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CMU Info
Top Stories
Unreleased Winehouse material not ready for release
Music and net industries respond to Newzbin ruling
In The Pop Courts
Spotify sued over streaming patent
Release News
Smiths to release Johnny Marr-remastered back catalogue
Scroobius Pip announces solo album
Active Child announces debut album
Gigs & Tours News
Metallica to play $6 shows for 30th anniversary
Austra announce UK shows
Skrillex anounces UK tour
Festival News
Festival line-up update
The Music Business
Sony Music profits up, but Sony Corp makes big losses
The Media Business
AOL to shut UK music site
GMG Radio to sell Rock Radio
Sky Arts recruits Ronnie and Jo
And finally...
No bridge for Kurt Cobain, but two streets for Pete Best
Morrissey claims fast food is worse than Norway massacre

So tonight, just before midnight, I shall put a rucksack containing a month's worth of clothes on my back (believe me, there is no time for doing laundry in August) and board a train at Euston Station heading north for that place called Scotland. Yes, August is upon us, which means it is time for another Edinburgh Festival, the biggest god damn cultural party on the planet, where well over 2500 shows, concerts, performances, talks and debates will take place, most of them during the three weeks between 5 and 29 Aug. As you probably know by now, in my secret other life I co-edit the biggest review media at this festival, ThreeWeeks, making August the busiest month of my year. For much of the next four weeks you will be able to find me over at www.ThreeWeeks.co.uk.

Not that that means I'll be taking my eye off the music business, so don't think you can get away with doing anything drastic while I'm not looking, like introducing an affordable blanket licence for digital start ups, getting rid of rip off booking fees on gig tickets, or accepting the introduction of a private copy right without compensation. August is no time for doing things that are sensible. There will be no Week In Five for the next few weeks, but we'll still be keeping you up to date with all the developments in the music business as and when they happen. You just watch them go and sell EMI just as I'm on one of my crucial Edinburgh deadlines. I can see myself now, proof reading from that little BBC studio next to the Scottish parliament while trying to sound intelligent about the demise/continuation/rosy future (delete as applicable) of the last remaining British major record company.

Anyway, enough of the future, let's look back at the week just gone.

01: The industry paid tribute to Amy Winehouse.
While not strictly business news, the sudden and untimely death of one of British music's greatest 21st century vocalists last weekend was probably the one story that occupied the minds of most people in the music industry this week. Aside from the general mourning by those close to the singer, and Twitter-tributing from everyone else, some questioned whether the music business could and should do more to help those young artists who battle with addiction, given elements of how the music world operates - the fact many artist's lives lack formal structures, coupled with the sudden easy access to both money and drugs that pop stars get as they become successful - arguably contribute to the problem. Others speculated on whether there were any unreleased Winehouse gems that could make up a third posthumous album, while the singer's existing catalogue worked its way back up the charts, a sad reminder that death remains a great marketing tool for selling music. CMU reports | AP article on Forbes

02: BT was ordered to block access to the Newzbin2 website. Although the court order was the result of legal action taken by the movie industry, and Newzbin2 mainly provides access to unlicensed movie content, it was a significant ruling for all content industries, because it possibly opens the door for any kind of copyright owner to go to court to ask for an injunction to force net firms to block access to any website that exists primarily to enable or simplify copyright infringement. Although not unprecedented elsewhere in the world, this was the first such web-blocking injunction issued on the grounds of copyright infringement in the UK. Content owners will welcome this development, but many in the net community see it as the first step towards widespread censorship of the web. CMU report | ZDNet blog post

03: It was confirmed that vinyl sales were up 55%. Although overall old fashioned records are very much a niche product, and while one record release in particular (Radiohead's 'King Of Limbs') accounted for a big chunk of the uplift, ERA and the Official Charts Company confirmed this week that sales of vinyl for the first half of 2011 were up 55% on 2010, to 168,296 units. Perhaps more interesting is that music fans seem willing to pay over double the price for vinyl compared to CD or digital, meaning the classic record format is now definitely a premium product. CMU report

04: Placido Domingo became IFPI chair. The global record industry trade body hasn't had a celebrity Chairman before, and presumably the opera star has been handed the top job in a bid to open political doors, and to give a more friendly face to the often anonymous looking major record company system, as they lobby for tighter laws for protecting copyright online. CMU report | Bloomberg report

05: EMI bids started to come in.
Current owner Citigroup distributed company information to serious bidders earlier this month, and asked for offers to be in by the start of August. According to the New York Post, BMG has already submitted its bid, while Warner Music is expected to have an offer in before the week was out. Pretty much all the parties who previously bid against Access Industries to buy the Warner music company earlier this year are expected to bid again, so a combination of existing music firms and equity groups. CMU report | Billboard report

And that's your lot! For a month. I look forward to returning to the top slot here in your CMU Daily once September is upon us. See you then.

Chris Cooke
Business Editor, CMU
VIGSY'S CLUB TIP: Brazil Rocks at Guanabara
I haven't tipped this slightly fancy Brazilian bar, off London's Drury Lane, for a good while now. Saturday night at Guanabara is Brazil Rocks, with the venue's own All-Star Band leading the proceedings. So expect infectious braziliance - bossa infused beats and rhythms with samba shows and percussion showdowns. All this is backed up by DJ Limao (pictured), playing the best in Latin grooves. Happy Hour is 5-7.30pm if you fancy an early start with a few Brazilian bevvies. Put a bit of sunshine back into your summer!

Saturday 30 Jul, Guanabara, Parker Street, London, WC2B, 5pm-2.30am, free before 8pm, £10 after, info at www.guanabara.co.uk

Mute require a forward thinking marketeer to plan and implement international strategies across the breadth of their roster.

Working with our international licensees and distributors you will develop effective and creative local marketing, digital and promotional campaigns on a wide range or artists. You will be organised, efficient, forward thinking and an excellent communicator with extensive experience and knowledge of international markets and media.

Apply to: [email protected]. Salary commensurate with experience
Name PR, one of the UK’s leading specialist music trade PR agencies, are seeking an Account Manager to work with their growing roster of technology and new media clients, which include cloud services, app developers and a global licensing agency. The ideal candidate will have at least three years’ PR experience, at least one of which will have been spent in the music or new media/technology sectors.

Candidates should be energetic, flexible, reliable and easy-going, and take pride in their attention to detail. They should be meticulous writers with a proven record of producing engaging and intelligent copy, on message and on deadline. Hands-on experience with social media is highly desirable. Above all, top candidates will show that they are eager and ready to grow and manage a burgeoning division of a rapidly evolving business.

Salary is £24,000–£30,000 p.a. + bonus and pension. The closing date for applications is 12 noon, Monday 25th July. Full details here.

"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:

How to make money out of music – both now and in the future, with a look at alternative investment and revenue streams, and a new approach to monetising artists and their music. Wed 7 Sep

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

The question of if and when Amy Winehouse's unreleased recordings, made for her planned third album, will be released has been raised many times since her death on Saturday. But now her producer, Salaam Remi, has said that the tracks are not as close to completion as has been suggested by some.

Winehouse, of course, had not released an album since 2006's 'Back To Black'. She had been working on the follow-up for some time, but a number of mooted release dates passed with no sign of the record. As far back as November 2008, Universal chief Lucian Grainge told BBC 6music at the Music Industry Trusts Award lunch: "I've heard some demos and I've heard some simple acoustic songs that she's played me in my office on acoustic guitar, and what I've heard has been sensational".

But Remi told New York radio station Power 105.1 FM earlier this week: "We were working on it; it's not a complete album. We had a lot of things going, there are recordings, but first things first, I think. We're trying to focus on what's at hand and what her family wants to do. So those reports [that a release is imminent] are false".

He continued: "To put it all in a nutshell, Amy loved to sing, to write... that ability never left her. She was very good at channelling her emotions into lyrics, and then being able to sing them. She was in a place to go forward and make it happen... The way that Amy and I always created was she would write and we would toss ideas around".

He added that she had "strong opinions" on any recordings they worked on, and was very particular about what she liked and didn't like. Shortly after Winehouse's death, Remi posted an unreleased version of 'Some Unholy War' from 'Back To Black' on his website, as an example of her perfectionism, saying he had been "broken hearted" when she'd said she didn't like it and refused to allow him to put it on the finished album.

Also confirming that no tracks for Winehouse's third album were complete, a source at Universal told The Guardian yesterday: "She had put down the bare bones of tracks and some were further along than others. People were getting very excited, quite frankly they were really good. We heard rough cuts and they sounded like vintage Amy".

Although he has made no comment on the subject of unreleased material, Winehouse's other producer, Mark Ronson, did pay tribute to her during his performance at the Greenwich Summer Sessions on Wednesday.

Ronson played a number of Winehouse's songs in his set, saying from the stage: "It's really lovely getting to play some music here for you tonight. That's what makes everything better. I went to her service yesterday and there was a rabbi that spoke and he said that somebody's life is measured in deeds and not years and that's the best thing I heard yesterday. The genius in that woman and what she shared with us is pretty special. I'm not going to get all morbid on you. It's just nice to be playing music to people who like good music. She is my sister, wherever she is".

In other Winehouse news, The Sun quoted a "family source" yesterday who said they feared that the singer had died due to withdrawal symptoms after giving up drinking too quickly. As previously reported, results of a postmortem earlier this week proved inconclusive. An inquest was opened on Monday but adjourned until 26 Oct, and it may be four weeks until a cause of death can be established, while the outcome of toxicology and histology tests are awaited.

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Needless to say, the music industry has welcomed yesterday's ruling in the Newzbin2 case.

As previously reported, the Motion Picture Association successfully got themselves an injunction forcing BT to block access to the Newzbin website, which provides links to unlicensed movie content. An earlier court ruling had ordered Newzbin directly to remove all links to unlicensed films, but the site's operators just shut down their UK operations and relaunched in Sweden.

The MPA argued that when copyright infringing operations like Newzbin choose to jurisdiction-hop to avoid the implications of legal action, the only option for rights owners is to demand ISPs block access to those infringing sites. They would possibly also add that while more savvy web users may be able to circumvent any blocks, most casual web surfers will not.

The ruling is significant because it's the first time a website-blocking injunction has been issued in the UK on the grounds of copyright infringement. It possibly opens the door for any kind of copyright owner to go to court to ask for an injunction to force net firms to block access to any website that exists primarily to enable or simplify copyright infringement.

Welcoming the ruling, the boss of record label trade body BPI, Geoff Taylor, told reporters: "This judgment sends a clear signal that ISPs have a role to play in protecting their customers from rogue websites that exploit and profit from creative work without permission, ignore takedown notices and locate themselves beyond the reach of law enforcement".

Of course, not everyone thought that Judge Richard Arnold had got it right. The Open Rights Group, which advocates copyright reform, said: "Website blocking is pointless and dangerous. These judgements won't work to stop infringement or boost creative industries. And there are serious risks of legitimate content being blocked and service slowdown. If the goal is boosting creators' ability to make money from their work then we need to abandon these technologically naive measures, focus on genuine market reforms, and satisfy unmet consumer demand".

Meanwhile, The Pirate Party, which wants radical changes to the copyright system, said: "This is a terrible day for ordinary British internet users. The judgement sets a worrying precedent for internet censorship. This is the thin end of a very large wedge. It also leaves the coalition [government]'s internet policy in disarray. It appears that our digital rights are to be determined by Hollywood, not parliament".

The response from the internet service provider community was mixed. BT opposed the injunction in court, and the net firms in general do not support moves that increase their role as the police of the internet. However, for the ISPs, injunctions of this kind, that require a considered judicial process before being issued, are the lesser of various evils with regards efforts by the content industries to clamp down on piracy. For the ISPs, injunctions through the High Court are preferable to either the three-strikes system that targets individual net users or a high-speed web-blocking system, especially one administered by a government body rather than a court. Though they are still worried rulings like that in the Newzbin case are the thin end of the wedge.

BT's Director Of Group Policy Simon Milner told reporters: "This is a helpful judgement, which provides clarity on this complex issue. It clearly shows that rights holders need to prove their claims and convince a judge to make a court order. BT has consistently said that rights holders need to take this route. We will return to court after the summer to explain what kind of order we believe is appropriate".

Meanwhile, the Internet Service Providers Association said in a statement: "ISPA has long maintained that this is an issue rights holders should seek to address in court, rather than through voluntary means, and today's ruling should go some way to offering clarity on what is a complex issue. However, concerns about over-blocking, ease of circumvention and increased encryption are widely recognised which means blocking is not a silver bullet to stop online copyright infringement. Rather, as the government-commissioned Hargreaves Review recently found, there should be more focus on offering innovative, fully-licensed content services to give consumers what they are clearly demanding".

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Well, if you will launch in the US, I guess you have to expect to be sued, it sort of goes with the territory. Spotify has been sued by San Diego-based PacketVideo, which claims that the popular streaming music service is infringing two of its patents covering streaming technology.

PacketVideo was one of the early stars in the streaming technology domain, though it has not been so high profile of late. The patents the company claims Spotify infringes on exist in both Europe and the US, and were actually registered in the mid-1990s by a Swiss company that PacketVideo acquired four years ago. The firm says it has tried to enter into negotiations with Spotify about licensing its patented methods of streaming, but that talks failed. It is now suing in both the Netherlands and San Diego.

A legal rep for the company said in a statement: "PacketVideo has a strong intellectual property portfolio, and will take any necessary action needed to protect its intellectual property and prevent the misuse of its patents". The digital firm wants an injunction against Spotify and damages.

A spokesman for Spotify said the streaming music company would fight the legal action, telling reporters: "PacketVideo is claiming that by distributing music over the internet, Spotify (and by inference any other similar digital music service) has infringed one of the patents that has previously been acquired by PacketVideo. Spotify is strongly contesting PacketVideo's claim".

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Warner Music's Rhino division is to re-release The Smiths' entire back catalogue, remastered by engineer Frank Arkwright and Johnny Marr himself. This follows the very limited re-release of 'The Queen Is Dead' on ten-inch vinyl for this year's Record Store Day.

Marr wrote on his official website: "I'm very happy that the remastered versions of The Smiths albums are finally coming out. I wanted to get them sounding right and remove any processing so that they now sound as they did when they were originally made. I'm pleased with the results".

All albums will be released in standard CD and vinyl form. There will also be a special edition boxset, limited to 3000 copies, which will feature all eight albums on CD and vinyl, with 25 Smiths seven-inches, a DVD of the band's music videos and some other bits and pieces thrown in for good measure.

You'll be able to get your hands on the newly spruced up records from 26 Sep.

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Scroobius Pip has announced his first album without producer partner Dan Le Sac, entitled 'Distraction Pieces', which will be released through Speech Development on 19 Sep. While recording, the rapper worked with different producers and musicians, including former Nine Inch Nails guitarist Danny Lohner, XL boss Richard Russell, Zane Lowe, Sage Francis and Steve Mason.

Pip will unveil the new tracks with a gig at Hoxton Bar & Kitchen in London on 18 Aug.

Here's the album's full tracklist:

Introdiction (produced by Renholder - aka Danny Lohner)
Let Em Come (feat Sage Francis)
Domestic Silence
Try Dying (produced by Richard Russel)
Death Of The Journalist (produced by Zane Lowe)
Soldier Boy (Kill Them) (feat B Dolan)
The Struggle (produced by Steve Mason)
Broken Promise
Feel It (feat Natasha Fox)

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CMU favourite Active Child has announced details of his long-awaited debut album, 'You Are All I See', which will be released by Vagrant on 24 Oct.

Speaking about the album, the man behind it, Pat Grossi, said: "The songs focus primarily on the joy and heartbreak of relationships, love lost and rediscovered, battles with monogamy, battles with identity. It came out much darker than I had intended, but sometimes you only have so much control".

You can hear a track from the record, the previously CMU approved collaboration with How To Dress Well 'Playing House', here: soundcloud.com/daftdreamy/active-child-playing-house

The album's tracklist is as follows:

You Are All I See
Hanging On
Playing House (feat How To Dress Well)
See Thru Eyes
High Priestess
Call Me Tonight
Way Too Fast
Ancient Eye
Shield & Sword
Johnny Belinda

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To celebrate their 30th year as a band, Metallica have announced that they will play four fanclub-only shows at the Fillmore in San Francisco. Tickets will be knocked down to 1981 prices - meaning fans can attend one show for just $6, or all four for $19.81 (see what they did there?).

Announcing the gigs on 5, 7, 9 and 10 Dec, the band said via their website: "These unique shows will include special guests and events, rare songs, varied set lists, odds and ends, and all the nutty stuff you expect from Metallica... fun for the entire family! Come to the Bay Area and spend the week with us to not only close out 2011 with a bang, but to celebrate over three decades worth of craziness".

The band actually played their first show in Anaheim in 1982. If you were wondering.

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The brilliant Austra, who released a new remix EP this week, will be back in the UK in September for two headline UK shows following their appearance at the Electric Picnic festival in Ireland.

Tour dates:

5 Sep: Manchester, Deaf Institute
6 Sep: London, Scala

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US dubstep producer Skrillex has announced his first headline tour of the UK, which will take place in November and December. Prior to that, he'll release a new single, 'Ruffneck (Full Flex)', on 5 Sep.

Tour dates:

16 Nov: London, Koko
26 Nov: Glasgow, ABC
28 Nov: Sheffield, Leadmill
29 Nov: Bristol, Academy
30 Nov: Nottingham, Rock City
1 Dec: Manchester, Warehouse Project
2 Dec: Dublin Academy
3 Dec: Belfast, Mandela Hall

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THE BIG CHILL, Castle Deer Park, Herefordshire, 4-7 Aug: Yet another slew of new additions to this year's thriving Big Chill bill include Zola Jesus, Alex Metric, She Keeps Bees and Tom Middleton, who will present a Sound Of The Cosmos showcase. Line-up leaders The Chemical Brothers, Kanye West and Rodrigo Y Gabriela feature alongside the likes of Neneh Cherry, 2manydjs, Warpaint, Janelle Monae, Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, Chipmunk and Calvin Harris on the festival's overall roster. www.bigchill.net/festival

NO MEAN CITY, various venues, Glasgow, 5-18 Sep: Celebrating close Glaswegian ties with Americana roots music and heritage across some of the city's best-loved venues, bookings so far include singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith, Nashville songbird Caitlin Rose, alt-country Canadian Doug Paisley, and bluesman Skip 'Little Axe' McDonald. www.nomeancity.co.uk

UKF BASS CULTURE, Alexandra Palace, London, 25 Nov: Circus Soundsystem (feat Flux Pavilion), Doctor P, FuntCase and Roksonix are fresh on the bill at this bass-heavy midwinter bash, which will also host a headlining slot from dextrous DJ duo Chase & Status, and sets from Zane Lowe, Mistajam and DJ Fresh. www.ukfbassculture.com

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So, a good recent financial quarter for Sony Music, then. News that contrasts with its parent company Sony Corp, which had a horrible three months. The major's revenue was up by 7% to $1.35 billion (though that increase is lost to the system once transferred from dollars to yen), while profits were up 61%, partly due to some strong releases, partly due to Sony's cut of the LimeWire settlement struck in May.

Sony Corp, however, posted a $199 million loss for the quarter. The data-spill that forced the closure, for a time, of the PlayStation Network played its part in the company's misfortune, though so did the general economic impact of the earthquake and tsunami that hit home country Japan earlier this year.

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AOL is shutting down its UK music site, as part of a general rationalisation of its British operations.

According to paidContent, AOL confirmed it was shutting both its music and sports channels in the UK, explaining that "this is about a rationalisation of sites in order to enable us to focus on our biggest brands, which are core to our strategy and take in women's lifestyle (for example MyDaily, Parentdish, Lifestyle...), men's sites such as Autos and Asylum, Finance and, of course, the recently-launched HuffPost UK".

AOL Music survived a similar rationalisation in the US recently, though various other music-based services under the AOL banner did not, all of them being absorbed by the more general AOL Music.

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The Guardian's radio company is selling its Rock Radio Scotland franchise. The Glasgow-based station will become its own company via a management buy-out being led by Billy Anderson, who is currently Brand MD at GMG Radio for both the Rock Radio and Real Radio networks. The Manchester version of Rock Radio will be rebranded Real Radio XS as a result of the deal.

Confirming his company was in negotiations with a consortium led by Anderson re selling its Rock Radio Scotland franchise, and that the Manchester version of it would be rebranded as a result, GMG Radio boss Stuart Taylor told reporters: "There is a clear appetite for the music we play and these plans will give both stations the best possible chance of growth and success, provide an attractive commercial proposition for advertisers and mean that this genre of music continues to thrive in these two regions. Billy has been a key figure in GMG Radio's growth and a great support at both station and board level and with his passion for rock music and keen eye for business we wish him every success for the future".

Assuming the deal goes ahead, GMG Radio will then operate just two radio networks, Real Radio and Smooth Radio.

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Who knew Sky would become the home of interesting music programmes? Sky Arts has signed up both Ronnie Wood and Jo Whiley to host new music-based shows later this year. The new programmes come as the Sky channel screens footage from thirteen festivals this summer.

Wood will present a TV version of his Absolute radio show, while Whiley will front a music-focused debate programme and a second show called 'Jo Whiley Live'. Both are likely to provide a new platform for bands busy promoting new releases to perform.

Confirming the new appointments, Sky Arts boss James Hunt said, simply: "Jo and Ronnie are wonderful assets. We're delighted".

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City Council officials in Kurt Cobain's hometown of Aberdeen, Washington have ruled 10-1 against renaming the city's Young Street Bridge in his honour. Cobain immortalised the bridge in the song 'Something In The Way', and legend has it (reportedly falsely) that he slept rough under it in his teens.

According to local radio station KXRO, although the move was popular with many in the audience at Wednesday's council meeting, some raised concerns about creating a memorial to Cobain, due to his drug use, suicide and negative comments about the town. They did, however, agree to rename a small piece of land on the Wishkah River the Cobain Landing.

Former Beatles drummer Pete Best faired better this week, after Liverpool City Council moved to name a street after him and another after The Casbah Club, which was the centre of the Merseybeat scene, and run by his mother Mona. The streets will be named Pete Best Drive and Casbah Close.

Speaking to the BBC, Pete Best said: "I feel very humbled, very flattered and very honoured that the city of Liverpool, council members and the people of Liverpool have thought to honour me in such a fantastic way".

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Having once sung that the Queen was dead, Morrissey now seems to be trying to usurp the Duke Of Edinburgh as Great Britain's foremost gaff-maker. He's even got his own racist slur on the Chinese to his name, having referred to them as "a sub-species" last year.

This week, Morrissey has sparked controversy after he suggested that the actions of fast food companies were worse than last week's massacre of teenagers in Norway. At a gig in Poland on Sunday, before playing Smiths song 'Meat Is Murder', the singer said: "We all live in a murderous world, as the events in Norway have shown, with 97 dead. Though that is nothing compared to what happens in McDonald's and Kentucky Fried Shit every day".

A spokesman for Morrissey told The Daily Mirror: "Morrissey has decided not to comment any further as he believes his statement speaks for itself".

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Andy Malt
Chris Cooke
Business Editor &
Caro Moses
Aly Barchi
Editorial Assistant
Eddy Temple-Morris
Paul Vig
Club Tipper

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