthday celebrations, which will take place over Summer 2008.

Easy! And don't forget, if you are in Brighton this weekend doing TGE there's a whole festival going on down there right now. To find out more, check out our sister publication ThreeWeeks, which is covering it all. You can read more at http://www.threeweeks.co.uk, or look out for a copy of the ThreeWeeks newspaper when you get to Brighton. Plus, check out our Brighton Festival reviews further down in today's CMU Daily.

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JOBS N STUFF

DIGITAL AND MARKETING ASSISTANT
Cooking Vinyl, a leading independent record label, is looking for a digital and marketing assistant. The role will include working with the company's Digital Manager on digital marketing and distribution, online PR and website maintenance, as well as working with the Product Director organising promotional items, sales sheets and adverts. The candidate should be web savvy, with good IT skills and at least a basic knowledge of html. They will be up-to-date with the latest digital and music industry trends and have a passion for all things online. CVs should be sent to jobs@cookingvinyl.com, the closing date for application is the 21st May.

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ACCOUNTS ASSISTANT REQUIRED 18k - 20k AAE
Small independent record label is looking for a sharp & meticulous accounts assistant. The successful candidate will be a team player with a keen eye for detail, be brilliantly numerate & have a minimum of 12 months experience. You will have a varied role dealing with all accounts payable and sales ledger functions, perform all reconciliations, issue supplier payments and be responsible for general ad hoc duties, as well as assisting the financial accountant with the preparation of monthly reports. This is an excellent opportunity to join a well established music company who have huge plans to continue their successful growth. In return you will receive an excellent package with lots of opportunity to progress. Please email your c.v. to patsy@ninjatune.net and peter@ninjatune.net

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FABRIC PRESS DEPARTMENT
We are looking for someone to join us within the fabric Press Department. We're looking for someone who has a few years experience within a London/UK music based PR agency or in-house department; experience in plugging/managing radio campaigns (London, national, regional & international experience all advantageous); who understands radio globally and has contacts appropriate to fabric within radio - online, digital, commercial, pirate, community, government subsidised radio, podcasts; has experience with print/online/digital PR campaigns (London, national, regional, student & international experience all advantageous); has experience with industry, trade, internal business, corporate and event press (advantageous but not essential); has strong copy writing skills; is friendly, passionate, savvy, honest, hard working, highly organised, very diligent and a completer finisher; has very strong administrational and organisational skills, is computer literate and numerate; is extremely flexible in time and outlook; has a good understanding of electronic music and knows what fabric's ethos is. Salary to commensurate on experience; start date is immediate. Please send CV and covering letter emailed to Pearl Jones - pearl@fabriclondon.com. Closing date for applicants: 5pm Wednesday May 21, 2008.

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INTERNSHIPS N STUFF

HELP! WE NEED HELP!
Intern wanted for 360 degree young, successful and friendly music company. Label, music publisher and management company with international success and rapidly expanding roster in indie pop / alt-country genres seeks bright spark with a thirst for knowledge and a great sense of humour. Get your hands dirty and in return you'll learn about every aspect of the music industry and we'll get your travel / lunch. SE London near New Cross. Hours to suit min 16 p/w. In 100 words, tell Nathaniel why it should be you at nathaniel1975@hotmail.co.uk

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CMU CLASSIFIEDS

DESK SPACE. £60 P/W. SE LONDON. NR NEW CROSS.
Music company has desk space for up to 2 desks in beautiful grade 2 listed building. Includes all bills and reasonable use of phone and unlimited cable broadband internet. Bright room divided by mezzanine with nice carpets, central heating, kitchen and bathroom. Would suit nice people in media / arts based businesses who like topping up the biscuit barrel! Contact Nathaniel at nathaniel1975@hotmail.co.uk

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CMU AT THE BRIGHTON FESTIVAL
The Brighton Festival takes over our favourite seaside city for the whole of May with a brilliant programme of comedy, theatre, dance, art, talks and whatnot, and, of course, lots of music. Our sister publication ThreeWeeks is reviewing it all, and you can check out the ThreeWeeks music team's reviews here in the CMU Daily.

Want Rufus
Kit Ashton and friends
All in all, this wasn't really for me, but it must be said that the rest of the crowd packing out The Hanbury clearly loved it. And the evening, predominantly a tribute to Rufus Wainwright, did see the musical collective on stage themselves having a great time, which was infectious and wonderful to see. Lead singer Kit Ashton had a friendly, inclusive yet modest stage presence which was incredibly disarming. The surprise hit of the night for me, however, was one of the guest singers - Brett Dickinson - whose singing was entrancing. It certainly looks like Ashton should maintain his momentum and organise more such nights.
Hanbury Club, 7 May, 8:30pm, £7.00 (£5.00), fringe pp39.
tw rating 3/5
[sla]

New Music for Two Percussionists
Adam Bushell and Tom Norrell
Upon walking into The Friends' Meeting House I was met with an atmosphere that felt distinctly like a church congregation. Except it was not a sermon the middle aged crowd were waiting for, it was geniuses of percussion, Adam Bushell and Tom Norrell. A sweaty, riotous affair it was not, but the skill and innovation displayed by the performers was astounding. Using a vast arsenal of percussion they subjected the audience to two hours of unadulterated thumping, with the notable highlight of 'Clapping Music', a piece played purely through the medium of (you guessed it) clap. One could appreciate the mathematical precision involved, but after an hour, a distinct realisation emerged that you were merely witnessing two grown men hitting things.
Friends' Meeting House, 8 May, 7:30pm, £7.50 (£6:00), fringe pp35.
tw rating 3/5
[sfw]

Drookit Dogs
Hot diggity Drookit Dogs! This Brighton-based band certainly know how to put on a mighty tight show and have an energy about them more infectious than TB. Packing the Prince Albert to the rafters, the audience were treated to a deliciously unique post-punk sound, all pounding drums and skank-inducing riffs, and a good old-fashioned stomp. Captivating the crowd from start to finish, the Dogs crafted an atmosphere of wild abandon and special mention must go to Matt Oldfield for his intensely captivating, rasping vocals; the man has a voice that could lead a revolution. This was the confident, self-assured performance of an explosive band set for a glittering future and a reminder of just how bountiful Brighton's local scene is; truly first-class Fringe.
Prince Albert, 9 May, 8:30pm (12:00pm), £3.00, fringe pp33.
tw rating 5/5
[jh]

More at http://www.threeweeks.co.uk

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WINEHOUSE NOT CHARGED OVER CRACK VIDEO
Police have announced that they will take no action over that previously reported video of Amy Winehouse apparently smoking crack. In a statement, a spokesperson for the singer said: "[Police] have now concluded their enquiries and no charges will be brought. Amy's bail date to return to Limehouse police station has been cancelled, bringing this matter to an end. [She is] pleased to be able to move on. She particularly looks forward to seeing her fans again at eagerly-awaited festival performances this summer".

In other Winehouse news, the singer has been approached by British fashion designer Julien MacDonald to be a model at his London Fashion Week show. He told The Daily Star: "Amy has great style and she's an amazing talent, isn't she? She's unique".

Another source from the fashion industry was less complimentary: "It's unbelievable - when you see her she is such a mess. She's always roaming the streets in ripped clothes, like she's just thrown things on, and not on purpose. She goes for a rework of the 50s look, but when she's out of it, she looks terrible. And there's nothing chic about walking around half-cut and screaming in public at all hours of the night".

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COOK DROPS FATBOY SLIM
Norman Cook has announced that he is retiring his Fatboy Slim name, which he has been using for over ten years now. He has not officially announced a new moniker. However, the NME report that the producer is working on a new album under that Brighton Port Authority name I think we've mentioned before.

Speaking to The Sun, Cook said: "Yes, I am ditching the Fatboy Slim name, but I can't tell you the new one. I'm going to take the Fifth Amendment on that question and not say because I'll get myself into trouble".

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NATE DOGG DEFINITELY NOT DEAD
Nate Dogg's manager Rod McCrew has confirmed that reports of the singer's death that appeared online earlier this week were false. He told XXLmag.com: "It's a vicious rumour and it's run amok".

Clarifying our previous report, he revealed that the news of Dogg's death was posted on his official MySpace page after it was hacked over the weekend.

McCrew added that the singer is recovering well from the stroke he suffered last year. "We're pleased with his progress," he said.

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ANOTHER BRITNEY CAR BUMP
Can someone not teach Britney Spears how to drive? The troubled popstress has had another bump in her car, again watched on by a bunch of paps, one of whom kindly posted a video of the latest incident of poor driving on Spears' part on the internet. It wasn't too serious - she simply bumped a Ford Explorer with her Merc, no one was injured and the police were not involved - it's not clear from the video whether there was any damage to either vehicle.

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COLDPLAY STICKING TO MAJOR LABEL MODEL
Coldplay's Chris Martin has said that he admires bands like Radiohead and The Raconteurs for finding new ways to release their music outside major label contracts, but his band won't be following them for the time being.

Speaking to Reuters, Martin said: "We have absolute respect for the Radioheads and The Raconteurs and people who can do what they like. We're in contract though, so we're just going to make the most of it and enjoy the people we get to work with. Being on a major label at the moment is like living in your grandparents' house. Everyone knows they need to move out, and they will eventually, but we kind of like our grandmother. It's obviously an antiquated model, because of the internet, but we really love the people we work with. If we knew what the solution was to everything, then we'd do it".

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FULLER HONOURED AT MMF AWARDS
It was the Music Managers Forum Roll Of Honour awards in London last night, an evening dedicated to patting artist managers on the back. Getting the biggest pat was Pop Idol supremo Simon Fuller who, according to Music Week, picked up the Peter Grant Award For Outstanding Management. MMF chairman Jazz Summers, himself a former winner of the prestigious gong, reportedly told the event: "We are delighted that Simon Fuller has agreed to accept our highest honour. His considerable achievements over 20 years cannot be underestimated". Other winners included Ian McAndrew and Geoff Barradale, managers of Arctic Monkeys and Reverend And The Makers, who were named Managers Of The Year, while Bernard Butler was named Producer Of The Year. Terry McBride, due to key note at The Great Escape today, was named International Manager Of The Year.

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NAS DISCUSSES CONTROVERSIAL NEW ALBUM
Nas has been talking to MTV about his new album 'Nigger', due for release on 1 Jul, telling them that his inspiration for the album was "Everything that's happening every day".

Of that controversial title, he said: "Record stores are gonna have a problem in this day and time selling a record with that title ... everybody is trying to stop the title. It's just people being scared of what's real. [The title] kind of comes off as something that can be disrespectful. Our older black people can take it the wrong way. Some non-blacks can take it the wrong way, and it becomes a thing that becomes controversial in all the wrong ways. I accept that. I'm here to do music. I'm here to rap about what I feel and what makes sense to me".

He added: "What's huge for me is when there's an attack on hip-hop artists, and they say that hip-hop artists are responsible for the language, the terrible language, and for the violence. When we get attacked like that, we respond. We gotta to respond. We don't want to pay too much attention to it, but with an album like this, this is my response in some ways to that, cause it's, like, hypocritical, you know what I mean? With the way people are dealing with hip-hop and trying to use it as a scapegoat. So this album is like, 'We're not having that'".

Speaking about his inspiration for the album, the rapper said: "I get to thinking about how we evolved, how the human family evolved and shit. And I looked at ants, man. One day, I was looking at a bunch of ants. We've got a lot in common - just like everything that's alive, everything that eats and breathes and builds and creates. There's a connection to even the smallest thing. So I looked at it as the whole world, instead of looking at us as beauty. Inside poverty, inside the street, inside the ghettos and the gutters and the slums, we aren't looked at as beauty out there. We were looked at as the worst pest, and because of that, because of that treatment, some of us started to believe we were a pest, started to believe what we were told, and started to act like it, and started to reproduce my people, bring kids in the world that were fucked up in the head. When Americans want their independence and they celebrate it, they know what's still going down. We can't forget it. America still got a lot of growing up to do. America has so much great potential. You know, I love this country, but at the same time, we have to fix up a lot of things. And it's just a reminder".

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AKON MAY GO COUNTRY WITH NEXT ALBUM
R&B star Akon is also planning a controversial new album, by going all country and western on us. Akon has apparently been collaborating with various country stars of late under a pseudonym, but has told MTV he might release some of his dabblings in the country genre. He said: "I've been doing some writing and producing for some country artists but I've been going under an alias, so no one knows I'm doing it. Depending on those records, how well they do, I might just come out with one [album of country]... I just want to see if I can conquer this side of things".

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ANNIE PULLS GIRLS ALOUD SONG
Annie has been forced to pull a song from her new album, after Girls Aloud complained that she had used their vocals without permission.

Both acts are produced by Brian Higgins, who gave Annie the unused vocals from a Girls Aloud demo to use on her song, 'My Love Is Better'. Unfortunately, he failed to get permission to do so and the girl group only became aware of the song when promotional materials for the album, 'Don't Stop', due out 21 Jul, mentioned the "duet".

A source close to Girls Aloud told Teletext's Planet Sound: "The Girls can't believe Brian didn't let them know first. Brian often writes songs by stitching together parts from several other songs. But basing a song for another artist around the Girls' demo vocals is cheeky of him, to put it mildly".

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WEEZER SHIFT ALBUM RELEASE DATE
Weezer have announced that they are moving the release dates for their forthcoming eponymous album forward by three weeks to 9 Jun (digitally) and 16 Jun (physically). The band say the move is due to the apparently unexpected success of the album's first single, 'Pork & Beans', which is currently number one in Billboard's Modern Rock chart, and not because it's been leaked (assuming it has been leaked).

They also revealed that they are adding two extra tracks to the UK version of the album. The extra tracks will be covers of 'Life Is What You Make it' by Talk Talk and The Band's 'The Weight'.

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METALLICA TO HEADLINE ONE DATE OZZFEST
There will be just one Ozzfest this year - in Dallas on 9 Aug. Metallica will headline, alongside Ozzy Osbourne, of course. Explaining the decision to do a one off rather than tour the festival this year, Ozzfest boss Sharon Osbourne told reporters: "We're going to be a stadium destination festival for now - we have gone past doing the sheds every summer. We've given everyone else the blueprint and we have to keep evolving Ozzfest. This is just the beginning".

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EP REVIEW: Andy Abraham - Even If (SonyBMG)
You may remember this fella as the runner up of X-factor's second series. Louis Walsh always commented that Andy Abraham, "would be a dustman no more" and by gosh, he was finally right about something. The cheese fest that is Eurovision finally comes to our screens on 24 May and Britain's Andy Abraham has come up with this slice of cheddar. 'Even If' is a soulful and disco filled piece of music that will have the whole of Europe jiving on their feet and has already proved a hit with the British public as they voted it to be its representative for the competition. After Scooch's rather rubbish entry last year, it's about time that we've finally got a song that is worthy of finishing in a decent place. If things go to plan, and politics make way for the music, then Mr Abraham will not be scoring 'nil points'. SD
Release Date: 19 May
Press Contact: SonyBMG IH [all]

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BORIS ANNOUNCES CULTURAL DIRECTOR
Newly appointed London mayor Boris Johnson has announced that his new Director Of Policy, Arts, Culture And The Creative Industries will be Munira Mirza. She will lead the construction and implementation of policy for arts and culture on behalf of the Mayor and represent him in engaging with stakeholders to ensure his manifesto commitments are met. Whatever those were.

Johnson told CMU: "Munira is a fantastic person to have on board and she brings a wealth of experience to the role. She has written extensively and with great insight on the arts for many years and will be a big asset to the team. London is currently the world leader in arts, culture and the creative industries and with Munira's help I want to ensure that our city retains the top position for years to come. I look forward to working with Munira in the coming months to deliver my key arts and culture manifesto pledges, including enriching cultural provision throughout Greater London and working with the arts and creative communities to promote access, diversity and excellence in the arts".

Mirza joins the Mayor's office from an Arts Council 'Cultural Leadership Placement' at the Tate, developing its training and volunteering strategy. She is also an author, writer and broadcaster on the subjects of race, culture and identity.

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WE'RE ALL DOOMED. WELL, NOT NECESSARILY. NEW DIGITAL REPORT
Digital media/music specialists The Leading Question and Music Ally have warned the record industry that they still have much to do in adapting to the digital era, and that they ought to do what they need to do now if they want to reverse their declining sales. Their comments on the matter coincide with the publication of the results to their Speakerbox survey, due to be released at The Great Escape tomorrow, which apparently claims that the percentage of UK music fans regularly paying for downloads is, wait for it, in decline.

Leading Question MD Tim Walker told CMU: "Many UK music fans are telling us they are dissatisfied with the current legal, paid for digital music experience. They might buy a few tracks from iTunes when they get a new iPod for Christmas but few go on to become regular paying downloaders. The statistics are obviously worrying but the research does offer clues as to how fans who merely dabble can be encouraged to engage fully with licensed digital music services".

Music Ally's MD Paul Brindley added that the record companies needed to more enthusiastically embrace new business models, and if they do their digital future could be more rosy: "Business models need to change radically if the music business is to stand any chance of halting the current decline in sales. It doesn't have to be all doom and gloom".

The Leading Question/Music Ally report makes five specific recommendations as to what music companies should be doing. They are as follows...

1. Music needs to be bundled with other products and entertainment packages: Value can be created from many other ways than consumers simply buying the occasional download. Music needs to move away from per unit sales and become more of a service than a product. It should be pre-loaded into devices, bundled with mobile tariffs, offered as part of TV/Entertainment/ISP packages.

2. Labels needs to experiment with new release schedules and formats: The old model of single and album releases has run its course. Labels needs to be more innovative if they are not to be freezed out altogether. Look at the likes of Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails and Prince and experiment with new and varied formats, new pricing models and release schedules, digital only releases and promotional partnerships with brands.

3. Free doesn't mean no money: The music industry should not fear free. It needs to embrace it. The culture of the net is free or at least feeling free. But money can still be made from other sources: everything from advertising supported services, to brands paying for an association with the artists to newspapers paying for giveaway CDs.

4. Change the charts: The Charts don't make much sense anymore. Now that fewer and fewer people are buying music the charts need to reflect the other ways that people are consuming music.

5. Trust the DJ: Online means anyone can access or own John Peel's entire record collection, but the instant and massive availability of music on demand means you need a trusted guide like John Peel more than ever. The new layers of value will come from the social connections that come about through music as much as from the music itself.

So there you have it. Press info on this from sam@namemusic.co.uk

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VIRGIN ARTIST FORMS PARTNERSHIP WITH NEXT
Of course, some would say the future is all about marketing partnerships. And in that domain, EMI have entered into a marketing deal with Next in relation to the upcoming single and album release from Virgin signed Ava Leigh. It all kicked off with a combined fan showcase and Next mini-fashion show in London last night, and we can apparently expect other tie ups between the singer and the retail chain, including the use of one of her tracks on a forthcoming Next ad campaign.

Music Week quote EMI Music & Brands Manager Jemma Ballantyne thus: "We're thrilled to be working with Next and to have the opportunity to take a traditional synchronisation deal and build it into a significant cross-platform marketing and promotional opportunity for Ava Leigh. The association has allowed us to introduce Ava to an audience otherwise challenging to reach via traditional music marketing methods, and Next benefit from association with an exciting new artist who encapsulates their aspirational and modern core consumer".

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SONYBMG PROFITS UP
Despite the doom and gloom about the future of the record industry, SonyBMG saw its net income profits more than double in the last financial year, from $84 million to $178 million, so they must be doing something right. Though that 'thing' might be cost cutting, because profits went up even though sales actually went down slightly, from $4.1 billion to $3.93 billion. The major admitted that reductions in marketing and overhead costs had helped improve their financial performance, and also that currency fluctuations around the world had aided them in the financial year ending 31 Mar. Plus they added the sale of an unspecified business had added to the profit boost. So, profit rises from cost cutting, currency situations and asset sales - not necessarily a long term strategy for growth, perhaps SonyBMG execs should be reading that Leading Question/Music Ally report after all. SonyBMG co-parent Sony Corp also had a better year last year, with net income up from 126.4 billion yen the previous year to 369.4 billion yen last year.

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UNIVERSAL PARENT SEES SALES GOES UP BUT PROFITS FALL
Universal Music Group's parent company Vivendi has posted an operating profit for the first quarter of the current financial year that is down on the same period last year, though city types tell me their figures are still better than expected. Their profits were down but sales were up (their mobile and telecoms business helped in that domain) - while currency fluctuations seemingly caused Vivendi problems rather than helping boost profits.

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QTRAX SIGNE UP WARNER CHAPPELL
Qtrax, the company who were something of a laughing stock when they announced they had all the majors on board for their planned legit P2P file sharing service at Midem earlier this year (people laughed because, actually, no one was on board at that stage), have just secured a deal with another major player from the publishing domain. Warner Chappell have now entered into a licencing deal with the yet-to-launch ad funded digital music service - which means all four major music publishers are now on board. The record labels have been less speedy to do the deal although, as previously reported, Universal confirmed they were on board last week, so it may now be only a matter of time before the other majors follow. Qtrax could, as yet, have the last laugh. Unless it turns out music fans don't want to use an ad-funded legit P2P file sharing network, of course.

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BBC TO END WEST END TALENT SEARCH SHOWS
The BBC is reportedly planning to bring to an end its 'get a part in a West End musical' talent contest thing when current show 'I'd Do Anything' finishes. This show, of course, is searching for someone to play Nancy in a West End revival of 'Oliver'. Past shows of a similar nature on the Beeb have found new leads for revivals of 'The Sound Of Music' and 'Joseph'. The shows have been a little controversial, of course, because of criticism that they amount to a whole load of free peak time advertising for the West End productions of Andrew Lloyd Webber and his friends. Though it seems that the decision to bring the West End talent thing to an end is more because ratings are down on the current series. One of those insiders told The Sun: "The BBC are panicking. They want a hit new idea. They've put the word out to producers in the know about big Saturday shows."

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SIRIUS WOULD WALK AWAY FROM XM DEAL IF FCC TOO DEMANDING
The Chief Financial Officer of US satellite radio network Sirius has said that if US media regulator the FCC insists of tricky conditions in order to give approval for the company's proposed merger with rivals XM then they'll happily walk away from the deal. Plans for the two satellite networks to merge have been under review for over a year now - the issue is whether the merger, which would result in just one satellite radio service in the US, would amount to a monopoly. XM and Sirius say no because, even merged, they will face mighty competitors from the traditional radio sector and growing online content service providers. Sirius CFO David Frear told reporters this week: "We won't agree to a set of conditions that's going to adversely impact, and would not be to the benefit of, our current subscribers, our future subscribers, and our shareholders. The FCC process is in many ways a political process. There is a well-worn tradition of exploiting, of opportunistic parties looking to exploit the regulatory process of the FCC for what is their personal gain. In a week, we'll be 15 months into this for what is honestly, in the broader media landscape, an incredibly unimportant public policy decision".

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VIDEO ON DEMAND SERVICE TO GET SILLY NAME
According to Media Week, the previously reported video-on-demand service being co-developed by BBC Worldwide, ITV and Channel 4, which had a working title of Kangaroo, will be launched under the name SeeSaw, which I have to say is one of the worst names I've heard in a long time. Unless the programmes on demand will be Mr Benn, Trumpton and Bod.

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DOLLY PARTON NOT HAPPY WITH STERN VOICE EDIT SKETCH
Dolly Parton has issued a statement after the still-able-to-shock jock Howard Stern ran a segment on his US radio show where Dolly's voice was edited so that she seemed to make a range of racist and "sexually vulgar" remarks. And she aint happy about it. Here's what she says: "I have never been so shocked, hurt and humiliated in all my life. I cannot believe what Howard Stern has done to me. In a blue million years, I would never have such vulgar things come out of my mouth. They have done editing or some sort of trickery to make this horrible, horrible thing. Please accept my apology for them and certainly know I had nothing to do with this. If there was ever going to be a lawsuit, it's going to be over this. Just wanted you to know that I am completely devastated by this".

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BECKHAM RETIRES FROM SINGING
If I was a nastier person, I might say that I'd assumed Victoria Beckham had retired from singing a very long time ago. Though I'm told she did some expert pointing at the audience during the recent Spice Girls reunion - and that counts as singing doesn't it? Anyway, Beckham has followed the example of fellow Spice Girl Geri Halliwell and bowed out of the music business. She told GMTV: "I'm not going to sing anymore, I'm turning my mic off". If I was a nastier person... oh, never mind.

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BEYONCE PREGNANCY RUMOURS
According to reports, Beyonce is pregnant with her first child. But, given that it won't be born in time to tell us what it thinks about its father Jay-Z headlining Glastonbury, I'm not sure I care. Actually, that may not be true, because some reports are saying that the birth is fairly imminent.

A 'friend' of the couple told The New York Post: "[Beyonce] has gained a lot of pregnancy weight. When she gains weight, she normally does the Def Jam detox, but not now".

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WENTZ AND SIMPSON TO MARRY THIS WEEKEND?
We might get to see pictures of that Gremlins-themed wedding sooner we thought, if Us Magazine are to be believed. According to them, the couple will marry this Saturday in a top secret ceremony that no one knows about (let's just keep it between us, right?)

A source told the magazine: "Proper invites have not been sent out but instead guests have been given a save the date notice. All guests will be transported in shuttles to the wedding location".

A spokesperson for Simpson said: "This is a private matter. There is nothing to confirm".

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