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Top Stories
1.6 million Jacko fans register for memorial tickets
Jackson family split on memorial and burial plans
Jacko business advisor talks to AP
Former Jacko doc denies prescribing drugs
Madge and Jarvis on Jacko
In The Pop Courts
Jay-Z sued by his attorney
Allen Klein dies
Awards & Contests
Take That win second Silver Clef
Reunions & Splits
Andersson denies Abba reformation rumours
Artist Deals
Andre deal confirmed, album in the pipeline
Films N Shows News
Eminem to star in new comedy
Gigs N Tours News
Last chance to see Rumspringa tonight
Single review: Scott Matthews - Into the Firing Line/Is This Love? (Sam Remo)
Brands N Stuff
Hours cover Beatles for Bud
The Music Business
Live Master make SEC filing about merger
EMI Publishing Canadian boss steps down
New online music education directory to launch this week
The Media Business
ITN man says BBC should have a Beeching enquiry
Smash Hits returns to pay tribute to Jacko
Online radio listening up up up
Chart Of The Day
Chart update
And finally...
Dappy hits back at La Roux
Advertising info
Consulting info
CMU Credits + Contacts

The Count And Sinden, aka producers Josh 'Hervé' Harvey and Graeme Sinden, broke onto the scene with their debut single, 'Bleeper', last year and have been in demand as DJs and a live act ever since. They are currently hard at work on their debut album, which will be released via Domino later this year, but you can catch them DJing at Smirnoff: UR The Night at Matter in London this Friday. Also on the bill are Little Boots (live), Hot Chip (DJ set), and Tom Middleton (DJ set), with a very special live headline set from The Pet Shop Boys. More info on that here. Ahead of that, we spoke to Sinden.
Q1 How did you start out making music?
I was lucky to be surrounded by some talented producers, especially Switch, who I started working with at the very beginning. I'd just bought my first copy of Logic and I hadn't a clue how to work it. He brought me into the studio to make some beats so he taught me the ropes a bit. We started producing tracks together under the name of 'Solid Groove & Sinden' and 'A.Brucker & Sinden'. It really helped me understand how tracks are built.

Q2 What inspired your latest single?
The Count and myself are about to drop a club track called 'Mega', it's an instrumental club track inspired by the dance floor. We've been playing it in our DJ sets over the past few months and it's been getting some really amazing reactions. That's the acid test really, if it works in the club we know we're onto something good. I would describe it as a hybrid tune, which is typical of us, we're drawing from all kinds of club styles on this one. I've got a feeling that this one's gonna cross over to a lot of different DJs.

Q3 What process do you go through in creating an album?
We're currently working on our first album together - and it's our most ambitious piece of work. The Count And Sinden name was built up around the club success of 'Beeper', and our remixes that again were big on the dancefloors. We wanna keep making heat for the clubs but at the same time we want this album to be something you don't have to be at a party to appreciate. We're really happy with the collaborative tracks on the album, half of which feature singers and rappers. It's important to keep pushing the boundaries and progress musically.

Q4 Which artists influence your work?
Anybody that has a maverick approach to music, that will take risks and trail the way for others. Artists such as Bjork, Outkast, The Clash, Radiohead have all done this throughout their careers. Even though their influence doesn't directly impact on my sound, I aspire to do what they've achieved with every single album - to keep moving forward.

Q5 What would you say to someone experiencing your music for the first time?
It's always tricky this question since I've been associated with lots of different sounds to lots of different audiences. Some people will know me for my club tracks such as 'Beeper' with The Count; some may know me for the remix of 'Find A Way', which I produced with Switch on Santigold's record, which is very different; some people may know me as the club DJ that champions international music or niche sounds; and others as a radio DJ on Kiss that plays eclectic music. In short I would say the music is cross-genre but aimed at the dancefloor, sometimes leftfield, definitely bassy and with a firm grounding in UK urban club music such as drum n bass and garage, and its spin off sounds like dubstep. It takes in all that's exciting about modern music, it's somewhere in between all this but its difficult to say what it is.

Q6 What are your ambitions for the future?
To continue collaborating with The Count on music and to take our project live on the road, to keep travelling and DJing around the world, to finally crack on with some Sinden solo material.

MORE>> and

Neon Indian is Alan Palomo's (of VEGA fame) new project, serving up washed out synth pop with great hooks and vocals that form the middle ground between Wayne Coyne of Flaming Lips and Luke Sleepy Jackson. Indeed, there are parts that sound like Luke's current band, Empire Of The Sun, with dreamy production and a intermittent synth loop on 'Deadbeat Summer', the highlight of the streaming tracks. Ideal for summer, it's a shame that the only current tour date is thousands of miles away in Canada.


ThreeWeeks is CMU's sister media, the biggest reviewer at the Edinburgh Festival, the biggest cultural festival on the planet. ThreeWeeks is based around a unique media education programme involving 100 students each year. Between them they review more shows than any other media at the Festival, ensuring hundreds of grass roots shows that would otherwise go unreviewed get the coverage they deserve. ThreeWeeks runs a four week operation in Edinburgh during August, and is looking for the following temporary staff to join the team.

Office Manager
This person will run the ThreeWeeks Edinburgh offices from Friday 31 July to Tuesday 1 September, helping set up and wind down the office space, manage a team of student volunteers, and manage and in part undertake project administration and logistics. Must be energetic, consciencious, Microsoft Office and email literate, and a real people person. Previous knowlege of the Edinburgh Fringe an advantage. Core offices hours are 9am-6pm. Fee: £1000.

Distribution Manager
This person will handle all the distribution of the ThreeWeeks weekly edition and one other magazine from Tuesday 4 August to Tuesday 1 September. It basically means driving around a network of distribution points across central Edinburgh and dropping off papers. It is a flexible role. A full distribution run is required on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning, but 3-4 other drop off runs per week can be timed to suit the Distribution Manager. You will drive and care for the ThreeWeeks van so need a full clean driving licence, and will need the patience required for central Edinburgh driving. Knowledge of the city centre an advantage. Fee: £1000

Junior Designer
This person will assist on the design and production of ThreeWeeks' daily print and online publications - typesetting the former in InDesign and the latter in Dreamweaver. Photoshop will also be used. Will suit someone looking for a stepping stone into a media production career with previous experience using these applications. You will be required daily from Thursday 6 to Monday 31 August from 10am-5pm (11-3pm last Bank Holiday weekend). This job is based in the ThreeWeeks Edinburgh office. Fee: £750

To apply for these roles send a CV and covering note to [email protected] stating in the subject line the job title of the role you are applying for.

Limited space is available in the ThreeWeeks flat in Edinburgh, so it may be possible to accommodate good candidates not based in Edinburgh who apply for these roles. If you are not based at an Edinburgh address you should state if you would need accommodation in your application.

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So, on Friday the family of Michael Jackson announced that 11,000 free tickets would be made available for the late singer's big memorial bash tomorrow, to be distributed by lottery. And on Saturday 1.6 million people duly applied for tickets. Which, maths experts assure me, is a lot. The big draw was made last night, with 5500 of the registered fans getting an email telling them they'd won a pair of tickets for the show, which, as expected, will be held at LA's Staples Centre. An additional 6500 tickets were given away for seats at the neighbouring Nokia Theatre, where the event will be simulcast.

Of course hundreds of thousands more people are expected to flock to LA for the event, with police admitting they are preparing themselves for anywhere between a quarter of a million and 700,000 fans to amass on the city. That said, fans without tickets were being encouraged to watch the memorial concert at home - organisers will make a stream of the event available for free to media around the world. Officials stressed that access to the area around the Staples Centre would be restricted to ticket holders, that the large screen at the complex will not broadcast the event, and that there will be no funeral procession through the city.

The event will begin at 10am LA time tomorrow morning (6pm London Time). Specifics of what will happen at the memorial are not known, though some musical performances are expected. A private funeral for family and friends will be held shortly before the public memorial.

Various measures have been put in place to try and stop people touting tickets to the event. IT measures were employed to try and filter out multiple or 'bot-originated' registrations online, while fans have been given unique codes to swap for tickets and wristbands on the day. Security is expected to be tight. Meanwhile, at the press conference announcing the event on Friday, organisers pleaded for people to not try and re-sell tickets to the memorial out of respect for Jackson and his fans.

Despite the measures put in place to combat touting, it's an event that will be attractive to more unscrupulous ticket touts. Given thousands of Jackson fans are reportedly paying AEG Live fifty quid for tickets to a Jacko event that will never happen (ie they are opting to keep their souvenir tickets for the now cancelled O2 shows, rather than get a refund), who knows what they'd pay to get tickets to a real event, and one as significant as the memorial?

It's not clear who is covering the production costs of the memorial, though the city will foot the bill for policing the event and surrounding areas. With LA's authorities laying people off amid budget deficits and the like, the cost of the memorial to the city was high on the agenda for local media at Friday's press conference. City Councilwoman Jan Perry said the city budgeted to police four major and unforeseen events each year, and that this would be one of them, though added that if anyone was interested in or willing to help fund the police effort around the Jackson memorial, that they should get in touch with her via email. Perhaps they could cancel the memorial at the last minute and charge fans fifty quid to keep their wristbands, that seems to be a good way to recoup costs associated with Jackson.

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Although there will be no funeral procession for Jacko tomorrow, it's believed some of the Jackson family did want the late singer to be driven through LA after the memorial event, but that they were overruled by their mother Katherine.

In fact, according to the Mail On Sunday, there is quite a split in the Jackson household regarding how Michael's passing should be commemorated. The paper says the singer's brothers proposed a glitzy send off, all singing, all dancing, and concluding with a procession through LA where fans would be encouraged to throw flowers at the passing hearse. But, reports say, mother Katherine, who has legal responsibility for the funeral, is a very religious woman and wants a more sombre affair.

The paper quote a source as saying: "The family is fiercely divided. You've got the brothers on one hand, who all want to perform and turn the funeral into a showbiz extravaganza, and then you have Katherine on the other side who is a deeply religious woman and is determined that this won't descend into a circus". Katherine is reportedly supported by her daughters Janet and La Toya on the issue.

It's thought Tuesday's memorial event will be a compromise between the two sides of the family, but Katherine got her way in vetoing the funeral procession - a decision presumably welcomed by the cash strapped LA authorities.

The family is also reportedly split on where Jackson should be buried, with the brothers supporting the previously reported Neverland proposals, but Katherine preferring a grave in an LA cemetery. As previously reported, the company who own the mortgage on Neverland were pushing for the singer to be buried there (and were investigating ways to get around Califnornian laws that would ban such a thing) as part of plans to transform the singer's infamous former home into a Gracelands style tourist attraction. But with Katherine ultimately in charge, those proposals are not currently in favour.

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With speculation about Michael Jackson's finances continuing, the man seemingly at the heart of the singer's business affairs for the last eighteen months of his life has spoken to the Associated Press, telling the news agency Jackson had asked him to comment should anything like this happen, to give media an insight into the "real Jacko".

Dr Tohme Tohme (yes, the same name twice, it's not so unusual in some parts of the world) says he was brought into help with Jacko's business affairs about eighteen months ago during one of the singer's previously reported financial crises. It was Jermaine Jackson who got him involved, he being concerned his brother was about to lose his precious Neverland ranch.

Tohme recalled to the AP: "I saw how kind he [Jacko] was and what a wonderful human being. I saw him with his children and I had never seen a better father ... I decided to do what I could to help him".

Calling in personal favours, Tohme secured new financial partners to keep Neverland from being sold, and started restructuring the singer's affairs and negotiating business deals that would bring in new revenues and help safeguard the future of both Jacko and his children. That included deals for a Jacko-themed Broadway show, an animated version of 'Thriller', a new fashion line and the big deal with AEG that led to the O2 residency that was due to kick off this month. He was also hoping to renegotiate the deals around Jackson's biggest asset, his half of the Sony/ATV music publishing company, and the company that controlled Jacko's own creative assets.

There has been speculation about Tohme's "shady" past and his motives for involving himself in Jackson's affairs, and at one point he was linked to the Nation Of Islam organisation said to be involving itself in Jacko's life. But Tohme says that there is nothing dodgy about his past business ventures, he just chooses to not make his life especially public.

As for his role in Jackson's finances, he says he got involved out of respect for the singer, adding that it was his job to keep the really shady dealers out of the singer's business affairs. That, he said, included cutting off some members of Nation Of Islam, an organisation with which, he says, he had no personal links or contact. He concludes: "I was trying to do what we could to maximise his profits and minimise spending. I wanted to find a way to reel in all the loans he had. We had an agreement. I would never interfere with his creative decisions and he wouldn't interfere with my business decisions".

Tohme backs up claims made by AEG regarding the proposed O2 residency, ie that the singer was both fit enough for and excited about the shows, adding that Jackson was on good form the last time he saw him the day before his death.

Finally, asked about those aforementioned proposals to bury Jackson at Neverland, Tohme admitted that he was in favour of the proposal. Of course the investment firm who hold the mortgage on the property, who are also in favour of Jackson being laid to rest there, were brought into Jackson's affairs by Tohme, so his support for the Neverland burial proposal is no surprise.

But he admits that some in the Jackson family are not currently in favour of the proposal, though adds that he hopes to change the singer's mother's mind on the matter, adding: "He deserves to be buried in the wonderful world he created". Jacko, he says, often talked about creating "a special place ten times bigger than Graceland", adding: "He wanted to be remembered as a great human being and he wanted to create as many happy places for the children of the world as he could".

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And so back to the drugs. As much previously reported, there is speculation that Jackson was dependent on high strength prescription drugs in his latter years, a dose of one or the other of which may have killed him. As the authorities await the results of toxicology tests that may confirm if that was or wasn't the case, there is continued speculation as to who might have obtained the drugs for the singer, with various likely candidates having denied any knowledge of the sorts of drugs being blamed for causing the singer's cardiac arrest.

The latest suspect was Dr Allen Metzger, who was Jackson's personal medic back in the nineties. He came under suspicion because of two incidents back then when he wrote prescriptions for Jacko's sister Janet that didn't actually name the singer, but rather used the name of her then chef Ricardo Macchi. Two sets of drugs were reportedly made available to the singer using Macchi's name, and, when the chef formally complained, the doctor was reprimanded by the US Medical Board for a "fraudulent medical practice" involving an "international entertainer".

Metzger has admitted the Janet Jackson prescription incidents to TMZ, but says he acted to save Janet from embarrassment. He refused to comment on whether he did similar favours for Michael when working as his personal physician, but told the gossip site he had not prescribed any drugs to the singer in recent years, or been involved in his healthcare in anyway.

TMZ quote him thus: "I am not at liberty to discuss Michael's medical care. I have not treated him for ages. I have not treated Michael Jackson for many years. I have nothing to do with this tragedy with Michael. I have not prescribed any medication in relation to what happened to him".

Elsewhere in Jacko drug rumours, US media reports allege that officials found the intravenous anaesthetic Diprivan - also known as Propofol - during a search of the late singer's LA home last week. It has already been speculated that a shot of a drug like Diprivan might have caused Jacko's cardiac arrest - though it's possible that those making such speculations had already heard about the police search uncovering the drug at the singer's home.

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And so to more celebrity tributes for Jacko, a week on from his sudden death. And first Madonna, one of the few eighties pop icons to enjoy the same level of fame and success as Jacko, of course. Talking to the Sun about how she had coped with her fame differently that Jackson, Madge said: "Obviously we have very different personalities - he was a lot more shy than I am. That's because I was allowed to have a normal childhood and he wasn't, so there was a vulnerable side to him that made you want to take care of him and protect him. He was a real paradox, one of the world's greatest performers and obviously very confident on stage, but in real life he was shy and you really felt for him".

Meanwhile Jarvis Cocker, famous, of course, for wiggling his bum at Jackson during one of the singer's more vomit-inducing performances at the Brits in 1996, when Jacko's music had really passed its prime, has also commented, he being asked about the singer while guesting on 'Question Time' last week. The former Pulp man mused thus: "If there's a tragedy about the whole thing, I would say that's that if he'd have kept making great records - like he did in the mid-80s - up to now that would have been great. But for some reason, for the last 20 years he didn't do that, and for me that's the tragic part of it".

Asked by 'Question Time' chief David Dimbleby if he considered Jackson to be a genius, Cocker said: "Yeah", before adding "He invented the moonwalk!" Which isn't strictly speaking true. The moonwalk bit I mean. Jacko certainly brought the move to mainstream attention but he didn't, of course, actually invent it.

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Hey Mr Z, never fall out with your lawyer. First rule of business really. But yes, Jay Z is being sued by his own attorney over unpaid fees, I think in relation to lawyer Michael DiMattia's work on a staff dispute at the hip hop mogul's New York bar 40/40 Club. The Roc Nation man's New York establishment has found itself accused of failing to pay its staff the minimum wage or overtime, and is currently locked in litigation relating to those claims. Having DiMattia, who has worked for the rapper for about a year, pull out of the legal squabble and line up with his own lawsuit instead has to be a bit of a hassle for Jay and his business associates. In a letter to the courts, DiMattia writes: "We are seeking to withdraw because... our requests for payment have been ignored".

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Controversial manager Allen Klein, whose clients famously included The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, has died in New York at the age of 77. He had been suffering from Alzheimer's disease.

He began his career in the financial sector, auditing accounts for showbiz types, unearthing owed royalties, and splitting the proceeds with the artists. It was when he worked for Sam Cooke in the early sixties that he began to be more directly involved in the music industry, becoming the singer's business manager. From there, he went on to buy a record label, and subsequently become co-manager of The Rolling Stones. He famously fell out of favour with Jagger et al in the late sixties, and in subsequent litigation was awarded the rights to most of the songs the band recorded prior to 1971.

By the end of the sixties, Klein was working for The Beatles, who hired him, at the suggestion of John Lennon, to sort out the financial mess the band found themselves in following the death of Brian Epstein. Paul McCartney never trusted him, however, and many working with the Beatles at that time were shocked by Klein's abrasive management style and his ruthless cost cutting measures at the band's Apple company.

Klein's family controlled ABKCO Music & Records, is one of the larger music companies in the independent sector, and is presently run by his son Jody. Its assets include the aforementioned Stones recordings, as well as the rights to material by the likes of Ray Davies and Pete Townshend.

Klein's business practices and ruthlessness were notorious, and reviled by many, but the businessman was unrepentant. He told Playboy magazine in 1971: "Don't talk to me about ethics. Every man makes his own. It's like a war. You choose your side early and from then on, you're being shot at. The man you beat is likely to call you unethical. So what?"

It's also claimed that he kept a misquoted bit of text from the bible on his desk: "Though I walk in the shadow of the valley of evil, I have no fear, as I am the biggest bastard in the valley".

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Take That have won a second Silver Clef award, which makes them better than The Beatles and the Rolling Stones, officially, because they've only ever won one. The boy band got their first gong at the annual awards lunch staged in aid of the Nordoff Robbins charity back in 1995, not long before Robbie Williams quit the group. On hearing they had won a second Silver Clef award, singer Gary Barlow announced that he and his colleagues would make a £50k donation to the music therapy charity.

Other winners at this year's event included Brian Wilson, named Best International Act, Madness, who got the Icon Award, La Roux, who received the Best Newcomer gong, and Queen, who were declared Ambassadors Of Rock. The ceremony was accompanied by a memorabilia auction, and the event raised more than £400,000 for the charity.

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ABBA's Benny Andersson has denied those previously reported rumours that the band are to reform in order to fill AEG's slots at the O2 left empty by the demise of Michael Jackson. See, I told you it was unbelievable.

Appearing on 'Friday Night With Jonathan Ross', Andersson said in response to the previously reported claims in The Sun: "No-one's asked us and if they did we wouldn't say yes".

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So, more from the file marked Peter Andre. And more details of the former jungle star and occasional chart botherer's new record deal have been revealed. He has signed to an independent label called Conehead which is allied to Nova Sales & Distribution who, in turn, utilise Universal's physical distribution network. The first release from the new deal will be a single called 'Behind Closed Doors', which will be available for download from August. An album is expected to follow in September.

Manager Claire Powell has confirmed the deal and album plans, telling CMU: "He has developed as an artist and the album will show a more musically mature approach to his lyrics. For the first time he has been involved in every aspect of making his album. He is thrilled to be releasing what he considers to be the album he should have released a long time ago. This record will surprise a lot of people. He's worked with some of the best writers and producers in the US and come back with what could turn out to be one of the biggest albums of the year!"

Elsewhere in Andre news, while plugging his new musical ventures on the Chris Moyles Radio 1 show last week, the reality TV star said his recent high profile break up from model Katie Price has resulted in "the worst few months" of his life. Asked if the couple might ever make up, Andre said: "No. No, what's done is done. Let's not forget the fact there are far bigger problems in the world. But when you are in your own situation it feels like the biggest problem in the world. The hardest bit that's happened out of all of this is acceptance and when you can accept it then you can move forward. I'm going through the acceptance stage, which is very difficult".

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Following his comeback album, Eminem is apparently getting back to a bit of acting too. According to reports, he is to play a small role in a new comedy, 'Funny People', starring Adam Sandler and Eric Bana. Sorry, what? A comedy? With Adam Sandler in it? Does he actually do funny?

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Following sets at Glastonbury and supporting Deerhoof and Silversun, Rumspringa played two London dates over the weekend. You've got one last chance to see them in town, tonight at the Camden Barfly, after which they're going back to the US to work on their debut album, set for release in October. Don't say I didn't tell you.

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SINGLE REVIEW: Scott Matthews - Into the Firing Line/Is This Love? (Sam Remo)
This double A-side from the softly spoken folk singer songwriter Scott Matthews showcases two distinct but equally welcome performances. Sounding like a less constipated Tom Baxter, Matthews has a sweet, radio friendly voice, though 'Into The Firing Line' is stoked on a fire that sets light to a song of proper passion. The Bob Marley cover that completes this double A-side collection is a simple, back to basics number, that of course never touches the wonderful original, but offers a pleasant perspective on a work of genuine genius. A decent couple of tunes, showing a variation many of Matthews' peers lack, and real signs of potential. TM
Release Date: 13 Jul
Press Contact: Anorak London [all]

Buy from iTunes
Buy from Amazon

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The Hours have recorded a new version of the Beatles song 'All Together Now' for a new Budweiser advert which premiered this weekend. The lo-fi cover of the lesser known Beatles track, the original of which appeared on the 'Yellow Submarine' soundtrack, was recorded by The Hours in a hotel room, with band members apparently tapping random objects like a fire extinguisher for percussion. You can check out the ad on the Guardian website here.

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Ticketmaster and Live Nation filed what I'm told is called a Form S-4 to the US's Securities And Exchange Commission last week as part of their bid to get government approval for the two companies to merge. It's not complete, but provides some information about how the company will operate should the merger get the go ahead, some of which we already knew, or suspected.

According to Billboard, information in the document includes that Live Nation boss Michael Rapino would be President and CEO of the merged enterprise, that Ticketmaster boss Irving Azoff would become Exec Chairman, that Ticketmaster shareholders would get 1.384 shares in the new company for each TM share they currently own (I think Live Nation shareholders would get one for one), and that the merged company's board would have more TicketMaster appointed directors than Live Nation ones. So, while Live Nation's man would be in charge, the merger favours Ticketmaster in all other ways. Rapino, by the way, would be paid $1.5 million a year, with an annual bonus of up to double that if the company performs well. Nice work if you can get it.

Billboard say that, when it comes to justifying the merger, which has been criticised by the two companies' rivals in the tour promotion and ticketing industries, the SEC filing says that the boards of both firms believe "the merger will present the combined company with a unique opportunity to improve the live entertainment experience and drive major innovations in ticketing technology, marketing and service".

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The boss of EMI Music Publishing Canada has resigned, confirming he has taken a job at another firm in the Canadian music publishing sector, though it's not yet clear what.

Michael McCarty had been with EMI Music Publishing since before it even existed - ie he worked with SBK, the publishing firm that came into being when it bought CBS Songs in 1986, and which was in turn bought by EMI in 1989. McCarty reportedly told his employers of his plans about a month ago, but confirmed his decision to staff last week.

Billboard quote an internal email McCarty sent to his staff which reads: "There is rarely a day that goes by when I don't stop to reflect on how lucky I am to be able to pursue my passion for working with great songs and songwriters".

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Record label trade body the BPI and Creative & Cultural Skills - some sort of government funded what not to do with skills and stuff - will this week launch an online version of the Music Education Directory, which provides information on academic and vocational opportunities for anyone considering a career in the music industry. There are, of course, a lot more such opportunities today than ever before - when the print version of the directory first launched in 1996 there were 40 entries, now there are 1200. The new online directory will officially launch at an event down there at the Dome on Friday. Unless they cancel at the last minute and charge everyone fifty quid to keep their tickets.

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ITN news man Alastair Stewart, probably best known these days for fronting ITV's London news programme, has said he thinks the BBC needs to undergo a "Beeching style enquiry" whereby an independent expert would consider which of the Corporation's many ventures really can be justified, and which are really unviable or unnecessary projects kept alive by BBC bosses out of touch with commercial realities. The latter, presumably, would be shut down. If such an enquiry was really to follow in the footsteps of Richard Beeching's controversial 1960s review of Britain's railway network, an awful lot of the Beeb's periphery ventures would be wound down. And if it had the same impact as Beeching, whoever did the review would find themselves being criticised for decades to come.

Stewart was, of course, participating in the debate on the future funding of public service broadcasting. As previously reported, the government's recent 'Digital Britain' report proposed keeping an albeit tiny portion of the licence fee aside to fund public service programming on commercial networks, like local news and kid's shows. The BBC have long objected to any proposals they share some of the licence fee, and have become increasingly vocal on the matter since the government's report of the future of digital media.

Stewart, as a local news presenter in the commercial sector, is not unbiased of course. Speaking to a CBI event in Liverpool last week, according to the Guardian Stewart said: "In extreme circumstances we need unusual solutions and this is just such a circumstance". Noting that commercial broadcasters can no longer afford to commercially fund local news, he added: "At this time, balanced reporting of economic, business and political events, nationally and locally, is more important than ever. The UK cannot afford to leave it to the BBC alone".

He disputed claims by BBC bosses that there is simply no spare licence fee money to go to commercial broadcasters, arguing the Corporation is bloated, with bosses there keeping unnecessary and unviable services alive just because they can. He concluded: "They [the BBC] run more TV and radio channels than you could shake an antenna at. I think they might benefit from a Beeching-style enquiry to explore just how well they are serving the public with the public's money and just how many of those media branchlines are really necessary and viable".

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Smash Hits is back. But only for one week. And only because Michael Jackson is dead. Yes, the legendary pop mag has been resurrected for one edition to commemorate the life of the king of pop, a staple for the magazine in its eighties hey day. In fact if I remember rightly, many an edition of Smash Hits back then was dedicated with continuing the manufactured 'pop war' between Jackson and Prince. A ridiculous 'war' with hindsight, I wonder if they'll mention that in the special edition?

Anyway, Bauer Media, who inherited the by then defunct Smash Hits brand when it bought EMAP in 2008, has got one of the pop mag's former editors, Barry McIlheney, in to produce the one off special, which will look back at Jackson's career, his eighties peak, and Smash Hits' coverage of it all. It's one of a number of rushed-to-press Jackson tribute magazines that will be propping up the news-stands this week.

If the Smash Hits one gets all you eighties pop fans feeling all nostalgic and in need of another hit of the magazine, well, you'll presumably have to sit in there and wait until Madonna, Prince or Kylie bite the dust. Possibly Jason. Or maybe Whitney. She was pretty big news back then too wasn't she?

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New figures from radio ratings people RAJAR says that a third of the UK's adult population now say they listen to the radio via the internet. The stat comes from something called the MIDAS report, the ratings body's twice yearly survey of online radio listening.

According to the Rajar/Mori data, 16.9 million people are listening to radio via the net, up 5% from last October, while 3.9 million use personalised or on-demand streaming radio services, like or Spotify, up 34.5%. Listen again services are also popular, and, perhaps more importantly, about half the people using them do so to listen to programmes they didn't previously tune into. As a result listen again services don't seem to have a huge impact on the number of hours people listen to live radio, so that listening is up overall.

From the stats, Rajar reckon 7.8 million people have now downloaded a podcast while 4.2 million people listen to podcasts at least once a week.

Commenting on the data, RAJAR Research Manager Christel Lacaze told reporters: "The fourth MIDAS survey clearly reveals that internet delivered audio listening, whether it is listening live, via listen again services, via personalised online radio or via podcasts, continues to grow".

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If this keeps up, they're going to have to rename the charts the Michael Jackson Memorial List because, following the first full week after his death, the singer's music has yet again made up a significant amount of record sales.

With 'Man In The Mirror' rising to number two in the singles chart, Jackson also managed to get five singles in the top 20, 13 in the top 40, 27 in the top 75 and a staggering 49 in the top 200. Albums-wise, he still holds the number one spot, although this week it's with 'The Essential Michael Jackson', rather than 'Number Ones', which this week is at number three. In total, there are five Jackson albums in the top ten, eight in the top 40, and twelve in the top 200. Collectively, Jackson accounts for 600,000 record sales last week.

Of course, this means that the album which had been set for the number one spot in the midweeks, La Roux's eponymous debut, is at number two. However, despite the number of people rushing out to spend their money on Michael Jackson, the duo still managed to gain the highest number of first week sales for a debut album this year. La Roux's latest single, 'Bulletproof', drops from number one to number three this week, replaced at the top by Cascada with 'Evacuate The Dancefloor'.

New entries in the top 40 singles chart this week come from Cascada, Jamie T with 'Sticks N Stones', Pitbull with 'I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)', Black Eyed Peas with 'I Gotta Feeling', and Michael Jackson with 'Black Or White', 'Dirty Diana', 'They Don't Care About Us', 'The Way You Make Me Feel', 'You Are Not Alone', 'Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough', and 'Bad'.

New entries in the albums top 40 are La Roux, Ali Campbell with 'Flying High', The Kenyan Boys Choir with 'Spirit Of Africa', Killswitch Engage with 'Killswitch Engage', and Michael Jackson with 'The Very Best of Michael Jackson & The Jackson Five' and 'HIStory: Past, Present & Future Book 1'.

With the continued focus on Michael Jackson this week, particularly around his memorial service at the Staples Centre on Tuesday, the surge in sales of his music looks like it may increase again this week. It's entirely possible that there will be even more Jacko records in the charts this Sunday.

The charts are compilated by The Official Charts Company.

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Yeah, Dappy, he of N-Dubz fame, ain't impressed with La Roux's Elly Jackson dissing modern R&B music.

As previously reported, Jackson said last week: "[R&B is] very kind of empty, like hollow and not rooted in anything good or healthy. Lyrically it's just like really really bad - I think a lot of it just doesn't mean anything. I think a lot of it is, 'Baby I love you, I want to kiss you'. It's just like what are you on about? Shut up. It certainly doesn't make me feel anything special, or doesn't make me think, or go somewhere else in my mind. I just don't get it".

Dappy, who presumably thinks his band is to be lumped in with the R&B scene Jackson was dissing, has responded to the Daily Star thus: "I'm a fan of La Roux but she needs to expand her knowledge of music. There's a much wider range and variety than she knows about and she needs to listen to it".

I think we need to organise a La Roux versus N-Dubz cage fight to solve this one. Anyone? Let's book the Dome, they've got some spare slots. No need to speak to the bands, we'll cancel it at the last minute and make all the fans pay fifty quid to keep their tickets.

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