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CMU Info
Top Stories
Hands proposed EMI split, internal documents reveal
Love addresses Oxford Union, misses comeback gig
In The Pop Courts
Dr Dre sues Death Row
German girl group member charged after passing on HIV virus
Awards & Contests
First ever Radio Production Awards take place
Charts, Stats & Polls
iTunes approaches ten billionth download
In The Studio
PETA condemn Matthew Herbert pig slaughter
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Talks, Debates & Conventions
MusicTank to focus on the release window issue
The Music Business
PPL lose appeal in public performance tribunal ruling
Live Nation announce alliance with Wal-mart
Nicoli to chair Nick Stewart's consultancy
Imagem buy Rodgers & Hammerstein out of EMI deal
The Digital Business
Omnifone to launch Android-based service
The Media Business
VH1 Australia to become MTV Classic
6music red button service gets over a million views
Chart Of The Day
Chart update
And finally...
Have you got that on a Grainge?
Now GLAAD want Mayer apology

OK, a quick Monday-style reminder that we are currently taking votes as to what topic we should discuss in our slot at this year's Liverpool Sound City. And everyone who votes will be entered into a draw to win tickets for the conference, so you should definitely get voting!

As previously reported, organisers of the brilliant Liverpool Sound City have set aside one conference session at this year's event in May for you, the CMU readership, to control. Liverpool Sound City consists of four days of talks, debates, gigs, showcases and parties, aimed at everyone working in music, from the grass roots to the biggest corporate operations, from the artist, songwriter, producer, label, management, promoter, agent, A&R, digital, publicity and media communities. And, in the case of the showcases, every music fan within earshot.

This year, the European edition of the mighty MUSExpo will help form the main conference strand of the Sound City event. The Sound City team, assisted by MUSExpo, will together compile an excellent line up of panels, keynotes and debates, covering the hot topics and issues in the music industry in 2010, and involving an array of leading industry practitioners.

But in addition to all that, there is one slot available for you - the CMU readership - to programme. That slot will be dedicated to one of the following panel topics, all suggested by readers. But only one can be debated. Choose which you'd like to see from this shortlist of readers' suggestions:

01 Why won't artists just bloody well take control? [CONTROL]
Given all the DIY tools now available to young bands, why do so many still aim for that record label deal?

02 Is live music really booming? [LIVE]
Is the live industry really in the good health we're always told, and how can the wider industry support grass roots live?

03 Should major labels be dropping A&Rs rather than bands? [MAJORS]
Are current major label personnel really up to the challenge of the digital age?

04 Digital DIY is killing music [DIY]
Free digital platforms enable a barrage of mediocre music to swamp the good stuff, and means artists with marketing rather than musical skills have the advantage. How can the music and digital industries combine to truly benefit good music talent?

05 Music radio will die, and good riddance [RADIO]
Can real music radio survive, and if not, how can web services take its place in promoting new music?

You can vote for your favourite right now. Just email the 'keyword' of your preferred panel (ie the capitals after the panel title) to soundcity@unlimitedmedia.co.uk. We will be reporting from the event, so it's worth voting even if you don't think you will make it to Sound City this year, because we'll let you know what the final panel say here in the Daily. And don't forget, everyone who votes will be put into a draw to win a free pair of tickets to the whole convention.

Vote now, and in the meantime check out all the other info you need on Liverpool Sound City at www.liverpoolsoundcity.co.uk. After you've read the rest of today's CMU Daily though, obviously.

Andy Malt
Editor, CMU Daily

Probably the world's most exciting and enchanting electronic band, The Knife announced their most ambitious project yet last year with 'Tomorrow, In A Year', an opera based on Charles Darwin's 'On The Origin Of The Species'. Though a challenging and disparate record, there are tracks that can be listened to as standalone works, including the regimented and spooky 'Colouring In Pigeons, and 'The Height of Summer', which reverberates with a signature synth bassline that envelops the entire track, interrupted only by intermittent distant whistles.

The entire record is still streaming via the link below, which also has info on performances of the entire opera. I'm hoping for imminent UK dates.


UnLimited Creative is the creative services agency owned by CMU publishers UnLimited Media. We work with music and media companies, consumer brands, and other marketing and PR agencies, providing these services:

Marketing & PR: We devise and run marketing and PR campaigns, specialising in the youth and student markets, music and cultural products and marketing partnerships.

Content: We provide entertainment content to brands and media. We develop content strands. We produce original content. We manage content delivery.

Design & Print: We provide design, print and contract publishing services. We create brand identities. We design and produce websites. We produce & print marketing materials and corporate media.

Media & PR Training: We provide PR, media and music business training. We offer a menu of seminars. We develop bespoke courses. We develop out-reach training as part of CSR programmes.

To read about past projects click here. To discuss how we can help your company or project, email chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
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Law, Weisz, Stewart take Whatsonstage theatre awards
Channel 4 to host comedy gala
O'Leary to host 'Question Time' for the young folks
Music mags see more circulation decline
MP3 blogs on Blogger shut down over DMCA concerns
Guardian sell regional papers
Southbank Centre launches Latin festival
Merton criticises film festival for allegedly dropping him
Zellweger to judge at Berlin Film Festival

The boss of EMI owners Terra Firma, that crafty Guy Hands fella, told his financial backers last November that it was "essential" that the company be split into two - so that the struggling music major's recorded music and music publishing divisions would become separate entities - according to new documentation revealed by the Wall Street Journal this weekend.

Hands seemingly talked up plans to split his big music asset into two late last year, amid then ongoing negotiations to persuade EMI's money lenders Citigroup to restructure the company's debts. As previously reported, Hands wanted the US bank to write off a billion of EMI's debts (debts caused by the cash Terra Firma borrowed to buy EMI in the first place), in return for a commitment by the equity firm to pump a similar amount of new money into the faltering music concern. Citigroup refused to play ball, and since then Hands has launched legal action against the bank for alleged bad advice given to him by the bankers ahead of this purchase of EMI in 2007. Speculation has also risen that EMI will default on its loan commitments, allowed Citigroup to take control of the firm.

The correspondence between Hands and Citigroup regarding splitting up EMI's record labels and publishing units has come to light because of the legal dispute between the two companies. Also among documents filed with the US courts last week was an internal memo from EMI's recorded music chief Elio Leoni-Sceti warning Hands that morale among the record company's staff and artists (and those artists' managers) was at an all time below, the latter presumably making it difficult for the major to sign the sort new talent that a major record company needs on board to ensure future success.

Of course, it is widely known that it is Leoni-Sceti's recorded music division that causes EMI most of its financial problems, with EMI Music Publishing, in line with most of its competitors, being more resistant to slumping record sales; the publishing sector having always relied as much on broadcast, public performance and sync royalty revenues (all of which are up) as much as the songwriter and publisher's share of declining record sale revenues.

That EMI's more successful music publishing company be spun off from the flagging recordings business is not a new idea, and, indeed, before Terra Firma's acquisition of the company at least one of the other bidders for the music major intended to do just that had they successfully acquired the music firm.

That said, as the recorded music business becomes more and more about licensing sound recordings than selling plastic disks, the differences between record companies and music publishing companies start to decline. As a result, the case may now actually be stronger for merging EMI's record labels and publishing wing, rather than furthering the divide between them. It would be a bold move, but adopting the model being nurtured by BMG's new songs-and-recordings music rights agency might just work, even for a company as big as EMI.

Elsewhere in his banker exchanges, we see Hands admit that the music firm is worth £2 billion less now than what he paid for it in 2007 - with the equity man suggesting EMI Publishing is worth just under £1.5 billion, and the record company less than £800 million. Terra Firma has, of course, written down the value of the music firm on a number of occasion, with the value of the equity firm's overall portfolio of corporate assets taking quite a hit as a result.

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Courtney Love addressed 300 students at the Oxford Union on Friday evening, managing to cover subjects as diverse as the state of the music industry, the British public's part in its downfall, her relationship with her daughter, Kurt Cobain's suicide, Greek myths and her affinity with the UK.

She also told the students present that she would like to live in "either Oxfordshire or Buckinghamshire", describing her nationality as "Amglish". Explaining her love of the area around the university city, she began by explaining her history in the UK, having lived in Liverpool and gone to school in Suffolk at different points in her life, and saying: "The first time I came to Oxford I was with Echo And The Bunnymen and I walked around, and the bricks were so black and it was so magical".

Moving on to weightier subjects, she discussed her husband's suicide in 1994, and her continued social status as "Kurt Cobain's widow", saying: "That action had a horrible effect on our family. It's not cool. It just wasn't cool. And that action was regretted the second it happened. I was expected by the zeitgeist to go with him or something. But I worked. I had to work to get money to feed my kid. I never expected I would be connected to the Alpha male as some kind of ancillary object and to this day it mystifies me".

On the subject of the previously reported restraining order stopping her from contacting that "kid", daughter Frances Bean Cobain, who has also been placed in the custody of Cobain's mother and sister, she said: "I'm having my Demeter and Persephone moment with my daughter".

In the Greek myth, Persephone was abducted and taken down to the underworld by Hades, where she became queen. Her mother, Demeter, goddess of the harvest and controller of the seasons, began searching for her daughter night and day, neglecting her work, which led the earth to begin dying. Persephone's father, Zeus then convinced Hades to return his daughter, though she was forced to return to the underworld for four months each year. Make of that what you will.

On the subject of the music industry, she said that the growing trend for 360 degree deals was not a good thing, proclaiming: "Friends don't let friends do 360 deals". She also blamed British record buyers for taking music down a new and dangerous road when they let the Crazy Frog go to number one. She told the audience: "Your country did a terrible thing in sending the singing frog into the charts. That was a terrible thing that you did to us because then ringtones started to compete with songs". Which is a fair point.

Though she didn't pretend that everything musical she has ever put out into the world necessarily furthered the industry, or the artform, in any way. She described her 2004 solo album 'America's Sweetheart' as "a really crap record", blaming drugs for its poor quality, and saying: "I thought I could be both Mick [Jagger] and Keith [Richards] at the same time, but one of you has to be sober and I'm not two people. Much of my hi jinx have been drug-related. When you're under 30, whatever, but once you're past 40 it's just ugly".

However, she said that her best work was yet to come, and that it would be the newly re-launched Hole that she would be remembered for. Discussing the resistance from her former bandmates, none of whom are involved in the band's latest incarnation, she said: "Melissa Auf der Maur, our old bass player with the really thin hips and the great ass, she wanted to do a reunion, but I said 'Melissa, we only did two relevant records'. I will play old songs [but the] legacy is to be written".

That said, the new legacy got off to a bad start last Thursday, when the band's first gig, which was due to take place in London last Thursday, was cancelled after a mini-riot got between where Courtney was staying and the venue where she was due to perform.

The band were due to play at the Proud Galleries in Camden, but their route there was blocked as police responded to a party going on at a west London squat, a party which reportedly got out of hand, resulting in Park Lane and Oxford Street being closed while police brought the matter under control. Unfortunately, the road closures meant that Courtney Love was one of the people unable to make their way across the capital, and as a result she could not make it to the show.

On the party and road closures, a spokesman for Scotland Yard told reporters in the early hours of Friday morning: "We have been attending a call to a building in Park Lane after reports that in excess of 2000 young people were holding a large party. Some people were seen climbing onto the roof and there is concern that the roof may have become unsafe. Police have attended to get the partygoers removed for their own safety. We were called at 11pm and the situation was being brought under control within the first 90 minutes. The London Ambulance service and Fire Brigade have also been in attendance and there are reports that they have had bottles thrown at them".

The band did, however, manage to perform one song on 'Friday Night with Jonathan Ross' (which was recorded on Tuesday), and there will be another opportunity to see Hole v2.0 play in London this week, when they play the NME Awards show at the Shepherds Bush Empire on Wednesday.

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Dr Dre has launched a lawsuit against Death Row Records, which, as much previously reported, was acquired by entertainment company WIDEawake last year, claiming that he is owed royalties by the company.

In legal documents filed last Thursday, he claims that he has received no payments from the company since 1996 (ie since its Suge Knight days), and that since the label's rebirth last year it has released a collectors' edition of his 1992 album 'The Chronic' and a greatest hits package without his consent.

In one of the best pop courts quotes of all time, lawyer Howard King told a judge at the Los Angeles Federal Court on Thursday: "When it came to paying artist royalties and honouring limits on Dr Dre recordings that could be released, the 'new' Death Row Records, to quote our client, 'forgot about Dre'. This lawsuit will make sure they remember".

I'd rule in Dre's favour just for that use of his lyrics, but apparently the whole thing still has to go through the normal legal process. The hip hop star is seeking unspecified damages for breach of contract, false advertising and trademark infringement.

As previously reported, these aren't the first legal problems experienced by the revamped Death Row. The music lawyer who oversaw WIDEawake's acquisition of the label after its original bankruptcy, Lara Lavi, is in legal dispute with her financial backers over the running of the company.

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A member of a German girl group originally created by the country's version of the 'Popstars' TV show has been formally charged over those previously reported allegations that she deliberately spread the HIV virus. Nadja Benaissa of No Angels is accused of having unprotected sex with three men without telling them she had been diagnosed as HIV positive.

Benaissa was originally arrested in relation to the allegations last April. She's denied the claims ever since, but has now been formally charged with causing grievous bodily harm. At least one of her sexual partners is known to have contracted the disease.

Confirming the charges, a German prosecutor told reporters: "She was well aware that any unprotected sexual contact can lead to the virus being passed on".

If found guilty, Benaissa could face between six and ten years in jail.

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It was the first ever Radio Production Awards last week, a new awards bash set up by the Radio Academy and the Radio Independents Group designed to complement the radio industry's Sony Awards by celebrating behind-the-scenes talent and programme production companies, rather than on-air presenters and actual stations and networks.

This meant that while production departments at Global Radio, Absolute Radio and the BBC won some gongs, independent radio programme makers - a group of radio people represented by the RIG - also got a look in. One prize was specifically reserved for a production company independent of a network, and that, perhaps unsurprisingly, went to Unique, makers of programmes like Radio 2's Radcliffe & Maconie show, 6music's Bruce Dickinson Rock Show, Radio 3's 'Jazz Library' and Nick Barraclough's shows for Smooth Radio.

The awards were also open to those providing radio-style programming for podcast or website-based streaming, and it was with that in mind that two of the gongs went to Guardian people. The full list of winners was as follows:

Best Factual Producer: Catherine Miller, BBC News
Best Entertainment Producer: W Clark, P Deacon & C Parker, TXmediasuite
Best Music Entertainment Producer: Sue Clark, Sue Clark Productions
Live Music Producer (Concert): Joe Adams, TBI Media/Absolute Radio
Live Music Producer (Studio Session): Chris Denman, Xfm (Global Radio)
Best Online Producer: Francesca Panetta, The Guardian
Best Drama Producer: Gordon House, Goldhawk/Essential
Best Newcomer: James Wilson, Galaxy Manchester (Global Radio)
The Creative Award: Francesca Panette, The Guardian
Lifetime Achievement Award: John Tydeman
Indie Of The Year: UBC (Unique And Smooth Operations)

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As I write this another 88,845,326 tracks need to be downloaded on iTunes until the market leader download store has sold over a ten billion songs. Oh, hang on, now its 88,845,259. And now it's 88,845,173. I'm going to close this counter window, it's distracting. Whoever buys the ten billionth download will get a $10,000 iTunes voucher. So, get your finger ready to click 'buy' in 88,844,987 downloads time.

In a bid to start building some hype ahead of that landmark, Apple last week released details of the top ten tracks downloaded on iTunes since its US launch in 2003. Brace yourself for this. There is a chance this list will make you want to jump out of the nearest window, and then you'll have no chance of winning that ten grand iTunes voucher. OK, here we go, in reverse order, the ten biggest iTunes downloads of all time...

10. Ke$ha - TiK ToK
9. Leona Lewis - Bleeding Love
8. Taylor Swift - Love Story
7. Flo Rida - Low
6. Lady GaGa & Colby O'Donis - Just Dance
5. Coldplay - Viva La Vida
4. Jason Mraz - I'm Yours
3. Black Eyed Peas - Boom Boom Pow
2. Lady GaGa - Poker Face
1. Black Eyed Peas - I Gotta Feeling

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Electronic musician Matthew Herbert has been working on an unusual project since May last year. Entitled 'The Pig', he set out with the aim of recording the life of a pig from birth to death, then turning the sounds he collected into music and releasing it all as an album.

The project hit various snags along the way, starting off when he managed to miss the birth of the original pig, setting everything back by two months. The latest problem was that Herbert was unable to find an abattoir that would allow him to record the pig being slaughtered. However, last Wednesday, he posted a message to the blog where he is chronicling the project's progress, simply saying: "The pig is now dead". It's not clear if he was able to record the slaughter or not.

The next stage is to record the butchery process, before the meat is cooked by a number of chefs, apparently including Heston Blumenthal, and eaten. Other parts of the pig will be made into items including musical instruments.

Animal rights organisation PETA has condemned the project, telling Gigwise last week: "No one with any true talent or creativity hurts animals to attract attention ... Pigs are inquisitive, highly intelligent, sentient animals who become frightened when they are sent to slaughterhouses, where they kick and scream and try to escape the knife. They are far more worthy of respect than Matthew Herbert or anyone else who thinks cruelty is entertainment".

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2000TREES FESTIVAL, Upcote Farm, Withington, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, 16-17 Jul: Frank Turner and 65daysofstatic have been announced as the first acts for this summer's 2000trees Festival. www.twothousandtreesfestival.co.uk

BLOC WEEKEND, Butlins Resort, Minehead, Somerset, 12-14 Mar: Joining a bill of 60+ international acts including The Beastie Boy's Mixmaster Mike, Salt N Pepa, Roots Manuva, Wiley and Ms Dynamite, BLOC Weekend have announced Model 500, Juan Atkins, Mad Mike Banks, DJ Skurge and Mark Taylor as additions to their already impressive line-up. www.blocweekend.com

FIELD DAY, Victoria Park, London, 31 Jul: Phoenix, Beth Jeans Houghton and Gold Panda are amongst the first acts to be revealed for this year's Field Day. Other acts announced include Esben And The Witch, Pantha Du Prince, Memory Tapes and Mouse On Mars. www.fielddayfestivals.com

GLADE FESTIVAL, Matterly Bowl, nr Winchester, Hampshire, 15-18 Jul: Orbital, Simian Mobile Disco and Tricky have been revealed as the initial headliners for this summer's Glade Festival. www.gladefestival.com

HARD ROCK CALLING, Hyde Park, London, 25-27 Jun: Ben Harper & Relentless7, The Gaslight Anthem and The Hives are the latest acts to be added to the line-up on Friday at Hard Rock Calling, joining the previously announced Pearl Jam and Wolfmother. www.hardrockcalling.co.uk

WIRELESS FESTIVAL, Hyde Park, London, 2-4 Jul: Some geeza called Jay is to headline Sunday, plus Aussie four-piece The Temper Trap join Gossip, The Ting Tings and headliner Pink on the Friday bill. www.wirelessfestival.co.uk

ROCK AM RING, Nurburgring, Germany, 4 - 6 Jun: Jay-Z, again, Them Crooked Vultures and Dizzee Rascal are amongst the second wave of acts announced for this German fest. Also added to the line-up are 30 Seconds To Mars, A Day To Remember, Bad Religion, Ellie Goulding, Slayer and Wolfmother. www.rock-am-ring.com

SWEDEN ROCK FESTIVAL, Solvesborg, Sweden, 9-12 Jun: Guns N Roses have been announced as headliners for the Sweden Rock Festival this summer, along with guitar legend Gary Moore, and UDO. Previously announced acts for this Swedish fest include Slayer, WASP, Suicidal Tendencies, Opeth and Steel Panther. www.swedenrock.com

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Oh, now this could be one of the most interesting MusicTank events to date, centring, as it is, on an issue an increasing number of music business types have been raising concerns about in recent years, but on which few in the record industry have as yet acted.

The issue is this: the fact that the traditional record industry marketing model, whereby most publicity activity takes place in the six weeks before a record is actually released (a model designed to boost first week sales and therefore chart position) means that when a new track is at its most hyped it's not actually available from any legit music stores. A fact which might make the modern impatient consumer go and find it on illegal file-sharing networks instead, where it was probably posted before the hype even began.

This was actually an issue we raised in a CMU report on music retail way back in 2004, a report undertaken by then University Of Westminster student Jennifer O'Kane in association with MusicTank, as it happens. That report noted that one reason teenagers gave for accessing music illegally via P2P was that when they first saw a new video on music TV it could be weeks before that track would be available in the shops, or on the then emerging new download stores and subscription-based digital music services.

Of course, many records do now appear via digital stores and streaming services before they arrive on the high street, but there is still generally a gap between records being serviced to music radio and TV and their arrival on digital platforms. Some would argue the TV and radio sectors like it that way. Others would say that a week or two of radio play is needed before release to ensure a high chart position, and that the media coverage enjoyed by chart topping singles is still important in the wider scheme of things. But some might argue that record company marketing methods are increasingly outdated, and that record labels should just try and get all and any new music available online as soon as its mastered.

Anyway, these are some of the arguments that will presumably be put forward at the next MusicTank Think Tank, which has the title 'Number One With A Bullet... Is Pre Release Killing Our Business?' On the panel will be BBC Radio 1 man George Ergatoudis, artist manager Joe Taylor and Martin Talbot of the Official Chart Company.

The debate will take place on 10 Mar at 6.30pm at the PRS For Music HQ in London town. More info at www.musictank.co.uk/events/charts-and-the-release-process

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Recording rights body PPL has lost its appeal over that previously reported Copyright Tribunal ruling that found in favour of the UK pub industry in a long running dispute over what bars, restaurants, shops and their like should pay for the privilege of playing records on their premises, and the way such payments should be structured.

As previously reported, PPL has been in disagreement with the British Beer And Pub Association and the British Hospitality Association about such royalties for years. The dispute went to Copyright Tribunal last year, and the copyright judges basically found in the pub sector's favour. PPL announced its intent to appeal almost straight away, and both sides re-presented their arguments to appeal judges last month. The appeal judges gave their judgment last week, upholding the original Tribunal's ruling.

Needless to say PPL wasn't overly impressed with the judgement. A spokesman for the collecting society told reporters: "On the appeal, the judge was limited to considering whether the Copyright Tribunal had erred in law, not whether the decision was one he would have made based on the evidence. Naturally the company is extremely disappointed that the judge found there was no error of law although he identified some problems with the decision of the Tribunal. This leaves PPL with tariffs that it believes substantially undervalue the rights of its performer and record company members".

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Live Nation Entertainment has entered into an agreement with Wal-Mart which will see the US supermarket giant start selling tickets to music and sport events over the counter.

This is more news because it is the first big deal to be confirmed by Irving Azoff in his shiny new role as Executive Chairman of the combined Live Nation Ticketmaster enterprise. Because, of course, that headline would have read "Ticketmaster announce alliance with Wal-Mart" until US regulators gave the two companies' merger the go ahead last month. Azoff was speaking in his new capacity as a Live Nation chief at a conference in Dallas this weekend.

Ticketmaster previously sold tickets over the counter at Tower Records shops until that retail chain collapsed in 2006. The Live Nation side of the company already as a retail partnership with the Blockbuster chain in the US.

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Music consultancy Nick Stewart & Associates, who advise the likes on U2, Steely Dan, The Eagles, Don Henley, Neil Diamond, Yusuf Islam, Vangelis, Michael Bolton, Fleetwood Mac and Steve Winwood on marketing, management and publishing issues, has announced the appointment of former EMI big cheese Eric Nicoli to the role of Chairman.

Confirming Nicoli's appointment, Stewart told CMU: "I am delighted to say that Eric has accepted my offer and I feel very fortunate to have such an accomplished business man helping me guide and steer my company's fortunes in the immediate and long term future. There is an amazing array of music, both classic and new, that is being brought to music fans in so many different ways. It is a very exciting time with inventive and creative ideas being constantly launched. What Eric and I bring is a guiding hand and decades of experience to help those ideas shine".

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The Imagem Music Group has announced it has bought back the worldwide administration rights to the catalogue owned by The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organisation, the US-based publishing firm Imagem acquired last April.

Although taking ownership of the late music theatre greats' publishing company last year, many of the exploitation rights outside the US for songs and shows in the RHO catalogue were held by EMI under a long term administration deal. But Imagem announced this morning that they had now bought RHO out of that deal, giving them complete rights over the firm's songs.

Imagem UK CEO John Minch told CMU: "I am extremely grateful to EMI for their help and flexibility in putting this agreement together. They have been involved in developing these rights for many years and have done a first class job with them. But ever since we acquired RHO last year it's been a bit frustrating not being able to let our synch team and trackers loose to maximise the potential of this great company and to channel the rights through the Imagem network worldwide".

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It's the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, so if the UN should want to get rid of all of the world's tedious mobile phone geeks in one go, well, this is the week to mount an attack.

Among the announcements due to be made at the conference is one by mobile music people Omnifone, who power various mobile music services around the world, many carrying their own MusicStation brand. The company has developed a version of its MusicStation service that will run on the Android mobile phone operating system, and they will be demonstrating it at MWC this week.

The MusicStation Android API Suite will then be made available to Android device vendors, independent application developers and mobile network operators who might want to plug into Omnifone's music platform and make it available via an Android framework.

Omnifone CEO Rob Lewis told CMU: "With fully localised catalogues in more than 20 countries, and the widest and most sophisticated device type support, Omnifone can provide fully licensed digital music services in more countries and on more device platforms, including Android, than any other digital music service provider. The popularity and growth of the Android platform will be substantial. Omnifone is delighted to be able to deliver the richest and most sophisticated music capability on mobile, and one that will work effortlessly on any manufacturer's Android device".

As previously reported, Omnifone recently announced its first major move into the web-based domain with the bundling of the MusicStation streaming and download service onto HP computers.

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Perhaps I had the Winter Olympics on the brain, but when I heard that MTV Australia were putting their annual awards show "on ice" I thought to myself, "now that's an awards event I'd watch". I'd quite like to see Kanye West try to gatecrash the stage when doing so involves crossing 40 feet of ice rink.

But no, it was a different kind of "on ice". The telly network has announced there will no MTV Australia Awards this year. Instead there will be a big party to celebrate the launch of MTV Classic, an interesting new channel from the TV firm. Interesting in that it knocks the VH1 brand off the Aussie TV channel guide.

I wonder whether there are any plans to remove Video Hits One from the MTV roster of channels in any other territories also? The company's classic hits channel was originally known as MTV Classic in Poland, though that was subsequently rebranded as VH1 to bring it in line with other countries.

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Footage of two 'old meets new' sessions organised by 6music and made available via your telly on the red button was watched 1.3 million times during the week it was available. The sessions saw Little Boots perform with Gary Numan and La Roux do their stuff with Heaven 17. The sessions originally aired on the BBC's digital radio station, before being made available via the Beeb's interactive service.

Radio 2 and 6music man Jeff Smith told reporters: "6music is uniquely positioned to curate performances that link the heritage of music to its future. The phenomenal success of visualising these two 6music live sessions displays the voracious appetite that people have for unique musical collaborations. Having the opportunity to let so many people access them through the Red Button allows a digital radio station like BBC 6music to demonstrate the distinctive nature of what it does and what it stands for".

As previously reported, rumour is rife that 6music might face the chop when a BBC Trust review of the digital service reports back in the next few weeks. Though, as also previously reported, said rumour seems to be mainly based on suspicion as to why the review was commissioned in the first place, which is misguided because these reviews are standard practice at the Corporation. 6music increasingly doubles up as the BBC's principle credible music operation, which the red button venture presumably proves, and one would hope that would go in its favour when the Trust consider its future.

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Well, as expected, the Helping Haiti cover of REM's 'Everybody Hurts' has gone straight in at number one in the singles chart. Even though calling the project "Helping Haiti" seems incredibly arrogant, the lyrics of the song send a slightly odd message to the people of the earthquake-struck country, and it's not actually very good. Still, it's all money for charity, I suppose. Though there are other ways of donating to this cause, people.

The song sold 453,000 copies in its first week (200,000 of those in the first two days), making it the fastest selling charity single of the century (it's amazing what a few weeks can do for a single's 'record breaking status' - just over six weeks ago we would have only been saying "biggest of the decade"). So, there you go.

Now, on to this week's 'Glee' update. The cast of the shiny kids' show are all over the chart this week. The single that started it all, that cover of Journey's 'Don't Stop Believin', is down one place to number five (the original is at eleven this week), while a mash-up of Beyonce's 'Halo' and Katrina And The Waves' 'Walking On Sunshine' is straight in at nine. Meanwhile, another mash-up, this time featuring Bon Jovi's 'It's My Life' and Usher's 'Confessions Part II', is in at fourteen, and way down at 32 is their cover of Queen's 'Somebody To Love', down from last week's 26.

Also new in the top ten, though not new on the chart, is Rihanna with 'Rude Boy' at ten. The two non-Glee-related new entries in this week's top 40 are 'Parachute' by Cheryl Cole at 26 and DJ Zinc's 'Wile Out', which features vocals by Ms Dynamite, at 38.

Over in the album chart, where there is no 'Glee' (for the moment, at least), Alicia Keys holds fast at number one for a second week. Also sticking exactly where they were last week are Andre Rieu and Paolo Nutini at two and three respectively. Sade is new at four, with 'Soldier Of Love', as are Massive Attack, whose latest album 'Heligoland' is in at six.

Further down, 'Popstar To Operastar' judge Rolando Villazón is new at eighteen with 'Tenor', UB40 are in at 24 with 'Labour Of Love IV', Barry Manilow is new at 26 with 'The Greatest Love Songs Of All Time', Seasick Steve goes in at 33 with 'Songs For Elisabeth', and finally, Gil Scott-Heron's first studio album in over fifteen years, 'I'm New Here', makes its debut on the chart at 39.

The charts are compiled each week by The Official Charts Company. To my knowledge, they've never forgotten to do it once. That's why they're so good.

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During an interview with the New York Times last week following news that he would become top dog at the Universal Music Group at the end of the year, Universal Music International chief Lucian Grainge surprised some by saying that "I believe that the CD will out-survive me as a format".

Surprise, presumably, because it's not previously been revealed that there were plans for Grainge to become a new format for distributing music.

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America's Gay And Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation have hit out at John Mayer for apologising for using the 'nigger' word in his recent and previously reported Playboy interview, but not saying sorry for using the 'fags' term.

The singing guitar man used the term in his increasingly controversial interview when recalling a run in with that Perez Hilton bloke. Mayer: "The only man I've kissed is Perez Hilton... I was dating Jessica [Simpson] at the time, and I remember seeing Perez Hilton flitting about this club and acting as though he had just invented homosexuality. All of a sudden I thought, I can out-gay this guy right now. I grabbed him and gave him the dirtiest, tongue-iest kiss I have ever put on anybody - almost as if I hated fags..."

After Mayer took to Twitter to say he regretted using the 'nigger' word elsewhere in the same interview, a GLAAD spokesman posted the following statement on their website: "Just as Mayer indicated in his apology, that he meant no offence in his use of the racist slur, we hope the intent behind his use of the F-word was not malicious. As a public figure with millions of fans, Mayer should be more cognisant of the impact his casual use of both slurs can have".

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Georgina Stone
Editorial Assistant
Owen Smith
Approval Officer
Paul Vig
Club Tipper

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