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TODAY'S NEWS

Sky and Universal announce new digital store

GCap cuts could top 160
Radiohead and Last Shadow Puppets are bookies Mercury favourites
Gruff Rhys confirms Lydon attack on Okereke
Feeder man hits himself with guitar
Slipknot feet news
Courtney sued over publishing deal commission
Two paps arrested near Britney's house
Slayer to split?
Doherty wasn't burgled
Nas joins protest against Fox racism
Oasis fend off U2 in studio showdown
Conor Oberst streams new album
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy announces new album
Drummers fitter than footballers
Album review: Norman Jay - Good Times London
New Derby venue plans September relaunch
Brian Wilson offers refund
Why? announce London show
Yeasayer announce London show
CCS announce UK tour dates
Royal Opera House targets Sun readers
Mcfly boost MoS sales by 300k
Apple scores record third quarter financials
SonyBMG hire new global digital exec
Virgin Radio appoint commercial content director
Single review: Kylie - The One
Moss and Hince back together
Blue boy dumps pregnant fiancee
ON THE NETWORK...
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CMU Directory
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WEDNESDAY 23RD JULY

LITTLE BOOTS
Dead Disco vocalist Victoria Hesketh returns with her new solo outing, Little Boots, and her official debut single, 'Meddle' (following on from 'Stuck On Repeat', which set the blogosphere alight earlier this year). With Hot Chip's Joe Goddard on board as producer, 'Meddle' comes on with forceful beats, sultry vocals, razor-sharp synths and some super hooky hooks. The single is out on 4 Aug via 50 Bones

 

Q1 How did you start out making music?
I started playing piano when I was five... don't think there's been many days I haven't played since. I've just branched out, learnt more instruments, synthesisers, music technology, vocals, songwriting... can never really stop learning.

Q2 What inspired your latest single?
It was actually inspired by a song by Frankmusik called 'Confusion Girl' about a girl who's pretty messed up... 'Meddle' has a similar theme, although I guess maybe parts of it are also about myself.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
It depends, a lot of the time I just sit at the piano and see what comes out. Other times people send me tracks to write over or I get together in the studio with a producer and we put our heads together.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
I'm a big fan of great songwriting so I listen to a lot of stuff like Beach Boys and Elton John. I love characters as well like Kate Bush and David Bowie. Production-wise, I like a lot of late 70s stuff where people were experimenting with how to use synthesizers... Giorgio Moroder, Patrick Cowley, also Gary Numan & Tubeway Army... all sorts really.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
All the songs are quite different and have their own characters so maybe bear that in mind... but I guess just see if you like it!

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest single, and for the future?
Just to achieve as much as I can and reach as many people as possible with my music, I'm very hard working and ambitious... as soon as I achieve one of my goals I'll already probably have another five lined up round the corner...

Download a free Little Boots mixtape from www.littlebootsmusic.co.uk

MORE>> www.myspace.com/littlebootsmusic

 

EL GUINCHO
The BBC's Culture Show featured a great piece on the revered Afro-beat drummer Tony Allen last night, reminding everyone of the profound influence he continues to have on modern music, particularly this year's crop of indie starlets (Vampire weekend et al). Today's SNAP, El Guincho, also owes much to Allen and co-conspirator Fela Kuti, though channelling a more tropical sound than the aforementioned Brooklynites, particularly on his recently released album, 'Alegranza!'. The reason for his inclusion today, however, is the recent resurfacing of copies of his completely sold out debut, 'Folias', with the blogosphere ripe with the hazy acoustic tones of 'Abejitas' and 'Jugadores De Juegos'. Perfect listening for summer, if you haven't had a listen already do so at the link below.

www.myspace.com/elguincho

 
 

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You'll be involved in all our various projects, and we'll tell you everything we know about this old music business. If you want to be considered for one of our internships, send your CV and a short summary of what you'd want to get our of an internship to recruitment@unlimitedmedia.co.uk.

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SKY AND UNIVERSAL ANNOUNCE NEW DIGITAL STORE
Is it just me, or are Universal Music going into business with every and any digital music service that has even the slightest chance of knocking Apple's dominance in the download market? Their latest new partnership is with Sky telly, who will be launching a new download service with the major later this year. The media spin on this is "Universal and BSkyB take on iTunes", though as far as I can see it is a subscription-based service, and no previous subscription-based service has ever done much to dent iTunes market share before.

The as yet unnamed new service - though it is expected to carry the Sky brand - will launch later this year and give users unlimited access to streamed tracks, plus a number of MP3 downloads. Initially their service will be limited only to Universal's (albeit ample) catalogue, though the plan is to add more labels over time. Sky say they are optimistic that they can grab a share of the download market, pointing out they are very experienced at operating subscription based content services, and that via their TV and broadband businesses they already have relationships with a third of all UK households.

BSkyB COO Mike Darcy told reporters: "We think that there is a considerable unmet and untapped demand in the digital music market. There is a desire among consumers to consumer, discover and purchase music online. We have considerable expertise in customer-focused subscription services, content aggregation, packaging and marketing. We have strong broadband services and online assets and we have contact with one in three UK households. No one has brought that to bear".

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GCAP CUTS COULD TOP 160
So, the Guardian reckon that 160 jobs are being cut over at GCap Media, which is rather a lot, and considerably more than the 100 cuts originally reported on earlier this month.

As previously reported, GCap announced earlier this month it would be downsizing all of its operations in response to the doomy and gloomy economic climate, though given the scale of the cuts management must surely also be planning for downsizing that will be caused by the merger of its operations with those of Global Radio, who also cut 30 staffers recently. Presumably they shouldn't officially say so until the merger has been approved by the Competition Commission.

Regarding how many people will go, the Guardian quote a source thus: "They [top management] are doing a good job of keeping everything quite separate, so even senior managers don't necessarily know [the total number of job losses]. I'm pretty sure it's 160, not much more. It's quite a big shock but people are still waiting to see what happens".

Among the high profile redundancies are Ivor Etienne, Programme Controller of GCap's London based urban station Choice. His departure, reported by New Nation, adding to rumours that as soon as Global's takeover of GCap is complete Choice will be closed down and replaced by a London version of Global's Galaxy brand, very much in the territory of Bauer Radio's Kiss, though perhaps with some 'black community' programming thrown in to satisfy media regulator OfCom.

Other job cuts have come from across the business, with most stations losing some staff members.

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RADIOHEAD AND LAST SHADOW PUPPETS ARE BOOKIES MERCURY FAVOURITES
So, who's your money on? To win the Mercury Music Prize that is. We're tipping British Sea Power, which probably means they now have no chance of winning whatsoever. The bookies favourites are Radiohead and Last Shadow Puppets, who both currently have odds of 5/1. Burial and Robert Plant & Alison Krauss are on 6/1, while Adele, Estelle and the CMU tipped British Sea Power are on 8/1 and Neon Neon, Rachel Unthank & The Winterset and Portico Quartet are all at 10/1. It's a testament to the unpredictability of the Mercury Music Prize that all contenders have relatively low odds.

For those that prefer their Mercury Music Prize news to consist of quotes from trade associations rather than bookie odds, here's a bit for you.

Commenting on the publication of this year's Mercury shortlist yesterday, the chair of record label trade body BPI, Tony Wadsworth, said: "The artists the UK has produced in the past have contributed hugely to Britain's cultural heritage, but this shortlist is a great snapshot of our current vibrant music scene and the rich choice available to music fans. Once again, the Nationwide Mercury Prize highlights the richness and variety of new UK music from labels big and small, and at a time when its influence is once again being felt overseas. The Mercury Prize carries considerable cachet. Making a record is a labour of love that takes hard work and serious investment, and having that work recognised and appreciated is important to the artists and people that made it happen. And in a fractured media age, when standing out from the crowd is difficult, a shortlisting can help a great record attract enough attention to become a modern classic, rather than a buried treasure".

Meanwhile the CEO of indie label trade body AIM, Alison Wenham, told CMU: "When the Mercury Prize was first launched in the early nineties, it had a simple goal - to showcase the best of new British music in all genres, with one overall winner. The eclecticism, diversity and quality of the many artists who have been nominated, and the winners, show Britain's musical creativity to be in great shape. The Nationwide Mercury Music Prize is of particular importance to the independents as it is inclusive of all genres, and the criteria of nomination is simply one of quality rather than commercial success, and for that, the prize is much coveted".

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GRUFF RHYS CONFIRMS LYDON ATTACK ON OKEREKE
Gruff Rhys has told MTV News that everything Bloc Party's Kele Okereke says about that previously reported attack by Lohn Lydon and his entourage is true. As previously reported, Okereke say Lydon and his associates assaulted him and made racist remarks after he asked the Sex Pistol if there'd ever be a Public Image Limited reunion. Commenting on the altercation, witness Rhys told reporters: "It was horrific. Kele is a very brave man and what he said is exactly what happened. The statements Kele has said are absolutely true. It did happen".

Another unnamed band who witnessed the attack also told Drowned In Sound: "It was total chaos. It got out of hand so fast. The Spanish security guards were total thugs. Our tour manager was put in a headlock after asking the security to let us go as we had a flight to catch to England. I managed to sustain a knee injury at some point which was remarkable given that I barely got involved".

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FEEDER MAN HITS HIMSELF WITH GUITAR
Feeder bassist Taka Hirose has revealed that he narrowly escaped blinding himself in one eye last week while filming for Channel 4. The slow motion ident was to feature the band smashing their equipment. However, when Hirose smashed his bass, shards of the instrument flew up and hit him in the face. He was treated on the scene by members of St John's Ambulance and later taken to hospital but discharged in time for the band to fly to Japan to play the Fuji Rocks festival.

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SLIPKNOT FEET NEWS
Slipknot's Shawn Carter has been talking about bandmate Sid Wilson's recent ankle smashing episode. As previously reported, Wilson, the group's DJ, managed to damage both his feet after a misguided on-stage jump in Seattle last week.

Carter: "[Sid] had to take his cast off last night, and I'm telling you, I couldn't even look at his feet. Both his feet were black and blue - and deep. The bruises go, like, two inches in. But he's up there every night, no problem. He's so out of his mind, he's got a big bruise on his face because he's not used to slamming his head in a wheelchair. So he's got a huge bruise on his face from smacking his head into his tables. It never ends. You think you're out of it, and then you're back in, on some other painful level".

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COURTNEY SUED OVER PUBLISHING DEAL COMMISSION
More mad Courtney news. A business management and accountancy firm in LA are suing Courtney Love for nearly a million dollars claiming the singer owes them their fees stemming from that high profile $19.5 million deal in 2006 in which Love sold a stake in the publishing catalogue of her late husband Kurt Cobain. The firm, London & Co, say they had a verbal agreement with Love that she would pay them 5% of any monies created by the publishing deal. Love is yet to respond to the action, though we'll keep an eye on her blog in case any nonsensical ranty response is forthcoming. I suspect any breach of contract is really Ryan Adams' fault. Or may Billie Joe Armstrong's.

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TWO PAPS ARRESTED NEAR BRITNEY'S HOUSE
Two photographers were arrested this week in LA after 'loitering' on a road near Britney Spears house. Although the snappers were parked on city owned property, they were arrested after they ignored police requests for them to move on. We don't know for certain the paps were awaiting a Britney exclusive because a number of celebrities live near the road where they were parked, but the Britney angle makes this music news, obviously.

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SLAYER TO SPLIT?
Frontman of long-serving metallers Slayer, Tom Araya, has hinted that the band might split after they record their next album, the last they are contracted to provide to American Recordings.

Speaking to Thrash Hits, Araya said: "Let's put it this way, this is the final record of our commitment with Rick Rubin. When we first signed a deal with him back in 1986, we never sat down and said, 'How long do you guys want to keep this together?' We signed the deal and we've just been doing records since. Then, by the time we did 'Seasons In The Abyss', our third record with Rubin, we had a manager [Rick Sales] who did a really good job of renegotiating an entire new deal for ten records".

He continued: "We just continued making records, with no game plan other than 'We're gonna do a record and then tour', 'We're gonna do another record after the tour' and so on. We're working on new ideas now just so that people can have a taste of what's coming. Kerry [King] and Jeff [Hanneman] are putting together ideas, so what the end result of this next two and a half months is, I don't know. Once we've put together new material, we can get together and discuss our future plans. Seeing a 50 year old man headbanging on stage would make me cringe. If I was watching that, I'd think, 'Dude, you're a little too old for that, aren't you? You're gonna fall off!'"

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DOHERTY WASN'T BURGLED
Pete Doherty has denied a story published in The Sun on Monday, and possibly reported on here, claiming that the Babyshambles frontman had been burgled. The paper claimed that Doherty's Wiltshire home was robbed while he was at the Benicassim festival in Spain and that thieves got away with a £1000 guitar and three of his blood paintings. However, Doherty told the NME yesterday that the story had been "erroneously reported".

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NAS JOINS PROTEST AGAINST FOX RACISM
Nas has added his name to a petition against racism on American TV channel Fox News, and will join organisers ColorOfChange.org and MoveOn.org when it is delivered to the US TV network's head office in New York today. The petition has gained over 600,000 signatures, following various dubious comments made on Fox about presidential candidate Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle.

Amongst the slurs listed on the petition are the description of Michelle Obama as "Obama's baby mama", a Fox anchor calling a 'fist bump' the pair gave each other "a terrorist fist jab", and Fox's Bill O'Reilly suggesting setting a "lynching mob" on Mrs Obama.

MoveOn.org said: "Fox must stop injecting racism, prejudice, and fear into our political dialogue. We intend to hold Fox, its advertisers, and its personalities accountable for Fox's attempts to smear the Obamas".

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OASIS FEND OFF U2 IN STUDIO SHOWDOWN
Noel Gallagher has claimed that he got around the problem of U2 being booked in to use Abbey Road Studios at the same time he wanted to go in and record the new Oasis album, 'Dig Out Your Soul', by paying off the studio's owners.

He told Mojo: "U2 were booked in there with Rick Rubin. I was like, 'U2? U2 have to have a fucking six-hour meeting [to discuss] whether to get tea or coffee in the rehearsal room! They are not coming in here any time in the next five years'. The guy from Abbey Road was like, 'I've got it block-booked for the exact time you want it'. We actually went down to Abbey Road with a bag of money, and said, 'We can pay for the studio now'".

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CONOR OBERST STREAMS NEW ALBUM
Conor Oberst is streaming his new album, cunningly-titled 'Conor Oberst', on his official website, two weeks before its 4 Aug release date.

To listen, go to www.conoroberst.com/album/

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BONNIE 'PRINCE' BILLY ANNOUNCES NEW ALBUM
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, aka Will Oldham, has announced that he will release a new live album, 'Is It The Sea?', through Domino on 20 Oct. The album features recordings from shows in Scotland, Ireland and Newcastle in Spring 2006.

Tracklist:

Mirror Place
Love Comes To Me
Bed Is For Sleeping
Arise Therefore
Wolf Among Wolves
Ain't You Wealthy, Ain't You Wise?
Cursed Sleep
Molly Bawn
Birch Ballad
New Partner
Is It The Sea?
My Home Is The Sea
Master and Everyone

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DRUMMERS FITTER THAN FOOTBALLERS
It's official, kids! A life of sex, drugs and rock n roll is better for you than playing sport. As long as you play drums, anyway. An eight year study of Blondie drummer Clem Burke, carried out by Dr Marcus Smith at Chichester University, has revealed that drummers require a level of stamina similar and even greater than professional athletes.

Burke was connected to equipment that measured his heart rate, oxygen uptake and levels of lactic acid in his blood. It was found that, during a live performance, his heart rate averaged between 140 and 150 beats per minute, and could be raised as high as 190. In an hour, a drummer could burn between 400 and 600 calories. It is hoped that this might help to develop exercise programmes for overweight children not interested in sport.

Dr Smith said: "Footballers can normally expect to play 40 to 50 games a year - but in one 12 month period, Clem played 90-minute sets at 100 concerts. Footballers find playing a Champions League game once every two weeks a drain, but these guys are doing it every day when they are on tour. It is clear that their fitness levels need to be outstanding - through monitoring Clem's performance in controlled conditions, we have been able to map the extraordinary stamina required by professional drummers".

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ALBUM REVIEW: Norman Jay - Good Times London (Azuli)
Having been around seemingly forever Norman Jay is one of those DJs who you know will put on an uplifting and eclectic set with pacing pitch perfect and the feeling that he has taken you on a journey. His latest CD starts off with a genius version of 'Get Ready' by Ella Fitzgerald before meandering through a fine selection of grooves taking in hip-hop, reggae, disco and jazz along the way. If only the sun would come out this is the perfect compilation for lazing in the afternoon, and most likely he'll have you dancing by the end of CD1. Highlights include Lou Rawls getting indignant on 'The Politician' and the guilty pleasures of Lisa Shaw and Chaka Khan in full on diva mode. This is a DJ set without tricks or much in the way of mixing, it's just a fabulous selection of music. IM
Release Date: 4 Aug
Press Contact: Outpost Media [all]

BUY ON AMAZON

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NEW VENUE PLANS SEPTEMBER RELAUNCH
Derby venue The Royal, which opened in May this year, is set to relaunch with its autumn/winter programme, and is looking for bands and promoters interested in getting involved.

Located in a grade II listed building in centre of Derby, The Royal features two rooms with capacities of 440 and 200, both of which have been purposely designed and built for live shows, club nights and special events. The venue is aiming to become one of the Midlands' hottest live venues.

For more information on the venue, go to www.theroyalderby.co.uk. To book in bands or other live events, email stevem@theroyalderby.co.uk.

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BRIAN WILSON OFFERS REFUND
Brian Wilson is taking the unusual approach of offering fans a refund on a recent show in New York because some where unhappy with his performance. Following the performance at the Stand Up For A Cure benefit at the Hammerstein Ballroom on 11 Jul, fans rushed to Wilson's official website to complain that seating arrangements were poor, the band wasn't big enough, the set was too short and there weren't any Beach Boys classics in it.

Commenting on the criticism, Wilson's wife Melinda posted a response on the website, saying: "Brian saw the posts and asked me to respond. He's really sensitive to all of your feelings and doesn't want to offend anyone. He wanted to make this offer [the refund] to keep everyone cool (as he said)...".

She added: "With the exception of the charity show, most of these ticket prices are less than they have been in the past. Hope this clears the air for you. Thank you for being Brian's fan".

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WHY? ANNOUNCE LONDON SHOW
Psych-pop folk-hoppers Why? have announced a one-off show at The Scala in London on 4 Nov. I would like to go to this, please.

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YEASAYER ANNOUNCE LONDON SHOW
Speaking of one-off shows in London, Yeasayer will play King's College on 20 Aug as a warm-up for their Reading and Leeds festival performances.

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CCS ANNOUNCE UK TOUR DATES
CSS have announced UK tour dates to promote their new album, 'Donkey', which was released this week.

Tour dates:

5 Oct: Sheffield Leadmill
6 Oct: London Shepherds Bush Empire
7 Oct: Norwich Waterfront
9 Oct: Coventry Kasbah
10 Oct: Manchester Academy
12 Oct: Edinburgh Liquid Room
13 Oct: Nottingham Rescue Rooms
14 Oct: Bristol Thekla
15 Oct: Brighton Concorde

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ROYAL OPERA HOUSE TARGETS SUN READERS
Tickets for the opening night of the Autumn season at the Royal Opera House will be made available exclusively through The Sun. Details of how to purchase tickets for the 8 Sep performance of Mozart's 'Don Giovannni' will be published in the tabloid on 30 Jul. The show will also be screened live in UK cinemas.

The Royal Opera House's chief executive Tony Hall told the BBC: "This is a very exciting time for the Royal Opera House. We have so many opportunities to open up our doors to more people and I'm thrilled that we're able to invite those who have never been to the opera house before to experience a first night performance".

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MCFLY BOOST MOS SALES BY 300K
So, did you all rush out to buy your Mail On Sunday at the weekend to score a free copy of new McFly album 'Radio:ACTIVE'? We did, obviously. I'm listening to it right now. I really like 'The Heart Never Lies', and even CMU's resident non-McFly-fan Andy has been talking up 'Corrupted', though I don't know if he'll appreciate me sharing that with you.

Anyway, early circulation figures for this weekend's MoS suggest the high profile CD promotion boosted the tabloid's circulation by 300,000. Some commentators are saying that's not great, because it's about half the sales boost caused by the give away of the new Prince album last year, though I'm not sure anyone - McFly and the Mail On Sunday included - expected a new LP from the McFly boys to have the same impact as the ground breaking Prince promotion.

MoS MD Stephen Miron says he is "very pleased" with the performance of the McFly promotion. The Guardian quote him as saying: "We never planned for it to be a big as Prince". He adds that working with the teen band brought his paper and their music promotions to the attention of a whole new demographic. "I don't think there is a brand out there in the UK at the moment that wouldn't want to be talked about in the way that marks them as different and innovative. [With this promotion] we have brought in a whole audience that would have never talked about the Mail On Sunday".

Whether that whole new audience will buy the MoS again is another matter. I can't see me rushing to the newsagent this Sunday. Not unless Miron can engineer a Busted reunion.

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APPLE SCORES RECORD THIRD QUARTER FINANCIALS
Apple have posted its best third quarter results ever, which is nice. For them. Revenues were up 37.9% year on year to $7.46bn, while net profit was up 30.8% to $1.07bn. Needless to say, iPod and iPhone sales continued to contribute to the computer firm's success. 11,011,000 iPods were sold during the quarter, while 717,000 iPhones were shifted.

Apple boss Steve Jobs said this: "We're proud to report the best June quarter for both revenue and earnings in Apple's history. We set a new record for Mac sales, we think we have a real winner with our new iPhone 3G, and we're busy finishing several more wonderful new products to launch in the coming months".

Despite all the good news, some city types are a little cautious about Apple at the moment. Not because of Sky and Universal's plans to take on iTunes, but because of rumours regarding Jobs' health. Some are gossiping that he has health problems (may be linked to the cancer he overcame four years ago) and city types - who see Jobs' leadership and PR skills as crucial to Apple's continued success - are concerned that could impact on the company's performance. Jobs, though, insists he is just fine.

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SONYBMG HIRE NEW GLOBAL DIGITAL EXEC
SonyBMG has hired Michael Paull, previously from mobile content company Jamba, to be the major's VP Of Global Digital Business. He will report to SonyBMG Global Digital President Thomas Hesse and will work on developing and delivering digital strategy in the US and beyond.

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VIRGIN RADIO APPOINT COMMERCIAL CONTENT DIRECTOR
The new owners of Virgin Radio have appointed a new Commercial Content Director - Chris Goldson - with a view to "growing revenue through creative commercial output", whatever that means. As previously reported, Virgin Radio has been bought by the Times Of India Group, and the takeover has resulted in a number of new executive appointments.

Confirming Goldson's appointment, Nick Hewat, Sales Director at the Times Of India Group, told reporters: "Chris has really pushed the boundaries for our clients. His innovative approach is totally in line with our aspirations for the new station and we're delighted to see him take this newly elevated role which underlines our focus on the opportunities here at Golden Square".

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SINGLE REVIEW: Kylie - The One
Kylie has the power to make huge side-steps in her music, and pull it off perfectly. 'The One' is a hypnotic and soothing summer track, totally different to the previous infectiously catchy 'In My Arms'. With a storming electro beat beneath her and that infallible voice of hers, 'The One' is pop electricity at its finest, appearing so effortlessly chic, yet the layers and delicious Kylie-ness (it's the only way I can describe it - it should be in the dictionary!) make it clear that the pint-sized songstress has still got it by the bucket-load. The simple ethereal floatiness of 'The One' is so beautifully calming and there is no question that Kylie has once again popped out a hit. With an OBE under her sequinned belt and a birthday milestone many would hide under, the woman seems unstoppable. Madonna may be the Queen of pop, but she ought to keep an eye on her crown. DH
Release Date: 28 Jul
Press Contact: EMI IH [All]

BUY ON ITUNES

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MOSS AND HINCE BACK TOGETHER
Poor old Pete Doherty, he seemed so sure he was about to get back together with Kate Moss, following her split from The Kills' Jamie Hince three weeks ago. But now Moss and Hince have been photographed shopping together, or so reports The Mirror, and that obviously means they're back together. I bet you're glad you read this now.

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BLUE BOY DUMPS PREGNANT FIANCEE
In a shrewd PR move, ex-Blue singer Lee Ryan has made a bid to stop himself from becoming known as 'that former pop star who beat up a taxi river' by dumping his pregnant fiancée. Ryan met Samantha Miller after she posted pictures of herself on his MySpace page, promptly got her pregnant and proposed. Now, reports Heat, he's ditched her and moved in with former Blue bandmate Simon Webbe.

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