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CMU Info
Top Stories
Citigroup talking to EMI bidders
Smiley Culture died from single self-inflicted stab wound
In The Pop Courts
Dre lawsuit dismissed
In The Pop Hospital
Wyclef's hand injured in shooting
Mustaine taken ill backstage, but Megadeth show goes on
Charts, Stats & Polls
Bieber movie outsells Jacko film in US
Films & Shows News
Open casting call for lead in Tupac movie
Gigs & Tours News
Architecture In Helsinki tour
Festival News
Festival line-up update
Album review: DeVotchKa - 100 Lovers (Anti-)
Brands & Stuff
Vice team up with Dell and Intel for new live music site
The Music Business
HMV will propose to banks it sells Waterstones
Vince Power prepares to float latest festivals venture
Ingenious backs two new festivals
Lasgo founder buys back business
French label closes, explains challenges of French market
The Media Business
Moyles' 52 hour charity show raises £2.4 million
Jazz FM goes national via Digital One
And finally...
Grohl is no Glee fan, and Murphy can shut up

That was a nice weekend, wasn't it? It was all sunny and stuff, almost like winter is coming to a close. In fact, don't the clocks go forward this Sunday? Winter is officially ending this week. Hurrah! I hate winter, it's stupid. OK, it's not that bad. But it's quite cold, which seems unnecessary. At least summer tries to be warm. Anyway, I think I've babbled long enough, let's get on with looking at the week ahead.

01: Conrad Murray jury selection. The Conrad Murray trial relating to the alleged manslaughter of Michael Jackson was due to start proper today. But because it turned out the doc's lawyers hadn't made any notes to share on any of the witnesses he plans to call, which the judge said was unfair on the prosecution, the whole thing has now been pushed back to May. Still, I'm sure we can all enjoy the jury for the trial being picked this week, which will still go ahead as planned. Being part of a group of people who will ultimately decide if the biggest pop star in the world was killed by the hand of another is what you might call a big thing.

02: Maroon 5 write song with fans. Now, I'm no fan of Maroon 5 (I hope you didn't think I was), but this is sort of an interesting concept. The band are going to get together this week, and via the Coca Cola website write a song with fans over the course of 24 hours. Why not join in and tell them to make it louder, quieter or more like a band who are better?

03: Juno Awards. It's the Canadian BRITs this week, or the Juno Awards as they insist on calling them (partly because that's their name, but mainly because they have absolutely nothing to do with the BRIT Awards). Top of the nominee tree is Drake, who is up for six awards. Arcade Fire are up for five, and can enjoy a ceremony where people will probably know who they are. However, they may still incur the wrath of Justin Bieber fans, who is only up for four. We'll find out who wins on Sunday.

04: New releases. I'm sure you've already all been out and bought the new Vessels album, so there's probably no point me even mentioning that, huh. Also out this week is the new Strokes album. If you haven't heard it yet, I would advise keeping it that way; you'll be happier ultimately. Maybe instead you could check out the new albums by Yellowcard, Alice Gun, Hurray For The Riff Raff or ANR.

05: Gigs. Some people are touring this week. Most exciting of all of them is Patrick Wolf, whose new single, 'The City', was released last week. By the sounds of it, on his new album he's cheered up a bit, which is nice. Also doing the rounds are Rumer, Fenech-Soler and Claire Maguire, who I'm not quite so thrilled by, but you shouldn't let that spoil your enjoyment of them (if that's how you choose to live your life).

Over and out
Andy Malt
Editor, CMU
As we reported on Friday, 'Nihon Kizuna' was released last week. A compilation being sold to raise money for the relief effort in Japan, it features 49 tracks from electronic artists such as Kode9, Fink, Emika, Nightwave (aka 8Bitch), Daisuke Tanabe and more. It's an impressive haul, made all the more so because it was all pulled together in just five days by London-based writer and radio presenter Laurent Fintoni, who arrived in Tokyo the day before the earthquake and tsunami hit.

Selling for £10, it made over $2000 in the first three hours it was available and has now raised over $11,000 for the Japan Red Cross - testament to both people's desire to help out a country in trouble and the superb quality of the music you get for that money. Everyone involved is giving up their time and creations for free, plus Bandcamp (through which the compilation is being sold) has agreed to waive it's cut of revenues, so all your cash really will go to the good cause intended.


"The best music business training event I have attended; relevant and up to date, your knowledge of and enthusiasm for the industry is simply exceptional" from delegate feedback

We are currently taking bookings for the following CMU TRAINING courses:

A beginner's guide to music copyright - everything you need to know about copyright law, licensing, monetising copyright, the fight against piracy and the future of the music rights industry. Wed 6 Apr 2011


How to build a profile for your artists - the state of the music media, traditional and new publicity techniques, social media and the future of music PR. Wed 20 Apr 2011

For more information or to book visit www.theCMUwebsite.com/training

So, while all attention is on the bidding to buy some or all of the Warner Music Group, according to the New York Post US bank Citigroup is concurrently in quiet talks with interested bidders about them buying some or all of EMI.

As previously reported, we'd expected EMI to be on the block this spring for some time as we knew it was highly unlikely former owners Terra Firma would stump up the required new money to stop the music major defaulting on its bank loan covenants with Citigroup. In the end Citi swooped sooner than most expected, including, it seemed, Terra Firma, taking ownership of the music firm at the start of February.

However, despite immediately admitting it was indeed indeed looking to sell off the music company eventually, the bank didn't seem in any rush to do a deal, insisting it was business as usual for EMI in the short term.

But by this point Warner Music's current owners had already let it be known they were considering offers for some or all of their business. Although there were initially over ten bidders interested in Warner, at least some of which will presumably also be interested in EMI, some have speculated that if Citigroup put off a sale too long its music company will end up being seen as the runner up prize, which might have a detrimental affect on offer price.

But while Citigroup has not as yet put out any official call for bids for some or all of EMI, according to the Post talks are still ongoing with possible bidders. This isn't really much of a surprise, I suppose, given the bank was rumoured to be already talking to some potential buyers before they had even taken control of the music company earlier this year.

According to the Post, many of those currently talking to Citigroup about EMI are already bidding for Warner, including Len Blavatnik's Access Industries and Ron Burkle's Yucaipa Co, the latter of which has reportedly allied with Napster co-founder and Spotify adviser Sean Parker for its big music bids.

Other interested parties include Sony Music, whose Sony/ATV division is already bidding for Warner Chappell. It's not clear which bit of Sony is bidding for which bit of EMI. Meanwhile, Universal Music, which dropped out of the running for Warner, is reportedly still discussing EMI with Citi.

And, of course, if Warner Music decides to only sell off its publishing business, then its chief, Edgar Bronfman Jr, is known to be interested in buying EMI's record labels. Though any deal involving an existing music major would surely come with at least some regulatory concerns, with competition officials certain to be interested in any deal which makes a major music company even bigger.

It is thought Citigroup is talking to bidders about them buying both EMI outright, or one part or another of the company.

As much previously reported, current EMI chief Roger Faxon believes his company only has a viable future as combined music publishing and record company - with more integration between its two main divisions - and he's been saying so in pretty much every newspaper or magazine an investment type might read of late.

Though, while many in City circles have come round to his way of thinking on this, that EMI will be sold to one buyer as a going concern is by no means a foregone conclusion.

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One time reggae star Smiley Culture died from a single stab wound to the heart, a post-mortem has confirmed. An inquest was told last week that the singer stabbed himself with a kitchen knife when police arrived at his house.

As previously reported, the 'Police Officer' singer died during a police raid on his Surrey home last week. The singer, real name David Emmanuel, who enjoyed most success as a performer in the early eighties, was due to face drugs charges this week. The Independent Police Complaints Commission is already investigating the circumstances surrounding his death.

A relative of the singer told reporters late last week: "As a family we are in a state of shock and confusion and we are determined to search for the truth of what happened. My uncle David Emmanuel is now dead. He was a father, an uncle, a friend and a mentor to many and is a British icon who died under the most peculiar of circumstances".

Speaking for the IPCC, Mike Franklin responded: "I send my condolences to Mr Emmanuel's family and friends. I understand their concerns and am under no illusion about the seriousness of this case, its impact on them and the wider community. Many of the questions that I know Mr Emmanuel's family and friends have are exactly what we will be examining as part of this investigation".

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A lawsuit being pursued by a former police officer and city officials in Detroit against Dr Dre relating to an incident ten years ago has been dismissed.

As previously reported, the incident in question occurred when then police commander Gary Brown, police spokeswoman Paula Bridges and Mayoral press man Greg Bowens told producers of a 2000 Dre show that they couldn't show a bit of film being used as an opener because it contained nudity and that violated city laws. The officials threatened to cut the electricity if the sequence was shown, so much so the gig's promoters decided to comply with their demands.

The three officials sued because Dre's people filmed the conversation and included it on a subsequent tour DVD. Brown et al claimed the recording and publication of the conversation in a private room infringed their rights, and duly sued for damages. On two previous occasions a court has ruled against the officials, saying that because they were conducting public business any rules governing private conversations did not apply.

But then in 2009 a Michigan appeals court said that the case should be heard again, this time in front of a jury. However, the Michigan Supreme Court seemingly does not concur. It dismissed Brown et al's third attempt to sue on this issue this weekend. Needless to say, Dre's legal man welcomed the ruling.

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Wyclef Jean has been released from hospital after being treated for a gunshot wound to his hand this weekend, it has been revealed.

Jean was in his home country of Haiti for this weekend's presidential elections. Since realising he couldn't run for the role of President in the country himself, having not been sufficiently resident in the country, Jean has been supporting another musician turned politician, Michel Martelly.

He was shot on Saturday night, but was released from hospital yesterday. Jean's brother confirmed the shooting had occurred but provided no more information, while a post on the singer's Twitter feed read: "We have spoken to Wyclef, he is OK. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers - Management".

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Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine went ahead with a six song set at a gig in Russia last week despite being taken ill two hours before the show.

Although the rocker's people say that reports Mustaine collapsed backstage at St Petersburg's Jubileeny Arena are an exaggeration, the rocker admits doctors advised him to cancel the show.

Speaking to Rocknewsdesk.com, Mustaine said: "Two hours before the show I started to feel like I had a hernia, or I'd been hit in the groin. I told my tour manager I needed a doctor and it might be in my best interest to cancel the show".

He added: "I was told to pee for the doctors. They explained there was blood and gave me an IV, an analgesic and an anti-inflammatory injection. The next hour is blurry. I woke up, they told me they could hold the show for 30 minutes, but I said, 'Guys, I am OK, and we can do this'".

There are confused reports as to how long Mustaine then played for, or whether he did visit a hospital after the show, though he insisted in his mini-interview that he felt "95% better" just 48 hours after the incident.

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Well, Justin Bieber said he wanted a career similar to that of Michael Jackson, though whether that means he wants to die prematurely and have a pop upstart outsell his movie I know not. Actually I do know. He didn't.

But Bieber's 'Never Say Never' movie has outsold Jackson's posthumous 'This Is It' flick in the US, bringing in $72.2 million already in the States, compared to the $72.1 million the 2009 Jackson no-concert film made.

Though the good news for the Jackson estate, is that 'This Is It' was much, much, much more successful globally than Justin's movie, it bringing in $189.1 million around the world, compared to the $10.8 million in international revenues generated by 'Never Say Never' so far.

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Wanna be Tupac? Or, rather, wanna play Tupac in the upcoming biopic being made about the prolific if dead rapper? Well, with the long awaited dramatisation of the late hip hopper's life now in development, producers are inviting anyone who thinks they could take the lead role to submit a video audition via the net, to Insearchoftupac.skeetv.com. Aspiring leads must perform a bit of script and one of Tupac's songs. The deadline is 30 Apr.

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Eccentric Australian indie collective Architecture In Helsinki have a new album out on 11 Apr called 'Moment Bends', and you can see a video for a track from it here: youtu.be/IxjcszKEcHE. If this has got you in anyway excited, you might also want to take in one of the following gigs on week of release:

12 Apr: London, XOYO
13 Apr: Manchester Academy 3
14 Apr: Glasgow, Oran Mor
15 Apr: Dublin, The Button Factory
16 Apr: Brighton, Concorde 2

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DOT TO DOT, various venues, 29-31 May: Sprawled across venues in Manchester, Bristol and Nottingham across three days, this year's edition of Dot To Dot is newly set to host The Joy Formidable, And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of The Dead, Wolf Gang, Cults and Benjamin Francis Leftwich. These additions will join an existing bill of acts including Hurts and The Naked & Famous. www.dottodotfestival.co.uk

END OF THE ROAD, Larmer Tree Gardens, North Dorset, 2-4 Sep: Organisers of this intimate folk shindig have come up trumps with just-confirmed headliner Joanna Newsom, with Best Coast, Lykke Li and Emmy The Great also bolstering a strong latest line-up announcement. Already-booked to headline are the brilliant Beirut and Mogwai. www.endoftheroadfestival.com

FIREFLY FESTIVAL, Elton Hall, Ludlow, Shropshire, 12-14 Aug: Indie Essex boys Morning Parade head up the first batch of acts set to play this diminutive woodland festival, with Flashguns, The Milk, Marcus Foster and smooth-voiced minstrel Scott Matthews also on the bill. www.facebook.com/fireflyfestival

MAGIC SUMMER LIVE, Hatfield House, Hertfordshire, 17 Jul: Elton John is to head up proceedings at Magic Radio's live music extravaganza, with easy-listening favourites The Lighthouse Family and Rumer also poised to perform. Pop quintet The Overtones and rising sisterly duo The Pierces also feature on the line-up. www.magic.co.uk/whats-on/summer-live-info/

OPEN AIR ST GALLEN, Sitterobel, Switzerland, 30 Jun - 3 Jul: Queens Of The Stone Age, Elbow and TV On The Radio are amongst those acts to get newly acquainted with the St Gallen line-up, reinforcing an already substantial horde of bands like Warpaint, The National and Linkin Park. www.openairsg.ch/en/

PINKPOP 2011, Megalands, Netherlands, 11-13 Jun: Organisers of this long-running outdoor pop party have unveiled a host of acts with decidedly un-poppy leanings, with Brit rockers Elbow, Kaiser Chiefs, White Lies and Manic Street Preachers all fresh on the roster. Further distorting the pop ethos are 30 Seconds To Mars, Avenged Sevenfold and Band Of Horses. www.pinkpop.nl

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ALBUM REVIEW: DeVotchKa - 100 Lovers (Anti-)
There's a peak on top of the pile of polka-influenced gypsy pop, the pile that includes the likes of Gogol Bordello, Jason Webley and Black Ox Orkestar - that peak is, whether you choose to believe it or not, DeVotchKa. Formed in Denver, Colorado in 1997, these guys have been long at it, from their cabaret and burlesque roots to major headlining shows the world over, churning out five albums along the way.

That fifth release. '100 Lovers', is a thing of slow-burning beauty. It starts off in classic DeVotchKa style with the mournful 'The Alley', a swell of strings and Eastern European landscapes. '100 Other Lovers', the album's lead single, is far more delicate and college-radio friendly, but it never quite looses that trademark edge. 'The Man From San Sebastian' is the album's funnest track, reminding me a lot of my personal favourite DeVotchKa track of old, 'Comrade Z', jiggy and exciting.

Nick Urata's voice is absolutely incredible - he holds a note for longer than five deep breaths, and warbles on in a mournful, old soul kind of a way, perfectly complementing the rich instruments around him - guitars, pianos, brass, the theremin, bouzouki, violins, accordions, melodicas, sousaphone, and of course, not to mention percussion. They're not a glorified wedding band. They're not sad, sitting in the darkened corner of a film adapted from a Jonathan Safran Foer novel (however they did appear on the trailer for 'Everything Is Illuminated'). They're luscious and completely authentic, and, I hasten to add, completely addictive. TW

Physical release: 28 Feb

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Vice magazine is launching a new live music website with Dell and Intel called Noisey.com which will stream live sets recorded in the US, UK, Germany, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Australia and China, making it a rather international venture. At launch it will only feature new acts, though there are ambitions to extend into streaming live recordings of more established talent.

Confirming its support, Intel's Partner Marketing Group Director, John Gavin, told Billboard: "It's a great way for us to make a fun and authentic connection with the audience. If we give music fans the opportunity to have this amazing experience, maybe they will think about Intel differently, because without our technology, this wouldn't be possible".

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HMV's proposals to its money lenders to turn round the fortunes of the flagging retailer will include selling Waterstones, a share issue and more store closures, according to both City AM and the FT.

As much previously reported, HMV is facing the prospect of breaching covenants relating to its debts, and is therefore busy trying to renegotiate its loan terms with its banks. The retailer is due to make a presentation this week, and those are among the solutions that are to be put forward for bringing about a quick resolution to current cash problems.

As much previously reported, one of HMV's existing shareholders, Russian businessman Alexander Mamut, is known to be interesting in bidding for Waterstones.

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City types are expected to respond well to plans by Mean Fiddler founder Vince Power to float his festivals company, called Music Festivals, on the AIM stock exchange. Power and his advisors, Merchant Securities, are to begin meeting investors this week ahead of the planned flotation, which is expected to raise between £8 million and £9 million.

The new company will take ownership of two of Power's current festival ventures, the established Hop Farm Festival and new Fèis event. A third classical music festival is expected to be acquired at launch, with further acquisitions planned in the next five years. The new company will be run by Power with his former Mean Fiddler colleague Jon Hale. Former Capital Radio boss David Mansfield will be Chairman.

Power is best known for building up the Mean Fiddler empire, which he sold to a JV between Live Nation (then still Clear Channel) and MCD in 2005 (the venues bit of which was subsequently acquired by HMV's MAMA Group, while the festivals bit continues as Festival Republic).

His more recent business venture, the Vince Power Music Group, was less successful, ending in administration, however it did not involve festivals, still a growth market in the UK, and one in which the City sees Power as a dependable, experienced player.

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Talking of investing in the festivals market, entertainment investment types Ingenious Ventures have announced they are investing £1.5 million into two new festivals.

As I'm sure we've mentioned previously, Ingenious have been dabbling in music-related investments for sometime. Initially they focused on investing directly into artist projects, but with mixed success. More recently they have moved very much into the festivals space, where success is seemingly much more assured. Ingenious are already investors in events like Creamfields and the Rewind, Underage and Field Day festivals.

The new festivals to have Ingenious backing are the previously reported We The People, a new event in Bristol, and a new bash in Brighton to be called the Shakedown Festival.

Ingenious Investment Director Paul Bedford told CMU: "At a time when the sales of recorded music have steadily declined, festivals and other live music events have consistently bucked the trend and flourished, making this sector of the entertainment business an excellent investment opportunity".

Matt Priest, the former Radio 1 events man who is involved in both the new festivals, added: "We are extremely excited to be working on the UK's two newest music festivals with Ingenious, as they bring not only essential funding to the project but also a wealth of experience through their partnerships with similar events such as Creamfields, Rewind, and Field Day festivals".

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Lasgo Chrysalis, the distribution bit of the former Chrysalis Group, has been bought back by its founder Peter Lassman with the support of Chrysalis co-founder Chris Wright.

Lasgo Chrysalis was acquired by BMG when it took control of the wider Chrysalis Group last year. However, whereas the rest of the London-based music firm's operations have been merged with BMG's existing UK business to create BMG Chrysalis, Lasgo remained independent. And Lassman now says his business was never central to BMG's plans.

Music Week quote Lassman as saying: "When BMG bought Chrysalis PLC it was pretty obvious that they were buying it for the publishing interests and not for Lasgo trading".

Revealing that both he and Wright had put up hundreds of thousands each to mount the bid to buy Lasgo, he said that while the physical distribution market was in decline, there were still many opportunities, especially as the number of competitors decrease. He added: "I don't think these markets we are in are going to disappear any time soon and result in us going out of business - otherwise I wouldn't put my own money into it".

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French electronic label Institubes has announced it is shutting its doors, saying that the only way for a label to stay in business these days is to pursue brand alliances and sync deals, and that's not really something its owners are interested in doing. Which is fair enough, I suppose. Of course, the French record industry, more than most, has seen record sales slide into almost nothing in recent years.

In a parting post, the label's founders Jean-René Etienne and Emile Shahidi recall how they spent five years building an audience for their label and artists only to find that "once that's done and you have something resembling an audience, it becomes apparent that this is not really your job - your job is to reconcile the public with the very idea of buying records".

Outlining the challenges facing smaller labels in a recorded music market that has shrunk as much as it has in France, they continued...

"We're closing shop because the operation is losing too much money, this much is clear. Most of what we could have done to prevent or delay this outcome reside in two words: lifestyle and branding. Investing in t-shirts and co-branding, scoring 'collaborations' or sponsorship deals with deep-pocketed companies. I have but a regret: we actually did it sometimes. We should have said no more often.

Bands struggling to get together with brands, artists and audience deriving more validity from corporate interest than from anything else, bands happy to learn that in the future they would have to 'take charge of their own promotion': this wasn't for us. In other words, on our small scale, we should have been able to carve a non-capitalist niche within the larger corporate world. I thought, being young and naive when we started, that 'underground' meant just that.

The fact that ours is a struggling industry, where 90% of your time is spent 'staying afloat', obscures an important fact: we are still playing by the rules that got us fucked in the first place. The way we do business is defective: our values are defective, our contracts are defective, our post-Napster economy itself is defective.

I just read an article by a label owner who states that 'anything we can do to stay afloat should be condoned'. I don't think so, no. Staying afloat by any means necessary is a meaningless pursuit. The only honest way for a record label to make money is by selling records. We've always been uneasy about selling anything else.

And our current cultural economy isn't healthy either. Consumer practices are fucked. You don't need me to tell you that music is devalued. Not only because we no longer sell shit (and even when you do, it's hard to shake the feeling that you're selling free shit), but also because tracks are peaking faster than tumblr memes.

In our historical moment, music is everywhere but second or third or tenth to many other interests and areas of culture. Fashion, Apple, video games, 'devices', social media, etc. And that's cool, I guess. But I don't want to have to be a function of fashion. Nor do I want to urge an artist to publish half-baked tracks every month in order to stay "relevant". Depleted accounts is one thing, but depleted attentions?"

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Chris Moyles and Dave Vitty last week presented, as planned, the longest ever continuous show on Radio 1, filling the nation's favourite's airwaves for a total of 52 hours and breaking the previous record for Radio 1 show length set by Simon Mayo.

The whole shebang raised a massive £2.4 million for Comic Relief, helping the celeb-o-thon on its way to raising a total of £74.3 million for charitable projects in the UK and Africa on Friday night. Which is all rather fab and groovy.

Whether this undoubtedly grand achievement will help Radio 1 bosses justify keeping Moyles on the station's prime time breakfast show beyond the DJ's current contract remains to be seen.

Though the presenter's popularity with listeners has never really been in doubt, the debate is more about whether the aging host and his dependable put predictable presenting style has a place on what is meant to be a pioneering youth station. Still, if he is still shunted out of Radio 1, the success of this charitable venture might prove to commercial players that Moyles is worth bidding for.

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Jazz FM has become a national station thanks to it being added to the Digital One national digital radio multiplex.

Previously the digital jazz station has only been available in London and the Northwest, ie the regions where it once broadcast on FM before its then owners, GMG Radio, reutilised those frequencies for its easy pop station Smooth FM. Its arrival on the Digital One network means it will now have a potential audience reach of over 50 million.

Evening show host Helen Mayhew told Radio Today: "I've been presenting on Jazz FM for nearly 20 years since it first launched. It has always been our aspiration to be national and I am delighted to be with the station to see it realize that ambition".

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Dave Grohl doesn't want his music to feature in 'Glee', and has pre-empted the show's creator Ryan Murphy telling the world the Foo Fighters frontman is a washed up has-been for saying so.

Criticising Glee man Ryan Murphy for lashing out whenever an artist shows anything but unwavering fandom for his TV show, Grohl told the Hollywood Reporter: "You shouldn't have to do fucking 'Glee'. And then the guy who created 'Glee' is so offended that we're not, like, begging to be on his fucking show... I watched ten minutes [of it]. It's not my thing".

Referencing Murphy's response to past critics, Grohl continued: "Slash was the first one. [Murphy] wanted to do Guns N Roses, and Slash is like, 'I hate fucking musicals. It's worse than 'Grease''. Then [Murphy's] like, 'Well, of course he'd say that. He's a washed-up old rock star. That's what they fucking do'. And then Kings Of Leon say, 'No, we don't want to be on your show'. And then he's like, 'Snotty little assholes...' And it's just like, 'Dude, maybe not everyone loves 'Glee'. Me included'".

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Eddy Temple-Morris
Paul Vig
Club Tipper
Wyclef Jean
Left Hand Man

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