NOTE: Make sure you 'enable images' to see this e-bulletin properly. WHAT IS THIS? You are receiving this e-bulletin because you are subscribed to the CMU Daily. Unsubscribe information is given at the bottom of this e-bulletin.


Top Stories
Rapper helps restrain terrorist?
Winehouse is terror target, says The Sun
Gabriel hasn't ruled out Genesis reunion
Page manager on Led Zep tour
Jackson takes home in LA
In The Pop Courts
West surgeon jailed for DUI
Italian industry veteran dies
Awards & Contests
Beyonce, Keys and Hudson up for NAACP Awards
Ronson, etc, up for Guild awards
Charts, Stats & Polls
Commercial radio chart goes completely digital
Reasons to be cheerful from the BPI and ERA
In The Studio
Prep on next Ravonettes album going well
Release News
Bonnaroo release live Raconteurs tracks
The Boxer Rebellion return
New Eminem track circulating
Films N Shows News
U2 musical coming soon
Gigs N Tours News
Soulfly live EP release to coincide with tour
Festivals News
Tickets for Underage Festival go on sale
Album review: Shrag - Shrag (Where It's At Is Where You Are)
The Music Business
Dupri to leave Island Def Jam
Consolidated launch independent digital storage service
BACS remind soundtrack composers to enter The Ivors
The Media Business
Tory says let Channel 4 make its own shows
NME confirm new new music man
Franz Ferdinand to soundtrack Ross's return
And finally...
Tory not impressed with Lily's drug comments
CMU Daily Archives
Same Six Questions
CMU Directory
Advertise with CMU

Hailing from Bletchley, on the outskirts of creepy grid-town Milton Keynes, Action Beat have been impressing crowds and gathering themselves a dedicated following for a few years. Their debut mini-album sold out just through word of mouth and relentless gigging, and they are hoping their latest album 'The Noise Band From Bletchley' will see them rise up in the ranks of musical greatness.

With a revolving line-up, which contains at least four guitarists and up to four drummers at any one time, the band's abrasive punk is borne out of a love of the likes of Sonic Youth, The Ex and Glenn Branca, creating their own frameworks of noise which grow into improvised madness at the live shows.
The band have given us some very comprehensive answers to our Same Six Questions. You can read the highlights here, and check out the full answers at

Q1 How did you start out making music?

In 2004, I started a joke/side-project drum and bass band with local lunatic/weirdo James Carney. We called the band Action Beat, and dressed up in stupid outfits. Everyone in Bletchley hated us, and thought we sucked so bad. No one could have predicted that we would be the band to make it out of Bletchley, play close to 200 shows in two years, and have a deal with our favourite label, Southern Records.

Q2 What inspired your latest single/album?
Our recording for Southern was completed in three days, and has an almost pop sound to it in places. The songs are short and fast. Maybe we wanted to write an album which was full of songs we would always listen to. It's our first propler album, so there was perhaps a little pressure. Only a little. The first Action Beat record [the self-released mini-album] has a few songs which are eight and 16 minutes long. I can listen to those songs with ease, but some people just don't have the patience. This album is full of number ones!

Q3 What process do you go through in creating a track?
There are many processes we have been through, but mainly, we'll arrive at a gig or the studio, tune our guitars and then make sure every guitarist is going to play on the correct fret (not as disciplined as that, but you get the idea). Hopefully, the drummers in the band will create a drum beat that fits well with the riffs, and there we have an idea for a song. We'll then keep playing those jams live until we have a coherent, almost well rehearsed song. Action Beat has never practiced as a band, so whenever you hear a song either live, or on our records, you should know that we made it up in a matter of minutes and there was no great thought process which went into it. Seriously, we just like having a good time with our guitars and instruments. If I could afford it, every song would sound like me smashing the shit out of an expensive guitar with the distortion on 10.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Glenn Branca, Sonic Youth, Nirvana, The Ex, Swans, Rhys Chatham, and Dean Gaffney (yeah, the guy from Eastenders). We have come into contact with many bands throughout the years, and I can't say that many of them have inspired us. In fact, I hate a lot of bands which the music press advocates, and also a lot of bands we have to play with. I stress, a lot. The majority of bands make the most awful music, and play for hours on end. Like we want to hear that crap for over an hour! God! Action Beat will drive for 10 hours and play for seven minutes. It's passionate and extremely powerful! Our energy transfused through guitars... it breaks people. They always whinge after the show "oh, you played far to short a set". Yeah right, like your pea brain mind could take any more.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
I hope you brought a clean pair of knickers, you're about to shit yourself.

Q6 What are your ambitions for your latest single/album, and for the future?
I hope this record sells enough for Southern to release our next record. They are very nice people, and deserve to get their money back. If not, we'll pay the bill! Apart from that, we'll keep booking shows, tours, and record more wonderful music. We aim to play 180 shows this year.


An outside chance to hit the top in 2009, but one we're tipping nevertheless, is Raphael Saadiq, former member of 90s RnB group Tony! Toni! Tone!, whose new solo LP 'The Way I See It' is a brilliant blast of retro, Stax era, soul music. '100 Yard Dash' is the calling card for the record - taut, funky and layered in Saadiq's supple tones; think Smokey Robinson and the like, though with this particular number he'd be running through Marvin Gaye's 'Pride and Joy'. These references could run for the entirety of 'TWISI', mind, with Saadiq proudly displaying an affection for the recording techniques, rhythms and harmonies of the 60s and 70s, from the sultry balladry of 'Never Give You Up', to the over familiar bass hook of 'Love That Girl'. If Radio 2 and Jools Holland, etc, jump on board, expect Saadiq to fly with a record this good.



Pennsylvania rap type Asher Roth helped restrain a would-be terrorist aboard a flight to Los Angeles earlier this week, some reports claim. It's said that Roth, who has been compared to Eminem (but only because he is white, I think), was en route to LA to appear on TV show 'Last Call With Carson Daly' when a fellow passenger threatened to explode a bomb.

Conflicting reports suggest that Roth wasn't actually involved, and that it was his guitarist Chris Llewellyn who was first to tackle the man and was subsequently assisted by fellow passengers. MTV, say that Roth's rep indicated that he was present, though it was Llewellyn who the was more involved in the incident. They say the bassist stayed behind at the airport to talk to the FBI whilst Roth rushed off for his TV appearance.

back to top


More from the hazy world of celebrities who might possibly be having some terrorist trouble, as The Sun reports that Amy Winehouse has been put on a list of "top Jews to target" on a fundamentalist Islamic website. That said, it might not be quite the kind of terror you're thinking of (bombs, etc) as the tabloid quote British anti-terror expert Glen Jevey as saying this: "The Ummah website has been used by extremists. Those listed should treat it very seriously. Expect a hate campaign and intimidation by 20 or 30 thugs".

back to top


Peter Gabriel has said that he has "no real objection" to a full reunion with Genesis, and insists that it was other commitments, rather than animosity, which meant he didn't join in with the 2007 reformation of the band.

Gabriel last performed with Geneis in the mid-70s and was replaced, of course, as vocalist by then drummer Phil Collins - something we may never be able to forgive him for. However, if Gabriel rejoined and forced Collins to don a gorilla suit and go back to playing drums, that might go some way to setting things right.

Anyway, Gabriel told Mojo: "In principle I have no real objection to playing with Genesis at some point in the future".

back to top


Yes, we're still talking about the already-much-talked-of Led Zeppelin tour, which Robert Plant has said he'll have no involvement in, and which Jimmy Page says will go ahead. We're talking about it today because Page's manager Peter Mensch has said something about it.

Explaining Page's reasons for continuing with plans to tour with John Paul Jones and Jason Bonham but without Plant, Mensch told 6Music: "That's what Jimmy does. That's his job, his hobby. People don't really understand it. Jimmy Page has been playing guitar professionally since he was 16 years old. Jimmy Page likes being a musician. He doesn't want to be a race car driver or a solicitor. So they did the show with Robert Plant; they had a really good time rehearsing, the three of them, before Robert showed up. And they decided that if they could find a singer that they thought would fit their bill, whatever their bill was at this stage in their career, that they'd make a record and go on tour".

He refused to talk about who the singer might be, however; there's been speculation that a number of vocalists including Steven Tyler and Chris Cornell have been approached. He continued: "I can't comment on any rumours right now. It's gonna be a long and difficult process. And we're not soliciting people. So don't call me about it!"

back to top


According to reports, Michael Jackson has taken a twelve month lease on a house in the Bel Air area of Los Angeles, and has been there for the last four weeks or so. The singer, who is seemingly unable to live in anything other than a sizeable mansion despite having financial troubles, is allegedly paying $100,000 a month for the seven bedroomed, thirteen bathroomed home.

Sources say he's relocated in order to be closer to Hollywood and the entertainment industry, to the betterment of his career, which, I think we're all agreed, has stalled somewhat of late.

back to top

Dr Jan Adams - who falls under the music news radar because he was the plastic surgeon who operated on Kanye West's mother just before she died - has been jailed for a year after being found guilty of drink driving.

Adams pleaded no contest to the DUI charge last year following an incident when he was spotted driving the wrong way down a motorway in California. He was sentenced to a year inside by Solano County Court Commissioner Ray Wieser.

There was much criticism of Adams, who was already a TV personality in California, following the sudden death of Donda West the day after he had operated on her in 2007. The autopsy report said West died because of heart disease coupled with complications from the surgery. While in theory that cleared Adams of malpractice, he says the public criticism that continued as a result of West's death more or less ruined his cosmetic surgery business.

back to top

Italian industry veteran Giuseppe Gramitto Ricci, a recording and publishing executive, has died in Milan at the age of 87.

Born in Sicily in 1921, he joined the management team of the Curci music publishing company in 1950 following his marriage to one Clotilde Curci, and worked at the company's offices in Milan's Galleria del Corso, an Italian equivalent of New York's Tin Pan Alley. During his time with Curci, he discovered a number of high profile artists, including Domenico Modugno, famous for the song 'Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu' (you'll know it as 'Volare') which won the first ever grammy for Record Oof The Year back in 1958.

In 1960, Gramitto Ricci founded Carosello Records, which became an important indie label in Italy. He retired from Curci in 1998.

back to top

Beyonce, Alicia Keys and Jennifer Hudson have all been nominated for NAACP Image Awards, gongs which recognise the artistic achievements of "people of colour". Hudson got the most nods, with seven, whilst Beyonce has six. All three are nominated for acting roles as well as in music categories. The award ceremony will take place on 12 Feb in LA.

back to top


More awards, this time the inaugural Music Producers Guild Awards. Nominees include Mark Ronson, who has two nominations, for Best International Producer Of The Year and another for The Joe Meek Award For Innovation In Production. Brian Eno is also up for the Innovation Award, as is Bjork, whilst Eno is also named in the Producer Of The Year category alongside Bernard Butler and Steve Mac. Bloc Party producer Cenzo Townsend has two nominations, for Recording Engineer Of The Year and Best Mix Engineer. Like the NAACP awards, the ceremony takes place on 12 Feb, but this one is in London.

back to top

Commercial radio's Hit40UK Chart, you know, the one old people like me insist on still calling the Network Chart, will, from this weekend, be based entirely on download sales. Which is quite a step forward when you think about it, given the download chart was for a time considered an inferior sibling to the other singles charts when it was first launched in 2004.

The Hit40UK Chart Show is actually the most listened to chart countdown on British radio, though has always had less prominence in the record industry because it combined commercial radio airplay statistics with actual record sales data, similar to the big US music charts.

Although, in theory, the airplay element meant this chart should, to an extent, predict what will be the big selling hits of the next few weeks (because airplay will precede record sales), most label execs were most interested in the main UK Top 40 - ie the one aired by Radio 1 - which is based exclusively on record sales, physical and digital since 2005.

Arguably, the airplay element of the Network Chart became less interesting once most local pop stations fell into the ownership of three or four major firms, who instigated network-wide playlists. Whereas the original Network Chart reflected what tracks many different heads of music based at stations all over the country were rating, the airplay elements of the chart eventually became dominated by the playlists created by a small group of London based network music chiefs.

In 2002, as single sales slumped (pre the rise of legit downloading) and radio airplay data became less interesting, EMAP Radio (now Bauer) dumped the Network Chart and launched its own countdown under its Smash Hits brand which also incorporated public voting - both in terms of what songs had been most requested on EMAP's jukebox TV channels and by actual phone and SMS voting.

But with the singles market revolutionised following the arrival of the iTunes Music Store in 2004, retail stats are interesting once more, albeit predominantly digital sales stats. Hence the decision of Hit40UK makers Global Radio to drop both physical sales and airplay data from their chart, and compile it instead using just download sales figures.

Global's Paul Jackson told reporters: "Downloads have now become the driving force for record sales, as the statistics clearly show. It makes complete sense that the UK's most listened-to chart show reflects the changes in how people are listening to music".

It's not clear how the new look Hit40UK will differ from The Existing UK Download Chart already compiled by the Official Charts Company, and published on the Radio 1 website each Wednesday, though this week's chart hasn't been posted on the BBC website yet, so perhaps it will replace it.

back to top


Following that report on Tuesday that record sales slumped yet again in 2008 in both the UK and US, both in terms of units shifted and revenues generated, I should mention that UK label trade body the BPI has issued its traditional January sales stats press release and have found some things to be cheerful about despite, and I quote, the current "challenging trading conditions". And you know how much we like cheer here at CMU, so let's have a quick run through all the positive spin. I mean good news.

First, album sales in the UK were actually up for the last quarter of 2008 compared to 2007, by 0.9%, mainly because of the high numbers shifted of new albums from some of the country's biggest artists, including Snow Patrol, Oasis, Girls Aloud and Take That.

Second, the albums market for the whole of 2008, although in decline compared to 2007, slumped less than some expected. I'm not which "some", but the BPI reckon a double digit decline had been predicted in some quarters, meaning the 3.2% slump is, in fact, nothing to worry about by comparison.

Of course you don't have to be a spin-doctor to present stats from the digital sector, where download sales continue to grow. Even digital album sales are starting to generate respectable numbers, the download sector having been previously dominated by single-track sales. Digital album sales boomed 65% in 2008, with 10 million sold, while the continued growth of single track downloads meant the overall singles market grew by 33% with 115 million singles sold.

Pessimists would point out that digital revenues - even if you count the growing licensing revenues from online streaming and subscription services like YouTube and Napster - are still not compensating for the overall slump in physical CD sales income, while profit margins in both the physical and digital domains are falling as prices are cut both online and on the high street.

Still, the BPI rightly point out that the continued boom in digital sales means that the high profile collapse of Woolworths (which has now completely disappeared from the high street), the liquidation of CD distributors eUK and Pinnacle, and the ongoing administration of the former Virgin Megastore, Zavvi, all of which happened in the last two months of 2008, shouldn't be taken as an indication the music business is at death's door. While the collapse of traditional record retailers and distributors is sad, it is not a sign that people are not buying music any more, they're just buying it from different places.

Also noting movements by government and the internet industry to better combat online piracy, and the high number of UK nominations at this year's Grammy Awards in the US (including a clean sweep in the Record Of The Year category) as reasons to be cheerful, BPI boss Geoff Taylor told CMU: "Every business and consumer in the UK is having a tough time, and these difficult trading conditions make the resilience of the UK's music market all the more notable. During a recession, people look for purchases that are excellent value for money and bring a lot of enjoyment, and music does just this".

He continued: "A strong release schedule and a digital retail market that continues to diversify and grow helped the business confront the challenges of unlawful P2P and disruption to retail supply to deliver what are, in context, encouraging sales figures in 2008. The challenge for music companies in 2009 is to ensure that artist investment continues to remain profitable, as the way consumers discover and enjoy music continues to go through a period of unprecedented change".

Despite the Woolies, eUK, Pinnacle and Zavvi situations, even the Entertainment Retailer's Association, representing music, DVD and video game sellers, were able to find a positive spin for their start-of-the-year press release. Their reason to be cheerful involved combining music, DVD and game sales for the year, because by doing so you found that total units shifted were up 4% to 485.8 million. ERA add that downloads, Blu-ray discs and the popularity of Nintendo's Wii all helped boost sales in the respective music, DVD and gaming sectors last year.

ERA Director General Kim Bayley told CMU: "Against a dismal economic background and faced with the loss of the industry's biggest wholesaler, Entertainment UK, right in the middle of the vital pre-Christmas sales period, entertainment retailers have delivered remarkably positive results. Consumers are sending us a strong message that the best insurance against recession is hit product delivered on a wide range of formats".

back to top

The Raveonettes are preparing to begin work on their next album, which is set for release later this year. The band will head out on a five date tour in the US later this month before going into the studio to write and record the album.

In a message to fans, multi-instrumentalist Sune Wagner wrote: "Had a great creative talk with Sharin [Foo, vocals] today and we're so ready to make the best album to date! It'll be released in September and we wanna do a proper studio album with a genius producer. There's only so much you can do in your living room and let's face it, whenever you pull out one of your favorite albums, it'll stand the test of time because of a timeless sound, excellent production and songwriting. Now's the right time for us to step it up..."

On the upcoming US tour dates, he added: "This will be the last we'll tour for a while because we wanna spend all our time on the next album. We're excited about the future".

back to top

Four live tracks from The Raconteurs' set at the 2008 Bonnaroo Festival are to be released on Sunday via the festival's website, as part of a new initiative to give fans the chance to relive their festival experience. They'll be available as part of 'Bonnaroo 365', through which live tracks will be periodically released during the course of the year, using the festival's official master tapes.

The Raconteurs tracks set to be made available are 'Consoler Of The Lonely', 'Old Enough', 'Blue Veins' and 'Top Yourself'. One of the tracks will be available to all, the other three to signed up members of the Bonnaroo community site, which is free to join.

back to top


Four years after the release of their debut album, 'Exits', The Boxer Rebellion return with the follow-up, 'Union', on Sunday.

The band, you may remember, were tipped for big things following the release of 'Exits', but during a tour with The Killers, frontman Nathan Nicholson became seriously ill and had to be put on a life support machine, leaving the band on hiatus. Now they're back, they're being tipped highly once again, not least by iTunes, who have made new single, 'Evacuate', the first ever global Single Of The Week, which will see it made available for free in every iTunes store worldwide next week.

'Union' will be released digitally via iTunes on Sunday, with a physical release set to follow at a later date (although that later date has not yet been announced). 'Exits' will be re-released with new artwork on the same day.

You can stream 'Union' in full on the band's MySpace page now. Check it out here.

The tracklisting for the album is as follows:

Flashing Red Light Means Go
Move On
Spitting Fire
The Gospel of Goro Adachi
These Walls Are Thin
Silent Movie

back to top


The lead track from Eminem's new album 'Relapse', which is called 'Crack The Bottle', has surfaced on the net. Actually it surfaced on the net last year, albeit in an earlier version and called 'Number One'. The new version is seemingly the final cut of what will be Slim Shady's come back single. It features both 50 Cent and Dr Dre. Release dates for the album and single are tbc, but it should be first quarter.

back to top

The Edge has said that he hopes that the previously reported Spiderman musical that he and Bono have been working on might open on Broadway by the end of the year, which is great news for people who like U2 and musicals. Anyone?

He told Q magazine: "We've written a lot of the songs at this point. It's in a pretty good state, and I hope it'll open this year. We're not sure where in the world, but most likely it will be in New York. I think the musical had its heyday back in the '40s, '50s, '60s era.... we've always harboured this sneaky ambition that maybe one day we might try our hand in that area".

back to top

Metallers Soulfly have announced that they will release a new live EP to coincide with their upcoming UK tour dates in February. The 'Blood Fire War Hate' EP will feature tracks recorded live in Poland in 2005 and is set for release on 9 Feb.

Those tour dates are as follows:

1 Feb: Portsmouth, Pyramid Centre
2 Feb: Oxford, Zodiac
3 Feb: Bristol, Academy
4 Feb: Dublin, Academy
5 Feb: Belfast, Spring & Airbrake
6 Feb: Glasgow, ABC
7 Feb: Manchester, Academy 2
8 Feb: Leeds, Cockpit
9 Feb: Nottingham, Rock City
10 Feb: Wolverhampton, Wulfrun Hall
11 Feb: London, Electric Ballroom

back to top

Tickets for this year's Underage Festival, which takes place in Victoria Park in London on 2 Aug, have gone on sale to music fans aged between 14 and 18. Old people can't go. Go and get your pipe and slippers, 19 year olds!

No acts have yet been confirmed for this year's event, but last year saw sets from the likes of Dizzee Rascal, Glasvegas, Foals and Those Dancing Days. Tickets cost just £23, though, which is pretty good during these recession-style times. Recessions hit the kids, right?

For more info, go to:

back to top

ALBUM REVIEW: Shrag - Shrag (Where It's At Is Where You Are)
Shrag are a shouty bunch of indie-pop kids with a bit of semi-skimmed riot grrl attitude added into the mix. Their album is thoroughly entertaining, if occasionally a little lightweight in the wake of their apparent influences: The Fall, Pavement, The Raincoats and Kathleen Hanna. This is filtered through a Balor Knights or Bearsuit-like English sensibility. Which makes sense, they are from Brighton. So, I guess Shrag can be referred to as a record collection band. They have arranged an amalgam of coherent influences with curatorial care. However, they have imbued this with their own strong personalities and essentially sardonic worldview. Therefore, instead of lambasting them as - to use Mark E Smith's schoolyard parlance - copy cats, I'll admit that they carry off their indie bricolage successfully. They can rightfully act like a bunch of smug bastards because that is no easy trick. 'Pregnancy Scene' is a highlight at the start, full of jittery guitar Spiral Stairs-isms and Mark Ibold bass like a lost Pavement song. It then has some fierce grrl-Cerberus shouts about the pitfalls of getting up the duff and the associated lifestyle choices. 'Talk To The Left' is brilliantly immature and cringe worthy in its candid rapprochement of men who are creepy dickheads in bed. And there's even a song called 'Mark E Smith'. I ask you... how can't you like them? To be honest there aren't really any discrete low points on the album. Shrag act like the smart arsed older sisters you never had, their borderline-vitriolic songs persistently cut people and people's weird behaviours down to size. I'm kind of scared of them, but I think that's a good thing. PG
Release Date: 19 Jan
Press Contact: Boca [all]

Buy from Amazon

back to top

DUPRI TO LEAVE ISLAND DEF JAM reports that producer Jermaine Dupri will depart from his role as President of Universal Music US's Island Records Urban division, maybe as soon as today. He has been with the major for nearly two years, moving there after a stint heading up urban music for EMI's Virgin US.

It's not clear what Dupri's departure will mean for the TAG Records venture, a joint venture between Island Def Jam and the TAG body spray brand, launched last year and designed as a platform through which to foster marketing partnerships between Island's urban artists and TAG products. Dupri headed up that venture.

It also remains to be seen if Dupri has another major label post to go to, and whether he'll take his own label So So Def with him.

back to top


Digital services company Consolidated Independent has announced a new service designed to streamline the workload for independent record companies who distribute their digital catalogue around the world through various partnerships with different distributors, aggregators and download stores. It would also mean that if one of those distributors went under - as distributors have a habit of doing these days - a label could immediately channel their digital content through an alternative distributor.

The service, which Consolidated call the Digital Archive Service, enables a label to store all its digital assets with the firm, who would in turn make the assets available to any distributors or aggregators, or back to the label, as and when required. It means digital assets are held by an independent party, so that if any one distributor goes out of business it is easy to provide a replacement distributor with everything they need to quickly take over distributing a label's digital product. The service is designed to be very affordable for indie labels, with the cost being set at just a pound per track stored per year.

Eric Namour, COO at Consolidated, told CMU: "CI's mission is to provide independent access to the digital music marketplace. Our new Digital Archive Service provides the foundation that underpins this and means that no label need ever be at the mercy of a third party when it comes to managing its digital assets".

Beggars Group's Simon Wheeler, who is also chair of the New Media Committee of the Association Of Independent Music, added: "It has always been of critical importance to Beggars that we maintain independent control over our digital assets, and this is even more important now that digital makes up an increasing proportion of our overall business. The Experience of many independent labels, including Rough Trade within the Beggars Group, in the wake of Pinnacle going into administration, shows that a digital archive service is an invaluable way to future proof your business".

back to top


Organisers of the Ivor Novello Awards for composers and songwriters are calling for any musical types involved in creating original music for movies to make sure they put themselves forward for this year's awards. The British Academy Of Composers And Songwriters say that, because of the long timescales of a movie project, some composers forget to submit their entries - which need to go in for the year the movie was released rather than the year when the music was composed. Entries are currently being accepted for movies released in the UK in 2008 ready for the 2009 awards. British or Irish composers who make up a least one-third of the team behind a composition are eligible. If that's you, well get thee to where you'll find a full list of eligible movies and details of how to enter.

back to top

The Conservative's culture spokesman has joined the Channel 4 funding debate. As previously reported, UK media regulator OfCom is currently reconsidering the 'public service obligations' of the terrestrial commercial broadcasters - ITV, C4 and Five - because said broadcasters claim it is increasingly difficult to fund public service programming through advertising and sponsorship.

ITV simply want to reduce their public service obligations, while Channel 4 want help finding new sources of income, to supplement revenue from advertising and sponsorship. C4 bosses would most like a cut of the licence fee income, though the BBC are very very against that, and it's not a proposal favoured by OfCom either. The Beeb have suggested ways it could use its licence-fee-funded resources to help commercial public service broadcasters reduce their costs, and has also reluctantly suggested C4 could, perhaps, have a stake in its commercial division BBC Worldwide.

Conservative culture man Jeremy Hunt, asked about the issue on Radio 4's 'The Media Show', said he thought Channel 4 should be allowed to make its own programmes, or take a stake in the programme concepts it premieres, in order to bring in new revenues. Unlike the BBC and ITV, Channel 4 doesn't make any of its own programming, buying everything in from independent TV production firms. That means that it has never built up it's own programme archive that it could now be using to generate new revenues, nor do Channel 4 automatically benefit from any brand extensions of TV shows it airs (eg the book, the song, the t-shirt, the ringtone).

Hunt admitted his proposals would be unpopular with the indie TV producers, for some of whom Channel 4 is an important client, but he said getting involved in the programme making business would help C4 find new income to fill the gap left by declining advertising and sponsorship revenues.

Hunt: "Channel 4 have a model whereby when they have a success, like 'Secret Millionaire', they get no benefit even if that programme is sold throughout the world and makes millions of pounds. Channel 4 needs to find a model whereby they can benefit financially when they have a success, I think we need to look at the terms of trade in as far as they effect Channel 4".

back to top


The NME has recruited Jamie Hodgson as its New Music Editor.

Hodgson graduated from Goldsmiths College in 2005 and initially went to work with good old Vice magazine, though has since freelanced from the likes of The Observer, i-D and the NME while keeping his hand in with Vice by being involved in the launch of their online TV station. He has been filling in as the NME's new music man since Alex Miller left the mag last month, and was confirmed as a permanent replacement yesterday.

NME Editor Conor McNicholas said this: "Jamie is one of the most exciting young music journalists in the country. He's already a great writer, is fizzing with ideas for the magazine and NME.COM and is very well respected across the industry. I'm delighted to have Jamie on board".

back to top


Franz Ferdinand will be the musical guests on the first edition of 'Tonight With Jonathan Ross' since the presenter was suspended by the BBC for three months last year, after he and Russell Brand left some 'hilarious' messages on Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sach's voicemail and some people got a bit upset about it.

The band will perform their new single, 'Ulysses' and join other guests, who will include comedian Lee Evans, national treasure Stephen Fry and one other as-yet-unnamed star. The show will air on 23 Jan, with Ross also returning to his show on Radio 2 on 24 Jan and Film 2009 will start on 26 Jan.

Following the announcement of the show's line-up, Ross said via his Twitter account: "[I] was planning on being all mysterious about who was guesting on first show, then my office release it to the press. Bwah". He added that he would ask fellow Twitterer Stephen Fry if he would like to post micro-blog posts during the show.

back to top

Another Tory in your CMU Daily now. Shadow Home Secretary Dominic Grieve has criticised Lily Allen over comments she made about cocaine usage in an interview with The Word.

Allen complained about how the media sensationalised the use of the drug, pointing out, rightly really, that no one ever reports on the fact many cocaine users take the drug a few times a week without it having any major damaging effect on their lives. She told the mag: "I know lots of people who take cocaine three nights a week and get up and go to work. But we never hear that side of the story. I wish people wouldn't sensationalise it. Some people are just bad at taking drugs".

She did admit that when she first took the drug as a child she did it because she was "lonely" and "everybody else was doing it", and that she didn't especially enjoy The Experience. But, she added, she, like many others, managed to play with cannabis without becoming a hopeless junkie.

Grieve isn't impressed with Allen's remarks, telling the Daily Mail the singer is "naïve" to assume "there isn't human misery and suffering" linked to drugs, which I don't think she did really, she was just saying drugs and misery don't always go hand in hand. Still, Grieve still reckons Allen's remarks were "dangerous and stupid".

David Raynes, head of the National Drugs Prevention Alliance, seems to agree, telling the tab: "When someone like Lily Allen makes these remarks she is only harming young people who will at some point in their lives have to make a decision about taking drugs. We already have a major drug culture in the UK and she is affecting that".

Drugs or no drugs, Grieve and Raynes really ought to watch themselves with their Lily dissing - she'll be publishing their mobile numbers on Facebook if they're not careful.

back to top


SUBSCRIPTIONS>> CMU Daily is a free daily e-bulletin for people working in the music industry and music media, delivered direct to your PC each morning.

If you want to stop receiving this e-bulletin click the 'unsubscribe' button below and follow the instructions. If any of your colleagues want to receive the CMU Daily tell them to email their name, company, job title and email to [email protected].

If you would like to recieve the CMU Daily as a text email, send a blank email from the email address you are registered at to [email protected].

MEDIA PEOPLE>> If you are looking for an independent quote on anything to do with the music business, or you need someone to come on your TV or radio show and talk music business, then we can help. There's nothing we don't know about. Email requests to [email protected] or call 020 7099 9050.

CMU is published by and (c) UnLimited Media -

Send news stories to [email protected]. If we don't respond directly, we do apologise, only we get sent hundreds of emails a day and don't have time to respond to every one of them. However we do check every email sent to the musicnews email address, and do pull out stories that we feel are relevant to our readers.

Send CDs for review to CMU, UnLimited Media, 221-222 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6PJ.