An UnLimited Media Bulletin
Tuesday 3 Jun 2014

 
TODAY'S TOP STORY: Legal papers have been filed in a copyright infringement lawsuit that has been brewing for a few weeks now, in which Led Zeppelin stand accused of robbing most of 'Stairway To Heaven' off an American band they supported in 1968. The litigation has been filed by lawyer Francis Malofiy on behalf of the estate of songwriter Randy Craig Wolfe, aka Randy California, who was a founder member... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: Electronic musician Ross Tones has been working under his Throwing Snow moniker since 2007. However, the project's debut album, 'Mosaic', only made it out into the world this week. And it's clear to see why, with each of the eleven tracks on the record a finely and expertly crafted journey. The record features a host of guests, including Py, Kid A and Adda Kaleh, but the standout track that really drew... [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES 'Stairway To Heaven' plagiarism case submitted to court
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LEGAL Former Hammersmith Odeon manager appears in court on sexual abuse charges
JUMP | ONLINE
DEALS Believe Digital Studios signs Queen, Monty Python and more
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LABELS & PUBLISHERS PRS welcomes code of conduct review, though rejects some of its proposals
Kylie says "exciting times ahead" with Warner
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Siri/Shazam tie-up announced at Apple's WWDC
Trent Reznor still at Beats, MOG shuts down in the US
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MEDIA "I absolutely expressed concern", says royal hoax DJ
BBC Three appoints acting editor
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ARTIST NEWS Beastie Boys no longer a going concern
Jimmy Page dusts off photo book, talks Glasto rumours
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RELEASES Drake releases track, hints LP on the way in 2015
England World Cup Squad release charity dance compilation
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GIGS & FESTIVALS Gigs & Tours Round-Up: Prince Gruff Rhys, The Chills, Kwabs, Altrego and The Ordinary Boys
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AND FINALLY... Elvis Presley's false tooth delivered to Bracknell dentist too late
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YOUR ARMY - CLUB PROMOTIONS ASSISTANT
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Play It Again Sam Recordings are looking for an in house publicist to manage the press campaigns of artists on the label. The applicant should have current experience in the print field and some experience of the on line world would also help. A good eye for detail, a broad musical interest and an eagerness to be part of a label team are also essential.

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'Stairway To Heaven' plagiarism case submitted to court
Legal papers have been filed in a copyright infringement lawsuit that has been brewing for a few weeks now, in which Led Zeppelin stand accused of robbing most of 'Stairway To Heaven' off an American band they supported in 1968.

The litigation has been filed by lawyer Francis Malofiy on behalf of the estate of songwriter Randy Craig Wolfe, aka Randy California, who was a founder member of the LA-based psychedelic rock outfit Spirit. Led Zep supported Spirit at the very start of their career, and according to Malofiy's lawsuit Wolfe's use of audio-enhancing effects on that tour had a big influence on Robert Plant, Jimmy Page et al.

But too big an influence when it came to Page's intricate guitar stylings on the band's seminal 1971 track 'Stairway To Heaven', says Malofiy's lawsuit, a song which the attorney and his clients reckon borrows heavily from Wolfe's track 'Taurus', an instrumental the guitarist played on the tour where Page and co were supporting.

Quite why it's taken 43 years for anyone in the Wolfe camp to speak up about this alleged plagiarism is presumably a question that will be at the heart of any legal response from Page's people, though the Led Zep guitarist has already called the allegations against him and his band "ridiculous".

Malofiy's legal papers concede that Led Zeppelin are "one of the greatest bands in history, and their musical talent is boundless", but, according to Billboard, go on to claim that the band has been accused of borrowing from other musicians' work without permission at least seventeen times before, in a number of cases allegedly settling and subsequently crediting the creators of ripped off songs.

The somewhat ambitious litigation goes on to demand statutory damages, the defendants' profits from 'Stairway To Heaven', punitive damages and a credit for Wolfe on the Led Zep record. The lawsuit adds that any funds obtained from the legal action will go into a trust that buys musical instruments for needy children.

It remains to be seen if this one actually proceeds to court.

Aside from dismissing all the claims against the band, Led Zep's people might note that Malofiy himself was recently criticised by a judge hearing a separate copyright infringement claim against Usher, with the lawyer accused of tricking a defendant into providing an incriminating testimony without legal counsel by assuring him he was only a witness in the case. Malofiy denies that claim, but the judge said the attorney had behaved "disgracefully" as he threw out the copyright claim against Usher.

Former Hammersmith Odeon manager appears in court on sexual abuse charges
The trial of a former Hammersmith Odeon manager, Philip Leivers, began at Snaresbrook Crown Court yesterday. He is accused of committing various sexual assaults in the 1970s while working at the West London venue that is now known as the Hammersmith Apollo.

Leivers is accused of raping a teenage girl several times between 1975 and 1981, amongst other charges. The alleged incidents took place while Leivers was working at the Odeon, with the venue manager telling his victim that he could introduce her to star musicians of the day, including David Essex and Suzi Quatro.

Until August last year, he was a councillor for Chapel St Leonards on the East Lindsey District Council. He resigned the position upon being charged.

Leivers denies all the allegations against him.

Believe Digital Studios signs Queen, Monty Python and more
Believe Digital Studios, Believe Digital's video distribution and channel management division, has announced that it has signed Queen, Monty Python, Nancy Ajram, plus indie labels Demon Music Group and Toolroom Records.

UK General Manager of Believe Digital Lee Morrison told CMU: "As with our audio distribution, Believe wants to work with the biggest and best clients for both music and non music content via our video teams. We have invested a lot in staff and technology to make us one of the leading players in the market and I am extremely proud that the likes of Queen, Toolroom, Demon, Monty Python and Nancy Ajram have installed their faith in us and are already reaping the rewards".

The new signings coincide with the announcement of updates to the company's client content management system, Believe Backstage. This includes improved digital rights management technology for YouTube content.

PRS welcomes code of conduct review, though rejects some of its proposals
PRS For Music has welcomed the publication of an independent review of its code of conduct put together by Walter Merricks, who was appointed to the not at all dull sounding job of Independent Code Reviewer at the British Copyright Council last year.

As previously reported, the Council brings together 'collective management organisations' from across the copyright industries, and has played a key role in identifying standards for the collective licensing domain, something that has concerned both the UK government via the Hargreaves Review and the European Commission.

Merricks was asked to check that the music publishing sector's collecting society was compliant with both its own code of conduct, which was revised in 2012, and the statutory minimum standards which became law earlier this year. The Reviewer concluded that PRS was indeed compliant, though made a number of recommendations about how the society might improve the service it provides licensees, some of which the organisation has welcomed, others of which it has rejected.

Recommendations PRS welcomes includes the suggestion that the society should cooperate with the record industry's rights body PPL on code of conduct matters, and should - along with PPL - appoint and then consult panels of small business and broadcast users of music content. As previously reported, PRS and PPL have both previously committed to work more closely together on a number of matters.

However, PRS disagrees with Merricks' conclusion that collecting societies are "quasi public bodies", and should therefore publish commercial plans. In a statement the rights group said: "As a private organisation, owned by its membership, PRS For Music is not a beneficiary of government funding, and does not have privileged status afforded by law. PRS For Music therefore, deems the follow on recommendations, including publishing commercial plans, as inappropriate".

On the report in general, PRS boss man Robert Ashcroft added: "We are generally pleased with Walter Merricks' code review and welcome the opportunity to work with our stakeholders in the coming months to implement his recommendations across the business. PRS For Music was the first British collecting society to put in place a Code Of Conduct. We strive to listen to and build strong relationships with licensees and fairly represent our members through our commitment to transparency in all operations".

Adopting a conciliatory tone, despite rejecting some of Merricks' proposals, Ashcroft goes on: "Although the report shows a lack of understanding about the commercial nature of our business, it serves as an important checkpoint to ensure that we are on course to provide the highest possible service to members and licensees alike".

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Kylie says "exciting times ahead" with Warner
So is Kylie Minogue planning on parting company with long-term label Parlophone like one of those pesky sources told the Sun On Sunday she was?

Says Ms Minogue on the tweets: "Whoaahhh... @parlophone!! According to 'sources' we r 'breaking up'! Not true. Exciting times ahead! #LOVEu4EVA"

Though she did use an unnecessary number of emoticons in the tweet, which is a sure-fire sign of an impending break up if ever I saw one.

Siri/Shazam tie-up announced at Apple's WWDC
So, after all the Beats excitement last week, Apple's big bucks buy wasn't even mentioned as the IT giant's top geezer Tim Cook took to the stage yesterday to keynote at his company's Worldwide Developers Conference.

The main music-relevant announcement was that Shazam's technology will be incorporated into the iOS Siri application, so that Siri will be able to tell you want song you're listening to and where you can buy it from (hint: iTunes).

Given Apple's Beats purchase, how about we start a conspiracy theory about this alliance being behind Shazam's rather bizarre recent decision to stop linking directly to tunes on Spotify via its own app in some countries? Of course, that happened just as Shazam started linking through to Deezer, and its app still links to Rdio, both Beats Music competitors, so it's a rubbish conspiracy theory. But most conspiracy theories are rubbish.

With the Beats deal not part of Cook's official spiel at WWDC, quite a lot of attention has fallen on moves Apple are making in the mHealth space, which at least explains the recent recruitment of Dr Dre.

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Trent Reznor still at Beats, MOG shuts down in the US
Trent Reznor is still hard at work over at Beats Music, doing all that creative stuff he does over there. And he'd like it very much if you'd stop saying otherwise. Well, he might. Or he possibly doesn't care. He probably doesn't care.

Rumours of Reznor's departure from Beats Music began circulating after he wasn't mentioned in all the post-Apple sale celebrating last week. However, when asked about the rumours about the streaming service's 'Chief Creative Officer', a spokesperson for Beats told Rolling Stone: "They are false".

Reznor himself also tweeted: "YES I am still CCO of Beats Music and looking forward to what lies ahead with Apple".

This follows similar rumours that Beats Music CEO Ian Rogers had jumped ship before Apple dumped a load of money on Dr Dre and Jimmy Iovine, though this also seems not to be the case either. Actually, it seems that gaining Rogers' expertise, along with that of Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine, was in part what convinced Apple that $3 billion was a fair price for the company.

Sadly, it looks like we'll have to keep running down the Beats staff list a bit further to find out who's gone. Maybe Bill in Accounts. He was rubbish, anyway.

Or, how about we just pretend that MOG was a member of staff? Because MOG is gone. Well, almost. The streaming service on which Beats Music was built shut down in the US on Saturday. Existing users are being offered 60 days of free access to Beats Music.

So, that's America all sorted, but what about Australia, where MOG is still alive and well and accepting new customers? The service is run via a partnership with tel co Telstra down under, and with Beats Music not yet launched in the country, it isn't currently clear how long it will remain online.

Telstra itself doesn't seem too sure, telling Gizmodo: "We're looking forward to understanding the detail in due course and will work with Beats on this. Of course we will let our customers know more information when we know more. MOG will continue to run as normal at this stage".

"I absolutely expressed concern", says royal hoax DJ
Australian radio presenter Mel Grieg has commented on the hoax call she and colleague Michael Christian made to the hospital where the Duchess Of Cambridge was being treated for morning sickness in 2012.

Grieg and Christian phoned London's King Edward VII's Hospital, which was, at the time, caring for a then recently pregnant Kate Middleton, in a pre-recorded item for their show on the Southern Cross Austero-owned 2Day FM station in Sydney. Pretending to be the Queen and Prince Charles, they convinced one nurse to connect them to Middleton's ward, and another into discussing her condition. The first nurse, Jacintha Saldanha, took her own life just days later.

Although Christian returned to the airwaves, and won an award, two months later, Grieg remained off air and later took legal action against SCA. This was resolved in December last year, with Grieg resigning from the company.

Appearing on Australian TV station Channel 7's 'Sunday Night' show, Greig said that she had not been comfortable with the airing of the hoax call, adding that she had asked for it to be held back until proper permission from hospital staff involved in the recording could be obtained.

"I absolutely expressed concern", she said. "As an announcer we are trained to always get permission if we're going to broadcast something, and it just didn't seem right that we'd broadcast that without permission and without doing what we'd normally do as announcers, so I was absolutely concerned. I should have tried harder not to let that prank call air. It never should have aired".

An inquest into the death of Saldanha was scheduled to begin in September last year. However, this was delayed and is still to go ahead. Grieg has said she will provide a statement to the inquest.

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BBC Three appoints acting editor
BBC Three has promoted Sam Bickley to the role of Acting Channel Editor, replacing Zai Bennett when she leaves the BBC later this month. Bickley will oversee the programming of the channel as it prepares to go online-only next year.

Bickley is currently Head Of Commissioning For Documentaries And Features for BBC Three. She will continue in her other role of joint Head of BBC One Documentaries.

Announcing the news, Bickley said: "I have worked on BBC Three for many years, watching this innovative channel grow. Zai and the team have built a vibrant, exciting and diverse BBC Three with amazing reach and I feel privileged to be asked to follow in his footsteps. I will continue to navigate Three through the year ahead with some amazing new shows to come".

  Approved: Throwing Snow
Electronic musician Ross Tones has been working under his Throwing Snow moniker since 2007. However, the project's debut album, 'Mosaic', only made it out into the world this week. And it's clear to see why, with each of the eleven tracks on the record a finely and expertly crafted journey.

The record features a host of guests, including Py, Kid A and Adda Kaleh, but the standout track that really drew me into the album was one of its instrumentals, 'Linguis'. A mixture of complex chime rhythms and a distantly rumbling distorted bassline, it cuts straight to the heart of what's great about 'Mosaic'.

To promote the album, Tones will be playing various festival and headline dates over the course of the summer, including an in-store performance at Rough Trade East this Thursday. Before that, you can check out the stunning video for 'The Tempest', which features Adda Kaleh, as well as a SoundCloud stream of the album in full.
CLICK HERE to read and share online
 

Beastie Boys no longer a going concern
The surviving members of Beastie Boys have apparently discontinued the project, following the death of Adam Yauch in 2012.

Testifying at the band's ongoing trial against Monster Energy Drink over the unauthorised use of their music, New York Daily News reports that Mike Diamond said: "We have not been able to tour since MCA, Adam Yauch, died. We can't make new music".

As previously reported, Beastie Boys are suing Monster for $2 million for using some of their music in an online video. The brand admits its mistake but argues that the amount of damages the group are asking for is too high.

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Jimmy Page dusts off photo book, talks Glasto rumours
Led Zep guitar man Jimmy Page has announced a more "accessible and affordable printing" of a photo autobiography that first came out, on a limited basis, in 2010.

The new edition of 'Jimmy Page By Jimmy Page', which is set to be released via Genesis Publications in October, features over 600 handpicked photos, with captions written by Page, which are arranged in a narrative of his life.

Promoting the book, Jimmy says: "I've been asked on a number of occasions to do a written book and I thought of the other side of the coin. I thought it would be unique to have an autobiography in photographs, charting my whole musical journey".

He adds: "I wanted to make it as thorough as possible, so that meant trawling through all the thousands of files that photographers had taken, and pulling from my personal collection as well. It was important to include every milestone along the way, so people who were fans of the music have got a real testament of the times".

Elsewhere, a talkative Page has been gassing about the chance of his band playing Glastonbury, following Glasto boss Michael Eavis saying he felt "sure" Led Zeppelin were one day going to headline the festival.

Speaking to BBC 6 Music's Shaun Keaveny, JP mused: "I haven't heard about anything [to do with another Led Zepp reunion] since the 2007 O2 gig, but you never know, do you? you never know what's going to happen tomorrow, do you?"

No, you do not.

Drake releases track, hints LP on the way in 2015
That Drizzy Drake released a new track yesterday, featuring a James Blake sample, so that's new. On not so close analysis, certain lyrics in '0 To 100 / The Catch Up', appear to hint at a new Drake LP "droppin" next spring, which is even newer.

So the most pertinent verse goes like this: "We already got spring 2015 poppin / PND droppin, Reps-up P droppin, Majid Jordan droppin, OB droppin, not to mention me droppin".

So all those artists, not least Drake and OVO affiliates PND (aka Party Next Door), Majid Jordan, Reps Up crew MC P Reign and '2 On / Thotful' man OB B'Brien, are 'droppin' in 2015, which is already shaping to be, as Drake says, 'poppin'.

Anyway, this is the track that got it all started.

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England World Cup Squad release charity dance compilation
Not since Joey Essex's 'Essex Anthems' has a compilation of dance hits looked quite so... um, compilation-like and dance-based as 'The England Players' Playlist', a charitably-motivated mix picked by this year's English World Cup footie team.

Available now in all the usual places, 10% of profits from the LP, captioned 'The Road To Brazil', will go to the FA's England Footballers Foundation, a patron of various charidees.

As to which hits of all the hits in the world are on it, Raheem Sterling chose Drake's 'Started From The Bottom' (apt), Daniel Sturridge selected Banks' vengeance-themed 'This Is What I Feel Like' (weird), and Michael Carrick went with 'Blurred Lines', that last one because... I don't know. Surely blurred lines of any kind are a bad thing in a football match? Anyway, it's all a bit all over the place; disparate, lazy and lacking in pace and consistency. Anyway, as I was saying: ENGLAND TO WIN!

Team captain Steven Gerrard, who picked Avicii's 'Wake Me Up', apparently said this: "All of the players are committed to the England Footballer's Foundation and are proud to partner with Universal Music on this unique album. It has been an enjoyable experience pulling together our favourite track selections for our England fans, and importantly this product is helping us to raise vital funds and awareness for the charitable causes we choose to support".

Here's a trailer

Gigs & Tours Round-Up: Prince, Gruff Rhys, The Chills, Kwabs, Altrego and The Ordinary Boys
Hey, Prince is coming back to the UK again. We just can't get shot of him, can we? Him and 3RDEYEGIRL will be playing two shows at The Roundhouse in London this Wednesday. Tomorrow. One will take place at 5.30pm, then another at 9.45pm. Tickets will go on sale here at midday today.

Following a commitment made last month to play at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall on 20 Sep, Mr Gruff Rhys has announced around that a UK tour of churches, town halls and city venues.

Beginning on 4 Sep at Mareel in Shetland, it takes in twelve all-new dates in all, the last of which is on 21 Sep at The Dylan Weekend festival in Laugharne. Anyway, keep September free and check the trek's listings via www.gruffrhys.com

And finally hear Gruff's new single 'Liberty (Is Where We'll Be)', the latest off his sprawling vari-format LP 'American Interior', which is presented here.

Next, New Zealand band The Chills have been adding live dates to their agenda recently, not least shows in Leeds, London and Dublin on 23, 24 and 31 Jul. Find details here, and a new, alternative take on what's perhaps The Chills' greatest hit, 'Pink Frost' (a rework which they released as a B-side to their first new track in over ten years, 'Molten Gold'), here.

Riding a wave of acclaim for his new EP 'Pray For Love', Atlantic-signed artist-to-watch Kwabs, the soul-toned R&B man from South London, has confirmed his most high-profile headline show ever, at London's Koko on 16 Oct.

Kwabs, real name Kwabena Sarkodee Adjepong, says this: "2014 has been incredible so far. It's all been amazing and I am really looking forward to playing Koko later this year".

This is a link to Koko tickets (which won't go live until Friday), and this, in the meantime, is the clip for the Plan B-produced title song to 'Pray For Love'.

Approved Anglo-Belgian artist/producer Altrego, who bolts 1980s pop hooks on to funk (case in point his last track 'Love Is Flawless') is also prone to play the odd show. And hey, his next live set is at the King's Head in London TOMORROW NIGHT, so get there on time to see him air his new EP, which is released on 16 Jun.

Get info on and tickets to the show here, and see the clip for the EP's modestly-titled first single 'Miraculous Epiphanies' here.

Finally, The Ordinary Boys, who are still insisting on playing shows, are doing so later this year, in November to be precise. OB originals Preston, Charlie and James, and new (ex Spectrals) guitarist Louis Jones will kick things off at Manchester's Ruby Lounge on 18 Nov, and finally, following seven intervening dates, light up the Southhampton Joiners on 28 Nov.

The band have, by the way, officially called time on the hiatus they were apparently taking for the past seven years, and have a new LP on the way. Details on the November shows, and whatever else, are freely accessible via the group's Facebook page.

This is a semi-relevant stream of 'Dress To Kill', Cher's version of Preston's very first solo single, which he wrote. Who knew?

Elvis Presley's false tooth delivered to Bracknell dentist too late
An exciting day of mouth cancer checks was ruined for a Berkshire dental clinic when FedEx failed to deliver a false tooth made for Elvis Presley. Instead, the delivery company mistakenly provided a box of boring old dental equipment meant for somewhere else.

'The King's Crown', as it's apparently known, was meant to be the centrepiece of a mouth cancer awareness day at the Appledore Dental Clinic in Bracknell, but was instead sent to an address in Dundee. FedEx was alerted to the mistake, but the package arrived at its intended destination five hours late.

Dr Teresa Day, from the clinic, told the BBC: "It was supposed to arrive before 10am with a load of memorabilia, including costumes and a lock of Elvis' hair, but instead we got a small package containing dentistry equipment meant for a clinic on the Isle Of Wight. It put a dampener on the days' events and left us 'all shook up' because we weren't all able to dress up as we'd hoped, and patients coming to the clinic to have their free mouth cancer checks were left disappointed when the crown wasn't there".

Presley's false tooth is currently on a tour of the UK to promote mouth cancer awareness. The replacement tooth, and mould of Presley's mouth in which it sits, was donated by Canadian dentist Michael Zuk, who bought it at auction for $11,000 in 2011. Presley never actually used the crown, having died the day after he visited his dentist to have the mould made.

Attempting to allay fears that future dental events might be ruined, a FedEx spokeperson said: "Once we were informed of this situation we quickly located the correct package in accordance with our normal procedures and made the necessary arrangements to ensure it arrived at the correct destination promptly. We are in touch with the customer to ensure that the Elvis Presley dental crown delivery arrives safely and on time at its next destination".

If all goes to plan, you'll be able to see the fake incisor for yourself at Advance Dental in Barry on 6 Jun, Smile Style Dental in Stafford on 10 Jun and Castle Park Dental in Cottingham near Hull on 17 Jun.

This is not, incidentally, the only celebrity tooth owned by Michael Zuk. As previously reported, he also owns one of John Lennon's real teeth, which he plans to use to clone the former Beatle in 2040 (to mark what would have been Lennon's 100th birthday, obviously).

 
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 andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (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 chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (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 aly@unlimitedmedia.co.uk (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 sam@unlimitedmedia.co.uk 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.
Email caro@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
Send ALL press releases to musicnews@unlimitedmedia.co.uk - this is checked daily by the whole editorial team meaning your release will definitely get to the right person.

For details of the training and consultancy services offered by CMU Insights click here - Andy and Chris are also available to provide music business comment, just email them direct.

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