FRIDAY 8 JANUARY 2016
TODAY'S TOP STORY: We've all been speculating for months now that EDM powerhouse SFX was heading towards bankruptcy, but as of today EDM powerhouse SFX is speculating that EDM powerhouse SFX may be heading towards bankruptcy. I should probably stop referring to it as a "powerhouse". EDM potting shed SFX is now considering bankruptcy. As much previously reported... [READ MORE]
 
TODAY'S APPROVED: The tech sounds of the Familia night have been reverberating for a good while now, and the venture kick starts 2016 with its first ever January date. Step up Fabio Florido who makes his debut at the night, while Raul Mezcolanza - back from his South American tour - makes his second appearance at Egg in Kings X. Florido has releases on Minus and other imprints... [READ MORE]
 
BEEF OF THE WEEK: Yeah, that's right, it's the first beef of the year and we're starting strong with the two biggest British solo artists of the moment. Oh, the beefing. Boy are they angry. You'd best sit down before you read this one, let me tell you. Though please note: I'm not talking about their record sales. Adele comfortably won that fight, selling approximately seven copies of her... [READ MORE]
 
CMU PODCAST: In the final CMU Podcast of 2015 CMU's Andy Malt and Chris Cooke review the year in music and the music business, plus the rates personalised radio services in the US will pay from this year and how streaming platforms are headhunting radio people. The CMU Podcast is sponsored by 7digital... [LISTEN HERE]
TOP STORIES SFX appoints restructuring experts, bankruptcy options now on the agenda
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LIVE BUSINESS Norwich venue The Owl Sanctuary to close after landlord switch
New UK GM at Eventbrite
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DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES The Pirate Bay shifts again to an alternative domain
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OBITUARIES Robert Stigwood 1934-2016
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ARTIST NEWS Janet Jackson denies cancer rumours
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RELEASES Yeasayer announce new album
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AWARDS Jack Garratt tops BBC Sound Of 2016 poll
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ONE LINERS 50 Cent, George Harrison, The Offspring, more
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AND FINALLY... CMU Beef Of The Week #288: Ed Sheeran v Adele
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Click JUMP to skip direct to a section of this email or ONLINE to read and share stories on the CMU website (JUMP option may not work in all email readers). For regular updates from Team CMU follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Tumblr.
 
 
CR2 RECORDS - DIGITAL CONTENT MANAGER (LONDON)
We are looking for a fully competent and experienced Digital Content Manager to manage the scheduling and delivery for all our digital releases covering singles, artist albums and compilations to all digital retailers ensuring quality control and accurate, timely delivery for our very busy schedule.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
SIX07 PRESS - SENIOR PRESS CONSULTANT (LONDON)
Six07 Press is looking for an experienced music PR to join us as a Senior Press Consultant. It is vital that applicants have two to three years’ experience in national UK print PR, as well as online PR campaign management. We are looking for someone who is self-motivated, flexible and has initiative.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
HOSPITAL RECORDS - HEAD OF PUBLISHING (LONDON)
Hospital Records are hiring a Head Of Publishing for their in-house department, Songs In The Key Of Knife. Based in our South London office, we are looking for someone with 12-18 months minimum publishing experience to administrate all aspects of our catalogue worldwide.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
KINC - MUSIC MARKETING COORDINATOR (LONDON)
KINC is a communications agency that specialises in music, sports and entertainment. We have an exciting new role that has become available working across all of our music clients. It is a full time role in Islington, London starting in February 2016.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
NEW CROSS INN - LIVE BOOKINGS MANAGER (LONDON)
As a member of our live events team you will be responsible for the booking, programming and promotion of our live music calendar alongside the current events manager. You will have experience booking and contracting live acts and will have a strong network of contacts to draw on.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
MANNERS MCDADE - COPYRIGHT & ROYALTIES MANAGER (LONDON)
We are an independent music publisher based in Central London, specialising in indie-classical and electronic music. We also manage the rights of the media composers managed by our sister company, Manners McDade Artist Management. Due to expansion we are recruiting an experienced Copyright & Royalties Manager to work with our International catalogue.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
THE COLUMBO GROUP - PRESS OFFICER (LONDON)
We are looking for a highly motivated and creative individual to be the Press Officer for an exciting venue re-launch in London. The ideal candidate will have at least a year's experience in the PR industry, with a passion for nightlife, music and food, and a keen eye for detail. We are looking for someone who has the ability to deliver excellent press coverage, offer fresh ideas for our communications strategies and thrive under a heavy work load.

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 ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
 
 
A guide to upcoming events from and involving CMU, including seminars, masterclasses and conference sessions from CMU Insights and workshops from CMU:DIY, plus other events where CMU journalists are speaking or moderating.
 
18 Jan 2016 CMU Insights Seminars: How The Music Business Works Programme
CLICK FOR INFO
18 Jan 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Making Money From Music
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20 Jan 2016 CMU:DIY x Urban Development Industry Takeover Seminar
CLICK FOR INFO
25 Jan 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: How Music Rights Work
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1 Feb 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: How Music Licensing Works
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8 Feb 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: The Music Rights Sector
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10 Feb 2016 CMU Insights Masterclass: Key Developments In Music Rights
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15 Feb 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: The Live Sector, Brand Partnerships & Fan Services
CLICK FOR INFO
22 Feb 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fanbase - Social Media Tools
CLICK FOR INFO
29 Feb 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fanbase - Music Media
CLICK FOR INFO
6 Mar 2016 CMU Insights Seminar: Building A Fan-Orientated Business
CLICK FOR INFO
6 May 2016 CMU Insights @ Canadian Music Week 2016
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19-20 May 2016 CMU Insights @ The Great Escape 2016
CLICK FOR INFO
 

SFX appoints restructuring experts, bankruptcy options now on the agenda
We've all been speculating for months now that EDM powerhouse SFX was heading towards bankruptcy, but as of today EDM powerhouse SFX is speculating that EDM powerhouse SFX may be heading towards bankruptcy. I should probably stop referring to it as a "powerhouse". EDM potting shed SFX is now considering bankruptcy.

As much previously reported, 2015 was a terrible year for the dance music festival promoting and Beatport operating SFX. Having grown rapidly through an acquisition spree in previous years, and floated in 2013 amidst much hype about the ticketing-selling and brand-partnership-securing power of music with bleeps, the latest venture from entertainment industry veteran Robert FX Sillerman started to wobble big time.

The plethora of EDM brands SFX had bought up failed to deliver the immediate financial rewards investors had expected, the cash pile started to dwindle, and two aborted attempts by Sillerman to take the firm back in private ownership added to the frustration on Wall Street. The company's share price tanked, reaching an all time low of fourteen cents during after-hours trading last night.

In December, the company confirmed that it had asked bankers Moelis & Co to investigate restructuring its debts, which were reportedly in the region of $300 million. By that point the firm's board had been accepting offers for the company or its assets for months, but potential buyers were seemingly concerned about what liabilities might come with buying chunks of the business.

Over Christmas it emerged that a content partnership deal with Spotify had been called off, and SFX would reportedly have to pay back an advance it received on that deal. There was some incoming cash flow from the sale of artist management business TMWRK, seemingly back to the agency's managers, but that is basically another sign that commercially viable companies previously acquired by SFX are now looking for a way out of the group.

In a new filing with the US Securities & Exchange Commission yesterday, SFX announced it had hired FTI Consulting to "serve as the company's Chief Restructuring Officer" and to evaluate and assess "various restructuring and strategic alternatives, including working with management to analyse and optimise operations and financial performance".

Listing what options were now being considered, the SFX statement said: "There can be no assurance that the company will be successful in identifying or implementing, on favourable terms or at all, any financial or strategic alternatives, which may include restructuring the company's debt, the issuance of additional equity or debt, or the sale of some or all of the company's assets. In order to facilitate its reorganisation, the company may consider utilising the available protections under the federal bankruptcy laws".

Most of the festival brands acquired by SFX will still be attractive to a number of potential bidders once cut free from the parent company's liabilities, and this could well be the last attempt to keep the EDM business going at large before a proper fire sale of assets begins. Time will tell.

Elsewhere in the file marked 'EDM Bubble: Burst', just before Christmas London-based dance music-focused booking agency Elastic Artists confirmed it was now in administration. A memo to clients confirmed weeks of speculation that financial problems - which had resulted in artists not being paid their fees for gigs performed - had basically finished off the once popular niche agency.

According to FACT, the new memo said that artists and other creditors should see "a proportion of the money owed. Unfortunately it is unlikely that 100% of the money owed will be received and it is likely that it will take a number of months for artists and promoters to receive such payment. At this juncture we are not able to comment on the timing or level of payment that will be received".

Beyond the mess of unpaid bills, various agents formerly with Elastic, most of whom were seemingly unaware of the financial issues until very late in the day, are popping up with their rosters elsewhere. Clemence Renaut and Roxane Dumoulin have just joined ATC Live, while others are involved in new business Orchid.

Norwich venue The Owl Sanctuary to close after landlord switch
A popular grassroots venue in Norwich is set to close on 31 Jan after ownership of the property changed hands last year.

In a statement on Facebook, Dan Hawcroft, who set up The Owl Sanctuary in 2014, reports that he found out over the Christmas break that he had a new landlord, following a sale of the building he rents last summer. His current lease on the space expires in March but, according to Hawcroft, there had been a verbal agreement with the previous landlord to extend the venue's tenancy. That is now not seemingly possible.

Hawcroft says that the new owner of his building, Richard Pratt, owns the neighbouring property where he plans to build new flats. He reckons Pratt only bought The Owl Sanctuary site, at an above market rate, in order to overcome planning problems for the new residential development.

Pratt told the Eastern Daily Press that he doesn't currently have any specific plans for his new purchase, and that he'd have been happy for The Owl Sanctuary to stay in the space beyond March, though it's not clear for how long. Given the planned residential property next door, you suspect Pratt wouldn't want a music venue in there permanently, and Hawcroft said he'd need some long-term commitment to consider investing more time and resource into further developing the venue.

Back on Facebook, he wrote: "Due to this bullshit I am currently in a position where I have invested a crazy amount of time and money in a venue and now have no clue about my future prospects or security for my family, nor do my friends who work here and have done for two years since the day we got the keys and started painting by iPhone torch as the power wasn't back on".

He went on: "So all we ask is please support us as much as you can until our closing date to help limit the financial damage this arsehole will inflict on us, not to mention the damage to the local music scene, grassroots touring and even the Norwich Soup Movement who are based upstairs here at The Owl".

Of course, The Owl Sanctuary is one of a number of grassroots venues in the UK that has faced closure in recent years due to rent hikes, landlord changes and planning issues.

Hawcroft told the EDP: "We created one of the most respected DIY venues in the country. We did the first ever sold out gig by Slaves and we've had bands from all over the world, such as Japan and Brazil. They have come because they loved our ethos and what we are trying to do here. There's some great bands coming up in Norwich and if they're not nurtured at grass roots level, how are they ever going to break out?"

--------------------------------------------------

New UK GM at Eventbrite
Self-service ticketing company Eventbrite has announced the hire of a brand new General Manager for the UK and Ireland in the form of Joel Crouch, who joins from event management software company Lanyon. His experience, says Eventbrite, includes "applying technology to respond to customer demands", so the ticketing firm's customers should get demanding things, then the new GM can start applying some tech.

Commenting on his new job, Crouch told reporters that Eventbrite's recent growth in the UK and Irish markets "is a testament to both our cutting edge technology, particularly in the mobile space, and the commitment of our experienced teams in London and Dublin. They have done a great job establishing online ticketing over the past few years, and I'm confident that I can accelerate the drive to bring smarter and more efficient event ticketing to even more types of events in Britain and Ireland, helping event professionals work smarter and more efficiently and bringing a seamless booking experience to attendees".

His new boss, London-based Randy Befumo, seems similarly confident. He added: "Joel's extensive leadership skills combined with operational expertise will help us develop as a company. As the new General Manager for Eventbrite in the region, Joel will oversee performance and teams, helping us create an authentic local business that speaks to the specific needs of organisers and consumers in the region".

Still not sure what Eventbrite is? Well, why not book a place on the upcoming CMU Insights masterclass and experience buying tickets via the ticketing platform for yourself. Look at us, going above and beyond to provide background to our stories.

The Pirate Bay shifts again to an alternative domain
The Pirate Bay has got itself a brand new domain in the form of ThePirateBay.ms. Well, the always controversial file-sharing site actually registered the Montserrat-based domain name several years back, but this week made it the service's primary address.

This is because the file-sharing platform continues to lose domains it has previously registered as copyright owners put pressure on different registries to cancel any web addresses used by the piracy venture.

Running a copyright infringing website at any one domain usually breaches the terms and conditions of the registry where that domain is registered. On that basis the registry can usually block the domain, though quite what process is involved in doing so varies from registry to registry, and may require a court order.

Six alternative domains that The Pirate Bay announced last spring have now all been turned off by the respective registries, hence ThePirateBay.ms. Though, ironically, the Bay's original two domains - thepiratebay.se and thepiratebay.org - are still operational.

It's been widely expected for some time that those would be switched off, or handed over to copyright industry trade groups, hence Team TPB's regular shifts over to alternative addresses. But, for various reasons, those are the two high profile Pirate Bay domains that still remain.

Robert Stigwood 1934-2016
Former music, film and theatre mogul Robert Stigwood died on Monday, it was confirmed by his godson Spencer Gibb (son of The Bee Gees' Robin Gibb). He was 81.

Born in Port Pirie, Australia in 1934, Stigwood relocated to the UK in his early 20s, where he launched his own theatrical agency. Struggling to find acting jobs for one of his clients, John Leyton, Stigwood would send him to music auditions instead. This proved fairly unsuccessful too, until producer Joe Meek opted to work with Leyton, saying that his lack of singing ability could be offset by his good looks. This, in fact, turned out to be true, and they had an unsuspected hit. Although Leyton quickly moved back into acting, it was the start of a long career in music for Stigwood.

Setting himself up as an independent music producer and later branching out into live music too, he grew his business quickly, but suffered a setback when promoting a UK tour by Chuck Berry in 1965. Tickets failed to sell and Stigwood was declared bankrupt. He quickly turned things around though, and in 1966 became booking agent for The Who, whose managers, Chris Stamp and Kit Lambert, he was subletting office space to. From here he also took on Cream, and moved the recordings side of his business over to Polydor.

In 1967, Beatles manager Brian Epstein agreed to merge his NEMS company with Stigwood's business, keen to reduce his involvement in the firm. However, The Beatles refused to work with Stigwood, Paul McCartney once claiming that the band had threatened to record a series of out of tune versions of 'God Save The Queen' if forced to work with his firm. Epstein also eventually fell out with Stigwood, and the partnership collapsed.

But Stigwood had more luck with The Bee Gees, whom he signed for management and recordings, and by 1968 he had also begun successfully producing West End musicals, such as 'Hair' (he was also involved with 'Jesus Christ Superstar' in the early 70s). Later he became a film producer too and, having helped The Bee Gees re-invent themselves as a disco act, he hired them to write the soundtrack for his new film 'Saturday Night Fever'.

Although he had become a less prominent figure in the music and entertainment industries in more recent years, Stigwood still enjoyed successes, such as the stage musical version of 'Saturday Night Fever' and the film version of 'Evita', starring Madonna.

  Vigsy's Club Tip: Familia at Egg
The tech sounds of the Familia night have been reverberating for a good while now, and the venture kick starts 2016 with its first ever January date.

Step up Fabio Florido who makes his debut at the night, while Raul Mezcolanza - back from his South American tour - makes his second appearance at Egg in Kings X. Florido has releases on Minus and other imprints, while Mezcolanza's output appears on Popof's Form, Suara, Octopus and Bitten, to name but a few.

Irregular Synth headlines the ground floor, hosted by the techno collective Wachtraum, with Fabio Ferro, Ben Grunnell, Nick Tcherniak and Anthony Castaldo also set to grace the ones and twos.

Saturday 9 Jan, Egg, 200 York Way, Kings Cross, London N7 9AX, 10pm-10am, £10 - £15. More info here.
CLICK HERE to read and share online
 

Janet Jackson denies cancer rumours
Janet Jackson has issued a statement denying reports that she is suffering from throat cancer.

On Christmas Eve, the singer announced that she had been forced to postpone her upcoming tour dates as she required surgery, though she did not give further details about the operation. This week she revealed that it was her vocal cords in need of surgical attention, which is not uncommon for singers. However, it was quickly reported, and re-reported, that Jackson was actually suffering from throat cancer.

In a written statement yesterday, published on YouTube and soundtracked by her song 'The Great Forever', taken from her latest album, Jackson wrote: "Remember, believe it when you hear it from my lips. The rumours are untrue. I do not have cancer. I'm recovering. My doctors have approved my concerts as scheduled in Europe, and as promised, the postponed shows will be rescheduled".

So that's all reassuring. Though conspiracy theorists might point out that we didn't actually hear any of that from Jackson's lips. But come on, guys. She's just had surgery on her vocal cords. Don't go around making up stuff like that.

Yeasayer announce new album
You know when you just assume a band you like have split up because they've not done anything for ages? But then someone tells you that actually they're still together and have a new album coming out? And you get excited, but then worried in case they're no good anymore. Well, Yeasayer have a new album coming out this year.

Titled 'Amen & Goodbye', the follow-up to 2012's 'Fragrant World' is due for release through Mute on 1 Apr. And you should not fear, because the first track from it, 'I Am Chemistry', is good. An it features vocals from Suzzy Roche of The Roches.

Here's the video.

Jack Garratt tops BBC Sound Of 2016 poll
BRITs Critics' Choice winner Jack Garratt has been named the popstar most likely to succeed this year in the BBC Sound Of 2016 poll. That's what changing your sound and growing a big beard can do for you, kids. 2016 is the year of beards in pop.

Says Garratt: "Winning the BBC Music Sound Of 2016 poll has left me feeling pretty stunned at the end of one of the most emotionally and physically intense years of my life. I cannot thank the BBC enough for their continued support, and everyone who voted for me. Every other name on the list is unbelievably talented, and I hope this year will be a great one for all of us".

Who else was on that list though? Let's take a look at the complete top five:

1. Jack Garratt (we already know that one)
2. Alessia Cara
3. NAO
4. Blossoms
5. WSTRN

Now, here's Garratt's very good 2015 single 'Chemical'.

50 Cent, George Harrison, The Offspring, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• BBC Sound Of 2003 winner 50 Cent has reportedly requested that damages he was ordered to pay for leaking a sex tape be reduced.

• That there Bicycle Music Company has announced an exclusive worldwide publishing agreement with the estate of George Harrison which covers some of his Beatles songs, solo work and his contributions to The Traveling Wilburys. Bicycle boss Jake Wisely "could never have imagined" this. Good job the deal's not with the John Lennon estate.

• New York-based Round Hill Music has acquired the Sony-released recordings of The Offspring and career-spanning publishing rights in a deal said to be worth a neat $35 million. Which is almost as pretty fly for a white guy as it is predictable to wrap up this one liner by saying so.

• Ron Cerrito has been appointed as General Manager of Kobalt's label services business in the US. The record industry veteran has had promotions and marketing roles at the majors and ran the in-house label of Prospect Park Management. Yeah, that Ron Cerrito.

• Bandcamp is trying to muscle in on SoundCloud's position as the chief provider of exclusive streams to media by allowing artists to offer locked embeds to websites, so that other websites can't nick em and embed them and say "woo, we got the exclusive too, suckers".

• It's just been spotted that Radiohead incorporated a new company called Dawn Chorus back in October, and we all know what that means don't we? Yep, Thom Yorke's moving into the breakfast foods business. Which is very exciting indeed. Either that or there's a new Radiohead album incoming. Fingers crossed for the breakfast foods though.

• That Beyonce is going to perform with Coldplay during the Super Bowl half time show next month. She headlined it herself in 2013, of course.

• Shortly before his death, Lemmy filmed an advert for a Finnish dairy company. The ad agency behind it has now turned it into a tribute video.

• Zayn Malik is not censoring himself anymore.

CMU Beef Of The Week #288: Ed Sheeran v Adele
Yeah, that's right, it's the first beef of the year and we're starting strong with the two biggest British solo artists of the moment. Oh, the beefing. Boy are they angry. You'd best sit down before you read this one, let me tell you.

Though please note: I'm not talking about their record sales. Adele comfortably won that fight, selling approximately seven copies of her latest release to every living creature on the planet. Sheeran, of course, put himself at a disadvantage by releasing the second best-selling album of 2015 back in 2014. Though you could argue that having the whole year to hawk his record was unfair, given that Adele only gave herself twelve minutes right at the end of 2015 in which to do all of her selling.

Anyway, this isn't about sales. There are no winners and losers when it comes to record sales. Except Sam Smith. Whose album came in third. Aka last. Better luck next time, Sam. No, this is about attitudes to technology.

Adele is a famous luddite, of course. While Ed is usually considered to be one of the most forward-thinking humans ever to have existed. But recently he's been slipping. Last month he announced that he was removing himself from the internet entirely, switching off from the technology that connects us to modern life and heading out on an extended trip around the world.

He told Adele about this decision after being invited to dinner with his unit sales rival. "I'm getting rid of my phone and all my numbers", he cheerfully bleated, before illustrating just how much he was distancing himself from the modern world by declaring: "I bought a Motorola flip phone".

A dark cloud descended over the table, Adele fixing Ed with a stare usually reserved for Apple execs. Everyone else in the room was aware that flip phones were a touchy subject at that precise moment in time. But not poor Ed, who had already begun his retreat away from the online world.

"She wasn't happy", he apparently told The Sun. "I hadn't seen the 'Hello' video. I said, 'I'm getting a flip phone' and she said, 'Is that some sort of fucking joke?' I was sat there being like, 'Is it?' Someone piped up and was like, 'He hasn't seen the video'".

It all seems to be alright now though. It was just a simple misunderstanding. And one of Adele's team explained that fact on a piece of slate, so even she now understands.

Anyway, here's a video of Ed on his holiday from the internet.

 
ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU Daily 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 | MD & Business Editor
Chris provides music business coverage and analysis. Chris also leads the CMU Insights training and consultancy business and education programme CMU:DIY, and heads up CMU publisher 3CM UnLimited.
Email chris@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, and advising on CMU Insights training courses and events.
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 3CM UnLimited 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.

To promote your company or advertise jobs or services to the entire UK music industry via the CMU bulletin or website contact Sam on 020 7099 9060 or email ads@unlimitedmedia.co.uk
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