An UnLimited Media Bulletin
Monday 25 November 2013

TODAY'S TOP STORY: is turning off its core service in a week's time, it was announced on Friday. It brings to an end a two and half year adventure, and a service that enjoyed rapid worldwide attention while in beta in 2011, but which saw user numbers slide as geographical and then functional limitations were put in place to bring the service inline with copyright law. The firm's founders were pretty candid all... [READ MORE]
TODAY'S APPROVED: Walter TV is Mac Demarco's 'other' band in which he isn't even the lead singer. In short, it features the same players as in DeMarco's live band, only at different stations, with usual bassist Pierce McGarry moonlighting as vocalist. So basically, this Approved is a slim excuse for me to mention how great Mac DeMarco is for the hundredth time. Sorry everyone. Anyway, Walter TV have just put... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES to go offline, company to focus on pay-to-view sessions
7digital plotting UBC takeover that will make it publicly listed
LEGAL The movie industry secures a load more web-blocks
Aaron Carter files for bankruptcy, is $2 million in debt
DEALS Universal renews publishing alliance with Eminem
ENTERTAINMENT RETAIL Rough Trade NYC opens today
LIVE BUSINESS Goldenvoice announces EDM alliance
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Deadmau5 launches subscription site
EDUCATION & EVENTS The future of music rights under the spotlight on next CMU Insights course
ARTIST NEWS Astro departs UB40
RELEASES Pharrell Williams releases 24 hour music video
Lana Del Rey details and trails Tropico, donates to Daniel Johnston film
Release round-up: Busta Rhymes & Q-Tip, Evian Christ and Gardens & Villa
GIGS & FESTIVALS Nelson postpones tour after bus crash
Chvrches confirm charity show
AND FINALLY... James Arthur cancels appearances due to "acute exhaustion"
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This in-depth half-day advanced course delves in more detail into the music rights industry, looking at how music rights can be exploited in the digital domain, the increasing importance of public performance and broadcast licensing and sync, the future role of physical product, and other opportunities for rights owners. It also considers the industry’s fight against online piracy, and offers advice on the ways in which rights owners can endeavour to reduce the unlicensed use of their content online.

For more information and to book click here.
An exciting opportunity has arisen within the Rough Trade label for an experienced, creative and hardworking individual. The product manager is the team leader responsible for a number of projects on the roster. These are predominantly music releases but could also be films, books, events or more.

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A well known summer music festival wishes to appoint a Marketing Co-ordinator to join their friendly team and to implement and manage the delivery of their marketing plan. This role will suit an ambitious marketing/sales/PR professional with at least two year’s experience in a music/arts/entertainment environment. The successful candidate will have proven ability to co-ordinate and contribute to successful target driven strategic campaigns and promotions.

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Hospital are looking for a talented, hard working, creative person to join our team based in Forest Hill. Working primarily under the Head of Digital and Head of Promotions, the candidate must have a great understanding of social media, record label or music company experience and a love of drum & bass music.

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Kartel is an independent music management and label services companies in the UK. We are looking for an experienced Label Manager to join it's growing team. This is a unique and challenging opportunity to work with a range of leading independent labels and artists and engage with both UK and International markets.

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The Product Manager is a key member of the marketing team at Defected, the world’s leading House music label. Responsible for managing and developing artist and third party label projects, you will have an established and knowledgeable music background with comprehensive campaign management skills and extensive experience of the release process.

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The Label Co-ordinator is the main point of contact for all label administration duties. Attached to the Business Affairs department, the role co-ordinates all label administration work between Business Affairs and Licensing, Production and Finance.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
CMU Jobs is a proven way to recruit the best music business talent for roles across the industry at all levels, from graduate to senior management. To book an ad contact Sam on 020 7099 9060 or email to go offline, company to focus on pay-to-view sessions is turning off its core service in a week's time, it was announced on Friday. It brings to an end a two and half year adventure, and a service that enjoyed rapid worldwide attention while in beta in 2011, but which saw user numbers slide as geographical and then functional limitations were put in place to bring the service inline with copyright law.

The firm's founders were pretty candid all along about the tricky financial challenges they faced once they started signing deals with the record companies and the music publishing sector's collecting societies in the US to legitimise their service, which allowed users to become virtual DJs by playing MP3s to friends over the net.

Confirming in a blog post that was about to be switched off, the service's operators wrote on Friday: "It was a tough decision to make because we love this community so much, but the cost of running a music service has been too expensive and we can't outpace it with our efforts to monetise it and cut costs". Users have a week to continue using the platform, and to export their personal playlists to Spotify or an XML file.

Presumably having realised early on that they had made that common mistake of launching an expensive-to-run music service on a free-to-use basis (leaving you with the options of persuading users that they should start paying you for something they are used to having for free, or becoming an ad sales company, or using your core music set-up as a loss-leader for something else), the team have been dabbling with other business ideas too.

The one they now plan to focus on is an online gig experience, where bands play a session in the Turntable studio and fans, who pay to watch live over the net, can interact with the artist and each other, so a live music second-screening experience presented through one screen. Whether that's a service fans will pay for remains to be seen, though the set up costs are relatively low, even though signed artists will have to cut their label into the action. And Team Turntable say pilot pay-to-view sessions have gone well.


7digital plotting UBC takeover that will make it publicly listed
Digital music provider 7digital is close to merging with radio industry content maker and service provider UBC Media Group, in a reverse takeover that will basically give the MP3 seller a listing on the London Stock Exchange, according to the Daily Telegraph.

7digital confirmed this morning that it had just taken investment from UBC, and that further talks are now ongoing regards a possible reverse takeover. If it goes ahead, that would basically see 7digital acquire UBC, but then - and this is where the reversing occurs - the combined company would take UBC's place on London's Alternative Investment Market, meaning it would be publicly listed.

Although originally created as an independent programme maker for the UK radio sector, for a time the Unique Broadcasting Company operated its own stations, and was involved in an ultimately abandoned project that planned to sell MP3s to radio listeners utilising the DAB digital radio network.

More recently the firm has focused again on making content for and providing services to other radio companies, while pursuing ambitions in the interactive space, not least by taking a healthy slice of online and mobile audio-sharing service Audioboo. That latter deal saw UBC buy Imagination Technologies out of the tech start-up, but in an arrangement that gave Imagination equity in UBC itself. Imagination is also an investor in 7digital, and has seemingly been a driver in negotiating the 7digital/UBC alliance.

7digital, of course, operates its own download store, but is perhaps better known for powering the digital offerings of a range of other firms, mainly tech and mobile giants, though it is also the platform behind the recently launched all-new HMV download store.

Prior to its administration at the start of the year, the old HMV Group was a sizable shareholder in 7digital. It's not entirely clear who now owns what stakes in the firm, though if and when it becomes publicly listed all that will be revealed. It will also be an opportunity for 7digital's early investors to cash-in, assuming enough hype can be built around the combined 7digital/UBC.

Although specifics of the arrangement are not yet known, it is thought that UBC co-founder Simon Cole would be Executive Chairman of any combined company, while 7digital co-founder and boss man Ben Drury would be the new firm's CEO. Meanwhile both men have issued statements about UBC taking a stake in 7digital.

Drury: "Our platform and partnership roster has been growing steadily over time and we see continued interest in music globally, across online radio, subscription streaming, and downloads. We will continue to develop and scale the platform, and to innovate with new products and features. Radio, in particular, is an area where we see a lot of future opportunities, and we are thrilled that our new strategic investor and partner, UBC, shares this vision".

Cole: "I'm very happy that we are able to help 7digital's impressive expansion and that we have agreed to try and make our two companies one. The union of content and technology skills created by the potential merger of UBC and 7digital, would create a company with genuine global scale. The combined strengths give access to both the customers and content needed to drive business in the digital age".

The movie industry secures a load more web-blocks
While it feels like record industry trade body the BPI has been leading of late when it comes to securing web-block injunctions against file-sharing websites, let's not forget that it was the movie industry which first secured the legal precedent that says that the English courts can force internet service providers to block access to websites that primarily exist to enable copyright infringement. And the film studios have been doing the web-block tango once again.

Various sites are now in the process of being blocked it would seem, including torrent search engines and communities which provide access to downloads of unlicensed content, and sites which link through to movies and TV shows being streamed by unlicensed YouTube competitors (services designed to help users find unauthorised content during that short period between user upload and the inevitable issuing of a takedown notice).

According to Techie News, the latest injunction secured by the movie industry targets YIFY-Torrents, PrimeWire, Vodly, WatchFreeMovies and Project Free TV, and this follows another court order less than a month ago which ordered a blockade against SolarMovie and TubePlus. Of course, as with all web-blockades against sites hosted outside the UK, proxies will almost certainly appear online, and in Google searches, to enable users to circumvent the blocks, though rights owners will hope the extra hurdles will deter some users.

Before granting the Motion Picture Association's first web-block injunction this month, the judge hearing the case did ramble at length about whether simply providing a link to infringing content can in itself constitute copyright infringement. This is a topic that has been discussed many times before during the fifteen year legal battle against file-sharing, though the law is still a little ambiguous on the matter, despite all the injunctions that have now been issued.

Of course lots of sites inadvertently (or sometimes deliberately) link to unlicensed content on an occasional basis, and Google provides such links constantly but in amongst all the legit links. Clearly the law needs to be able to draw a line between those sites and the Project Free TVs and Tube Pluses of this world. But when presented with that challenge in 2010 the UK parliament chose to steer clear of the task, leaving it to the UK courts to subsequently decide.

Though, according to the Outlaw site, the Swedish courts have turned to the European judiciary for clarity on what exactly European law says on this issue, which may or may not have an impact on English rulings down the line.


Aaron Carter files for bankruptcy, is $2 million in debt
Grown pop manchild Aaron Carter has filed for bankruptcy. The 'Crazy Little Party Girl' hitmaker visited a court in Florida recently in a bid to discharge himself from mainly historic, ten-year old debts, back from "when he was a minor and not in control of his own finances", his publicist Steve Honig told The Hollywood Reporter.

As previously reported, Carter ran into hard financial times back in 2009, when it emerged that he owed the US tax office over $1 million. More recently, calculates CNN, he's managed to double his debts, whilst having only $917 in his bank account. Oh dear.

In spite of all that, and those "emotional and spiritual" - and substance abuse - issues he went through in 2011, Honig says Carter - who's on tour right now - has been "completely clean for quite some time" and is "working his ass off". Good to know.

Universal renews publishing alliance with Eminem
Universal's music publishing company has extended its worldwide exclusive deal with Eminem because, well, why not? The mega-major represents all of Slim Shady's publishing catalogue, including the rights in latest album 'The Marshall Mathers LP2'.

Confirming his company had renewed its partnership with the rapper (sorry, "rockstar"), Universal Music Publishing Group's President North America, Evan Lamberg, told CMU: "It's an honour for Universal Music Publishing Group to continue representing one of the greatest rockstars of our generation".

Continuing, he said: "Eminem continues to break all genre boundaries and has become a voice for his generation. Also, kudos to manager Paul Rosenberg and attorney Theo Sedlmayr who continue to guide one of the most special and successful careers ever".

Rough Trade NYC launches today
The long awaited New York branch of the Rough Trade record shop will finally open its doors to the public today, selling vinyl, vending coffee, displaying art and bringing live music to the great and good of The Big Apple. So that's something to look forward to.

As previously reported, the company, which has two branches in London, announced its plans to open a third shop in New York in April 2012. After various delays, it was finally announced in September that it would be ready for a November launch.

And now that day is finally upon us. As well as facilitating the purchase of physical music releases, the shop will also, like the East London branch, sell coffee and put on live music, plus it has an area set aside for art installations.

Rough Trade's Stephen Godfroy told the New York Times: "We feel we've got a model that works. This is a place where you will actually want to spend time. If you create an atmosphere that is conducive to spending time, then people will buy a record, whether it's on their first visit, or maybe second or third. There is a way to retail music in a way that's popular, viable, profitable and exciting. It's not rocket science, it really isn't. You're selling something that people love. You just have to do it in a way that's faithful to the art and to the public".

Goldenvoice announces EDM alliance
Because no one is anyone in live music these days without at least some interests in all things eeeeeedeeeeeeeeee-em (or EMC, if you prefer), AEG subsidiary and Coachella maker Goldenvoice has announced one of those "strategic partnerships" with a San Diego-based dance music operator called LED. I'll bring the drugs, you bring the bleeps, let's get this party started.

A relatively new entrant into the burgeoning EDM scene Stateside, LED operates two clubs and has promoted hundreds of club nights and several festivals. Confirming the alliance with Goldenvoice, co-founder Johnny Shockey told Billboard: "It doesn't change much as our operations go; it's more about expanding, and having access to the resources of AEG and Goldenvoice. Financial resources, but also different towns and cities; San Francisco and Los Angeles, as well as San Diego".

For AEG, the alliance gives the firm an interest in a West Coast-based EDM competitor to Insomniac Events, arguably the dance music market leader in the region, and which became an offshoot of Live Nation earlier this year. From Goldenvoice's side, President Paul Tollett said: "With the respective growth of Goldenvoice and LED the past few months, teaming up will allow us both increasing our presence throughout California, and in new projects to come".

Deadmau5 launches subscription site
Oh, so combatant producer Deadmau5 is going to start charging fans to listen to all those rough-cut tunes he's always making. How nice of him.

Commenting on the incoming new online subscription service via Facebook last week, the producer mused: "Imagine... we'll finally have a camp we can all enjoy with no spam. No phony accounts. No bullshit. No annoying kids. No nothing. Just unadulterated music and live streams and access to pretty much everything I have on the go".

The future of music rights under the spotlight on next CMU Insights course
The latest round of CMU Insights training courses continue this week with an overview of the music rights sector called, simply, 'Making Money From Music Rights'.

This half-day session looks at trends and developments in the digital music sector, the future of the CD and vinyl markets, and considers the increased important of sync and public performance licensing. The spotlight is then thrown on the industry's attempts to protect its copyrights, looking at both sector-wide initiatives and the growth of industrial-level takedown notice issuing.

Says CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke, who leads the course: "The music rights sector is too often written off - 'the future is live' we are told - but the intellectual property side of the business is not going anywhere, despite the slide in record sales and boom in piracy that has dominated the headlines in the last decade. This course looks at how we are making money out of music rights today, and makes some predictions about how artists and their business partners will be monetising their IP in the future".

A few tickets are still available for the course here. Bookings are also being taken for next week's session, 'Promoting Music', which looks at the media and social media platforms available to the music business, and provides an overview of the classic music PR campaign, and how things are changing.

  Approved: Walter TV
Walter TV is Mac Demarco's 'other' band in which he isn't even the lead singer. In short, it features the same players as in DeMarco's live band, only at different stations, with usual bassist Pierce McGarry moonlighting as vocalist. So basically, this Approved is a slim excuse for me to mention how great Mac DeMarco is for the hundredth time. Sorry everyone.

Anyway, Walter TV have just put out a video for their track 'Paranormal Witness', which appears on their TBC next cassette 'BLESSED'. It seems that neither the track nor the video are new, rather the band is giving a new push to some old content; certainly they all look a lot younger in this video than they do now.

A sped-up, wibbly and sweetly naive pop song dedicated to a "tense, cinematic, high-octane drama-documentary series" off the Syfy channel (of the same name), it's a far cry from what Pierce, Mac et al are playing at these days, as is evidenced by their extremely skin-tight set at this year's Pitchfork Festival Paris. And yes, it is silly and childish, but it's as DeMarco says in the clip of that performance "were a bunch of immature assholes and I'm sorry, but it's just the way we are".

Dig into 'Paranormal Witness', and the Pitchfork clip, which really is worth a look.
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Astro departs UB40
Time for some more turmoil in the UB40 camp following the departures of 2008 and bankruptcies of 2011.

Despite the somewhat acrimonious exiting of frontman Ali Campbell and keyboard player Mickey Virtue in 2008 (Campbell blamed management issues, though his bandmates said their former lead vocalist wanted to put his solo career first), UB40 have continued to record and tour ever since, with Campbell's brother Duncan taking the former frontman's place.

The band's most recent album, 'Getting Over The Storm', came out back in September, featuring a number of country music covers as well as some original tracks. A tour to support said album next Spring has just been announced, but on Friday another of the outfit's founding members and vocalists, Astro, announced he was stepping down, again citing management issues, and also expressing artistic concerns over the most recent long player.

Astro's longish statement runs thus...

"After a well‐documented turbulent few years I feel that it is time to draw a line in the sand and move on. Since Ali and Micky departed, the band has been like a rudderless ship with no clear direction, no action plan, we've merely muddled our way through on a wing and a prayer. There has been a serious lack of communication between the band and management.

I want to play what our fans, who have been very vocal, want to hear, which is vibrant, fresh reggae music with passion. My heart just isn't in the new album 'Getting Over The Storm,' where my contribution has been reduced to a backing vocalist which, as our fans know, is not my role in the group. I'm a frontman, a lead vocalist.

While it maybe true that there is a long relationship with reggae musicians and country music, that doesn't mean that that's what I want to play, far from it and it's definitely not something I wish to be part of, subjecting our fans to what I consider to be substandard.

I have been loyal to my brothers to the detriment of my own family. Now it is time for me to do the right thing by them and myself and bow out while I still have a chance to salvage something of my career.

I may have lost all that I've worked for, for the past 30+ years but I cannot bear to see what we are offering to our loyal fans who have stood by us through thick and thin. I believe they deserve better than this and I am sorry but I cannot and will not lose my integrity as a respected reggae musician. Therefore I have no alternative but to part company with the band.

I know it may seem sudden to all who know me but my mind is made up and will not change. I think it's clear that I've had enough of being depressed, as I'm sure other members are, but the difference is I'm not prepared to continue to be miserable at home and work. So it's with a heavy heart I say goodbye. It was (mostly) fun while it lasted".

For their part, the rest of UB40 insisted that it was Astro who was letting down the band's fans, by dropping out just after a tour had been announced. They said in a much shorter statement, avoiding any temptation to comment on their former member's critique of the new record: "UB40 are shocked and saddened by not only Astro's decision to quit the band, but also his refusal to honour his touring commitments".

They continued: "We have several tours booked in the coming months, including our biggest UK tour for three years, and he has not only let us down but also our fans. While we are naturally disappointed that Astro will not be with us at these shows, UB40 will continue and are looking forward to a positive 2014".

Pharrell Williams releases 24 hour music video
Last week Pharrell Williams released a video for his song 'Happy' which, unlike his summer hit with Robin Thicke, doesn't appear to condone rape. Which is just as well given it originally featured in kids' film 'Despicable Me 2'. And rather than going for controversy with this video, the producer has done something else to stand out. It lasts for 24 hours.

I know, in these times of short attention spans, it takes all of our effort and will power to sit through a three minute pop video, even when it's unnecessarily filled with nudity. But I don't think Pharrell is expecting anyone to watch his vid from beginning to end. And the fact that you can dip into it at any time during the day and see something different is quite cool.

The song plays on a loop, with a different dancer lip-syncing to the song in a different LA location every time it comes around. Amongst those to appear in the video are Steve Carrell, Janelle Monáe, Tyler The Creator, Kelly Osbourne, Pharrell himself, and many others.

Check who's dancing right now here.


Lana Del Rey details and trails Tropico, donates to Daniel Johnston film
This is it, Lana-fans: Ms Del Rey has at last given us the cold facts on her long-feted new short film 'Tropico'.

It transpires that the mini-movie accompanies a new EP which will feature the tracks 'Body Electric', 'Gods And Monsters' and 'Bel Air'. And if those titles look familiar it's because Lana released them via the 'Paradise Edition' of her first and perhaps last LP, 'Born To Die'.

'Tropico' will have a digital release on 5 Dec. This is its trailer.

In adjacent Del Rey news, the singer has given $10,000 (via Kickstarter) to help get Daniel Johnston's previously reported short film 'Hi, How Are You' released. Lana apparently received a "signed Smurf ukulele" and an executive producer credit on the movie project for her troubles.


Release round-up: Busta Rhymes & Q-Tip, Evian Christ and Gardens & Villa
A pair of greats from the hip hop genre, Busta Rhymes and Q-Tip, have conspired to make a collaborative mixtape titled 'The Abstract And The Dragon'. It'll be released on 12 Dec, and, being a mixtape, won't cost a thing. In the stead of a real preview of it, why not just look numbly at its artwork, which is not only abtly 'abstract' but also a bit rubbish.

And bing (I'm hitting a triangle)! Tri-Angle-signed hip hop-ish noisist Evian Christ has confirmed a new EP with the title 'Waterfall'. Comprising four tracks mixed by Pusha T/Wu Tang affiliate Noah Rubin, and mastered by Heba Kedry (of The Mars Volta-collaborating fame), it'll come out in early 2014. Playing one of its tracks 'Salt Carousel', should hold you over til that time.

Finally, the planet's most mildly-named band, Gardens & Villa, are set to release their sophomore LP 'Dunes'. Produced by DFA Records co-founder Tim Goldsworthy and including a spectrum of 'sounds', from "cold wave" to "fluttering flute", it'll trickle into shops on 3 Feb 2014 via Secretly Canadian. And on the subject of "fluttering flute", listen to first 'Dunes' single 'Bullet Train' now on SoundCloud:

Nelson postpones tour after bus crash
Willie Nelson has been forced to suspend his current US tour after three of his band were injured in an accident involving his tour bus. Nelson himself was not on the bus that hit a bridge in East Texas. It is thought that the weather was likely the cause of the crash, with Nelson's website blaming "icy conditions".

Confirming that the rest of Nelson's November shows were being postponed, but that it was hoped the tour could resume next month, a statement posted over the weekend reads: "No one suffered serious injuries. Paul English injured his ankle, Billy English suffered a bruised hip and crew member Tom Hawkins has a cracked rib. The other family members on the bus are sore but everyone is expected to recover fully".


Chvrches confirm charity show
Turns out that, in addition to taking a healthy stance on sexism, Scottish pop trio Chvrches are also kind and giving.

The band will play a charity show staged by TYCI, the feminist collective led by lead singer Lauren Mayberry, at Glasgow's SWG3 on 21 Dec. Profits will go to the Ataxia Telangiectasia Society, which is dedicated to helping and advising families affected by AT, a rare neurodegenerative disease.

Explaining what TYCI is and does to NME, Mayberry says: "I set it up because I felt like, as a woman in a band, there wasn't a support network for me. Not like I needed support specifically, but I wanted to create an environment where that's celebrated.

Get tickets to the SWG3 show here.

James Arthur cancels appearances due to "acute exhaustion"
Noted homophobe and 'X-Factor' winner James Arthur has cancelled all appearances this week, due to "acute exhaustion".

In a statement published on Facebook, JAHQ said: "Unfortunately James Arthur has been diagnosed with acute exhaustion and instructed to rest for several days by his doctor. Regretfully, he has been forced to cancel all engagements during this period. James would like to apologise to his fans for any disappointment caused to them by these cancellations and he hopes to get back to full health as soon as possible".

As previously reported, Arthur was kept busy last week after some people mistakenly (according to him) thought that the line "You probably want to put your stinky dick in me, you fucking queer" in a rap he recorded was somehow homophobic. After failing to convince people that they were wrong about the lyrics, he quit Twitter, only to return for a public argument with fellow 'X' contestant Lucy Spraggan.

Though aside from that, the thing that's probably really tired him out is hitting the retweet button on Twitter every few seconds so that we all know that some people are still tweeting about how great he is.

ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletin and website, coordinating features and interviews, reporting on artist and business stories, and contributing to the CMU Approved column.
Email (except press releases, see below)
CHRIS COOKE | Co-Publisher, Business Editor & Insights Director
Chris provides music business coverage, writing key business news and analysis. Chris also leads the CMU Insights training and consultancy business, and is MD of CMU publisher UnLimited Media.
Email (except press releases, see below)
ALY BARCHI | Staff Writer
Aly reports on artist news, coordinates the festival, gig and release round up columns, and contributes to the CMU Approved column. She also writes for CMU's sister title ThisWeek London.
Email (except press releases, see below)
SAM TAYLOR | Commercial Manager & Insights Associate
Sam oversees the commercial side of the CMU media, leading on sales and sponsorship, plus helps manage and deliver the CMU Insights training courses and consultancy services.
Email or call 020 7099 9060
CARO MOSES | Co-Publisher
Caro helps oversee the CMU media, while as a Director of UnLimited Media she heads up the company's other two titles ThisWeek London and ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, and supports other parts of the business.
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