TODAY'S TOP STORY: Just as Amazon made friends with Apple again yesterday, an ongoing dispute with Google stepped up a gear. The latter tech giant has announced that, from January, it will remove its YouTube app from Amazon's Fire TV devices. Google blamed a "lack of reciprocity" on Amazon's part for the decision... [READ MORE]
As the UK's Music Managers Forum publishes two new guides as part of phase three of its 'Dissecting The Digital Dollar' programme, CMU Trends summarises what we've learned from the project so far in 30 points - ten from part one, ten from part two, and ten from the new guides. Along the way we cover digital licensing, all the key issues with the current streaming business model, and what you need to know about label deals and transparency in the streaming age. [READ MORE]
There has been lots of debate around the music rights data problem in recent years, and a number of initiatives are underway to tackle the issue. Though Spotify's mechanical royalties dispute and the lack of songwriter credits on the streaming platforms shows the problem persists. As Music 4.5 puts the spotlight back on all things data, CMU Trends reviews discussions to date, challenges to be met, and where progress is being made. [READ MORE]
Copyright provides creators with control over that which they create, but what happens when the creators themselves don't own the copyright in their work? Artists and songwriters who are no longer in control of their copyrights do still have some rights, sometimes by contract, and via performer and moral rights. CMU Trends considers what the law says about the rights of artists and songwriters after their copyrights have been assigned. [READ MORE]
TOP STORIES Google pulls YouTube app from Amazon Fire TV devices
LABELS & PUBLISHERS Reservoir forms songwriter development venture with Warren 'Oak' Felder
New Chair elected at Merlin
RELEASES Sufjan Stevens releases long-time-coming Tonya Harding anthem
Wild Beasts announce live album, Last Night All My Dreams Came True
Anna von Hausswolff announces new album, Dead Magic
ONE LINERS Kings Of Leon, Tune-Yards, Declan McKenna, more
AND FINALLY... Dexter Fletcher returns to Queen movie
MAMA Festivals is one of the UK’s leading festival businesses. The Head Of Creative Production works alongside managers and consultants to deliver creative aspects of Lovebox, Citadel and Wilderness festivals.

For more information and to apply click here.
This role spans two areas within Kilimanjaro Live; working with the Promoters and the Head of Marketing to co-ordinate and implement marketing strategies and plans, and working across the company as a whole on office administration and support as well as providing support to all roles when required.

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Gargantuan Music is looking for a highly experienced Senior Music Consultant with an excellent proven track record in sales, marketing and music supervision within the music industry.

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This is an exciting opportunity to work at a world class production music company. Gargantuan Music is looking for an experienced Music Production Manager.

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POP is the simplest way for musicians, labels, brands and others to launch a Facebook Messenger bot. The Marketing & Partnerships Executive will work closely with POP’s Head of Partnerships and our Marketing team to help POP connect with customers and grow our presence globally.

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Stones Throw is seeking a full-time Junior Product Manager at its European office in London. You'll work closely with the UK & Europe Label Manager to deliver marketing campaigns in these territories, and provide general support to assist in the day to day running of the label in the UK and Europe.

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ATC Live is a live booking agency based in Camden, London, and we are looking for a senior booking assistant to join our team. This is an exciting opportunity for a highly organised and motivated senior booking assistant to join a busy live booking agency.

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The primary focus of the client Onboarding team is to work in conjunction with our Tech team to transition the new clients' data onto Kobalt's proprietary systems and into the ongoing day-to-day processes of the core Operational teams.

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AWAL serves a growing roster of emerging talent and already established independent artists from all over the world. As our AWAL community continues to grow, we're now looking for someone to join our client management team to help support these labels and artists using the cutting-edge AWAL tools.

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Our growing Client Relations team in London is looking for a confident and detail oriented self-starter to support with crucial day-to-day tasks such as transitioning new clients into the Kobalt system and carrying out internal reviews and quality checks.

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Domino seeks a Product Manager to join its London team. Product Managers at Domino are in charge of running artist campaigns inside the company.

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Join the UK's top streaming promotions company and play a key role in helping some of the world's most exciting new artists get heard.

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The Orchard has a vacancy for an Indie Sales Manager servicing independent record shops and online accounts. Candidates should ideally have experience working with music retail, distribution or at a label.

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Kilimanjaro Live is working with Dinosaurs In The Wild to bring its amazing adventure to London in 2018 for a long term run. We are recruiting a Venue Manager, Assistant Venue Manager and Box Office Managers to manage the venue operations.

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VMS Live is looking for an experienced promoter to work in our expanding events team. Based in one of our UK offices the successful candidate will be work alongside existing staff to book and promote artists/events into our existing partner venues estate around the UK, as well as delivering shows in our own right as VMS Live.

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VMS Live is looking for a Junior Booker to work in our expanding events team. Based in one of our UK offices the position will be working alongside our existing staff to book and promote artists/events into our existing partner venues estate around the UK, as well as delivering shows in our own right as VMS Live.

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13 Artists are looking to recruit a Senior Booking Assistant who, among other things, will liaise with agents, management and labels on touring periods, financial and logistic requirements; negotiate routing and arrange dates with promoters and venues; and analyse costings for shows to get the best deals for artists.

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The Rest Is Noise is a music specialist communications agency that look after a range of PR campaigns. The role is for an experienced PR to join our tight­knit team, delivering high impact PR campaigns within our events arm.

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As Campaign Manager at independent full service advertising agency Sold Out, you will be the lead person responsible for all elements of online marketing and be supporting the business through effective implementation of social media campaigns, campaign planning and buying, implementation and reporting for a variety of clients across the entertainment market.

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These are sessions that we run in-house at music companies or companies working with music. As we head into 2018, CMU Insights is now offering music companies a special two-hour primer session reviewing five key areas of the music business, summarising important developments from the last twelve months and looking at the challenges that lie ahead in the next year. Including: the streaming business, piracy, safe harbour, ticketing and data.

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Google pulls YouTube app from Amazon Fire TV devices
Just as Amazon made friends with Apple again yesterday, an ongoing dispute with Google stepped up a gear. The latter tech giant has announced that, from January, it will remove its YouTube app from Amazon's Fire TV devices. Google blamed a "lack of reciprocity" on Amazon's part for the decision.

This all seemingly relates to a dispute over what Google products Amazon stocks on its flagship selling-stuff website. Or, rather, what it doesn't stock.

In a statement announcing that it was pulling YouTube's Fire TV app, Google complained that Amazon is refusing to stock its gadgets - such as its Chromecast TV streaming thing - and also failing to provide support for using Amazon's video-on-demand Prime Video app on Chromecast devices.

"We've been trying to reach agreement with Amazon to give consumers access to each other's products and services", said a Google spokesperson.

"But Amazon doesn't carry Google products like Chromecast and Google Home", they went on, "doesn't make Prime Video available for Google Cast users, and last month stopped selling some of Nest's latest products". Nest being a sister company to Google that makes various net-connected gizmos.

Google's champion moan continued: "Given this lack of reciprocity, we are no longer supporting YouTube on Echo Show and FireTV. We hope we can reach an agreement to resolve these issues soon".

Google's decision to withdraw support for Amazon's newish Echo Show device - the version of its voice-activated Echo range that has a screen - was actually announced back in September.

At the time, both sides were coy about what had happened. Amazon told The Verge that the decision was made "without explanation ... which is disappointing and hurts both of our customers". Google, meanwhile, said that "Amazon's implementation of YouTube on the Echo Show violates our terms of service".

In part at least, this dispute dates back to 2015, when Amazon ceased to stock both Chromecast and Apple TV devices on its main website - leaving them only available for sale on the Amazon platform via third party sellers.

Obviously you don't have to be too much of a conspiracy theorist to note that these Google and Apple devices compete head on with Amazon's Fire TV devices. Although that doesn't explain why Amazon has also pulled those Nest products. Or, for that matter, Apple's MacBooks, iPhones and iPads.

Which brings us to the Amazon/Apple dispute. At the Recode conference last year, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said: "When we sell those devices, we want our player - our Prime Video player - to be on the device, and we want it to be on the device with acceptable business terms. You can always get the player on the device. The question is, can you get it on there with acceptable business terms?"

Amazon Prime Video does have an iOS app - it's worth noting - so that doesn't entirely explain why Amazon doesn't stock those Apple devices. However, when it comes to "better business terms", it was generally assumed that Bezos was referring to the so-called 'Apple tax'.

As much previously reported, Apple insists on taking 30% of sales made through its app store, both on apps that you pay to download, and also those where a subscription is charged within the app itself.

That latter stipulation has been frequently criticised by streaming services, including music platforms like Spotify, because Apple's cut from the subscription would take away those companies' entire (best case scenario) profit margin. Therefore services like Spotify have to add a 30% premium on subscriptions sold through the iOS app, which makes it look like their services are more expensive than Apple's competing services.

Apple rules also prevent rivals from telling customers that they can buy subscriptions outside of the Apple ecosystem at a cheaper rate.

That rule also results in a slightly confusing experience on Amazon's iOS video app. Where movies are not available for streaming via a Prime subscription, the app often says that the content can instead be purchased or rented. But it offers no clear information on how users might do so, it not wanting to do any selling or renting out via the Apple platform for financial reasons.

Meanwhile, Amazon had never even released a Prime Video app for Apple TV devices, seemingly due to the same dispute over what cut of payments Apple demands. However, at his company's Worldwide Developers Conference in June, Apple boss Tim Cook announced that a Prime Video app for Apple TV would finally be made available this year.

Yesterday the two companies announced that - finally - that very app had now gone live, with Vice President of Prime Video Mark Eamer saying in a statement: "There is nothing that excites us more than delighting our customers, and we are THRILLED for them to stream Prime Video on Apple TV".

Apple's Eddy Cue added: "Amazon Prime Video is one of the most eagerly anticipated apps to come to Apple TV, so we're excited to bring all of that great content to customers".

Quite what headway has actually been made in Amazon and Apple's long-running dispute over "business terms" isn't clear. Notably, the Prime Video Apple TV app, like its iOS versions, does not offer the ability to rent or buy videos from Amazon, with only a note that you'll be able to watch them in the app if you buy them somewhere else.

It's also not clear if this latest development means that Amazon will begin stocking Apple TV devices again. Currently they are not available direct from Amazon, although earlier this year the company did briefly list the latest version of the device for sale on its US site (but it has since been removed).

Google also takes 30% of sales made through its app platform, although with less strict controls than Apple, particularly in terms of directing people to other places they can sign up. Though those Google app store "business terms" may also be a contributing factor in the aforementioned Amazon/Google spat.

Either way, with no headway being made in that domain just yet, Fire TV users who open the YouTube app on their devices are now met with a message informing them that "starting on 1 Jan 2018, YouTube will not be available on this device". It then notes that there are "many other ways" to watch YouTube videos, offering a link to a list of other devices that could be used instead.

In a statement to Variety, an Amazon rep said: "Google is setting a disappointing precedent by selectively blocking customer access to an open website".

While Apple, Google and Amazon all bicker with each other about how they deliver and distribute each other's products and services, other streaming platforms are also increasingly tetchy about the way the big three tech/web giants organise their respective platforms so to favour their own music and video services.

Which may or may not be why many of the streaming music companies not controlled by Apple, Google and Amazon have now formed their own lobbying group in Brussels.


Reservoir forms songwriter development venture with Warren 'Oak' Felder
Ever-expanding US music rights firm Reservoir has announced the launch of a new joint venture with Grammy-winning writer-producer Warren 'Oak' Felder.

The plan is to sign and develop new songwriting talent together, with the first such new talent set to be jointly developed being LA-based production duo Trevor Brown and Zaire Koalo, aka The Orphanage.

Confirming all that, Reservoir SVP Of Creative And A&R Donna Caseine said: "We are excited to announce a new relationship with Oak Felder, one of the most accomplished and talented producer/songwriters in today's music. Our shared passion and belief in Trevor and Zaire will surely be the beginning of a very new and exciting chapter for us all".

Adds Felder: "Having your own success is rewarding, but there is nothing quite like having success with those you've mentored. Trevor and Zaire from The Orphanage have come so far, and this is really just the beginning. It's awesome to have a great team in Reservoir to continue to develop these guys".

Felder and The Orphanage already have management in common, with said managers - Lucas Keller and Peter Coquillard - adding that they and their clients were "THRILLED to be working with Reservoir's great global team".


New Chair elected at Merlin
Global indie label digital rights agency Merlin yesterday announced the results of its latest board elections. The main development is that the organisation has a new Chair in the form of Dave Hansen from Epitaph. He takes over in that role from Beggars Group boss Martin Mills, who will continue to serve on the board after standing down.

With more Merlin members both standing for the board and voting in the elections than ever before, five new label reps were elected to the committee that oversees the rights body. And those are as follows: Bob Roback (Isolation Network, USA), Nando Luaces (Altafonte Network, Spain), Bruno Guez (Revelator, Israel), Chris Maund (Mushroom Group, Australia) and Masahiro 'Jack' Oishi (Maverick DC, Japan).

Commenting on his appointment to the Chair role, Hansen said: "It is an immense honour to be elected to serve as the new Chairman of Merlin. I will continue to work closely with Martin Mills, Charles Caldas and the entire Merlin board and staff to deliver big results for our members around the world".

The there mentioned Caldas - CEO of Merlin - added: "In what is a global business, the unique structure of Merlin's board remains an invaluable asset - allowing us to draw on extensive commercial experience across all continents, and empowering Merlin's independent label members to succeed on a worldwide stage".


Approved: Yullippe
I last featured Yullippe here a little over two years ago, when she released her second album 'Lys'. Now she's back with her third, 'Selfish&Anchor', and I've found myself joyously immersed in her dark industrial techno sound once again. This new release really sees her take those 'dark' and 'industrial' adjectives to heart, with a dingy, dystopian mood running throughout the album.

On 'Kokot', murmuring voices can be heard beneath synths that sound like buzzing lightbulbs, while 'Monemone' is led by what sounds like a printer mass-producing the same label over and over. Neither of which are descriptions which sell this record - but I assure you, both of those tracks are highlights of a completely enthralling album.

My first listen to 'Selfish&Anchor' came just as the sun set on an already gloomy December day. It could not have been a more perfect soundtrack to the gradual loss of light that occurred as the music played and revealed itself, growing in intensity as visibility was slowly lost.

Listen to the album in full on Bandcamp or check out tie title track on SoundCloud here.

Stay up to date with all of the artists featured in the CMU Approved column by subscribing to our Spotify playlist.

Sufjan Stevens releases long-time-coming Tonya Harding anthem
Sufjan Stevens has written a song about former figure skater Tonya Harding, something he says he's been trying to do for 26 years. Would you like to know more? Well, you're in luck, because Stevens has a lot to say about it. Prepare to learn more about Tonya Harding than you thought you would today.

"I've been trying to write a Tonya Harding song since I first saw her skate at the US Figure Skating Championships in 1991", he says, kicking off what you might call a lengthy statement. "She's a complicated subject for a song partly because the hard facts of her life are so strange, disputable, heroic, unprecedented and indelibly American. She was one of the greatest figure skaters of her time and the first American woman to perform a triple axle in an international competition. She was an unlikely skating star, having been raised working class in Portland, Oregon".

"Being a poor outsider, her rise to fame in the skating rink was seen, by some, as a blemish on a sport that favoured sophistication and style", he continues, getting out a handy bag of brackets. "Tonya's skating technique was feisty, fierce, and full of athleticism, and her flamboyant outfits were often hand-made by her mother (who was abusive and overbearing). (They couldn't afford Vera Wang.) And then there was the Nancy Kerrigan incident".

"In January 1994", he explains, "Tonya's then-boyfriend Jeff Gillooly hired an assailant, Shane Stant, to break fellow figure skater Nancy Kerrigan's leg at the US Figure Skating Championships at Cobo Arena in Detroit, so that she would be unable to compete at the upcoming Winter Olympics. The aftermath of the attack was recorded on camera and ultimately set off a media frenzy (and an FBI investigation)".

"Gillooly and Stan were eventually found guilty, and Tonya pleaded guilty to hindering the prosecution, and was subsequently banned for life from the US Figure Skating Association. Nancy Kerrigan recovered from her injury and won a silver medal at the Winter Olympics. Tonya Harding finished eighth".

"But that's not even half the story", he notes. "When Tonya and Gillooly got married, they filmed themselves having sex on their wedding night and produced one of the first-ever celebrity sex tapes (which they sold to Penthouse for $200,000 each). Tonya also had a brief career as a boxer and is most famous for her bout with former Arkansas state employee Paula Jones (whose sexual harassment suit against Bill Clinton precipitated his impeachment in 1998). Tonya was also (very briefly) in a band called the Golden Blades (they were allegedly booed off the stage during their first and only performance)".

"She also raced vintage automobiles (setting a record by driving a Ford Model A over 97 miles per hours on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah). And in 1996 Tonya used mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to revive an 81-year-old woman who collapsed at a bar in Portland while playing video poker. That's a lot to accomplish before the age of 30!"

"Tonya Harding's dramatic rise and fall was fiercely followed by the media, and she very quickly became the brunt of jokes, the subject of tabloid headlines and public outcry. She was a reality TV star before such a thing even existed. But she was also simply un-categorical: American's sweetheart with a dark twist".

"But I believe this is what made her so interesting, and a true American hero. In the face of outrage and defeat, Tonya bolstered shameless resolve and succeeded again and again with all manners of re-invention and self-determination. Tonya shines bright in the pantheon of American history simply because she never stopped trying her hardest. She fought classism, sexism, physical abuse and public rebuke to become an incomparable American legend".

Finally getting on to his actual song, he admits that "early drafts of this song contained more than a few puns, punchlines and light-hearted jabs - sex tapes and celebrity boxing make for an entertaining narrative arc".

However, he concludes, "the more I edited, and the more I meditated, and the more I considered the wholeness of the person of Tonya Harding, I began to feel a conviction to write something with dignity and grace, to pull back the ridiculous tabloid fodder and take stock of the real story of this strange and magnificent America hero. At the end of the day, Tonya Harding was just an ordinary woman with extraordinary talent and a tireless work ethic who set out to do her very best. She did that and more. I hope the same can be said of us all".

Listen to 'Tonya Harding' here.


Wild Beasts announce live album, Last Night All My Dreams Came True
Wild Beasts may have announced that they're splitting up, but they're not gone yet and - actually - they've got quite a lot going on at the moment. Newly announced is a studio-based live album, 'Last Night All My Dreams Came True'. Recorded at RAK Studios in London earlier this year, the release is part of Domino's Documents series.

"It's us as tight and slick as we ever have been", says the band's Tom Fleming of the record. "And it's also us giving the fewest fucks we've ever given. There's a sense of celebration and destructiveness combined, a sense that the fetters are off. Not that they were ever on, but that sense of limited time before you shuffle off is very much a motivator".

You can listen to 'The Devil's Palace' - a track that merges 'The Devil's Crayon' from the band's debut album 'Limbo, Panto' and 'Palace' from 2014's 'Present Tense' - here.

The full tracklist for the album is as follows:

1. Wanderlust
2. Big Cat
3. A Simple Beautiful Truth
4. 2BU
5. Bed Of Nails
6. Hooting & Howling
7. This Is Our Lot
8. He The Colossus
9. The Devil's Palace
10. Alpha Female
11. Get My Bang
12. All The King's Men
13. Celestial Creatures

The band also have live shows coming up in February, before they finally knock the whole Wild Beasts thing on the head. Here are those too:

15 Feb: Dublin, Olympia
16 Feb: Manchester, Apollo
17 Feb: London, Hammersmith Apollo


Anna von Hausswolff announces new album, Dead Magic
Anna von Hausswolff has announced that she will release her fourth album of dark, organ-based songs - 'Dead Magic' - on 2 Mar. Along with that news, she has released the first song from the record, 'The Mysterious Vanishing Of Electra'.

"Me, my band and Randall Dunn spent nine days in Copenhagen recording this [song]", she says of the track. "The great pipe organ you're hearing is a 20th century instrument located in Marmor Kirken - 'The Marble Church' - in Copenhagen".

Check out how those pipes sound here.

You can catch her live in London at The Dome in Tufnell Park on 12 Mar next year.


Kings Of Leon, Tune-Yards, Declan McKenna, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Those Kings Of Leon have signed a new deal with WME in the US. They're already represented by the company for their touring activity everywhere else in the world, so it makes sense. Though don't tell their previous US reps, CAA, that I said so.

• There's a new Tune-Yards single out. Yes there is. It's called 'ABC 123'.

• The Levellers have announced that they will release a new acoustic album, 'We The Collective', on 9 Mar. They'll also be touring in February and March. Now, here's new single 'The Shame'.

• Mr Hudson is back with a new single, 'Coldplay', featuring Vic Mensa. "For me 'Coldplay' is about that moment when you're about to give up on someone, but you don't", he says, talking about his song, not the band, remember. "You dig deep. You keep working. Even though it might be easier to walk away".

• Pictish Trail has released the video for latest single 'Lionhead'. He kicked off a new run of tour dates last night.

• Cults have released a new collaboration with Christopher Owens, 'I Got Your Message'. The band will play two UK shows in Manchester and London in January.

• Felicita has released new track 'Hej!', which comes from her new album and dance piece 'Soft Power'. The full dance project will be staged at The Barbican on 8 Dec with the Śląsk Song & Dance Ensemble.

• Declan McKenna has been named BBC Music Introducing's Artist Of The Year. "I'm delighted and honoured", says McKenna. It's one of the prizes that will receive further discussion on this Friday's BBC Music Awards TV show on BBC Two.

• Check out our weekly Spotify playlist of new music featured in the CMU Daily - updated every Friday.


Dexter Fletcher returns to Queen movie
The Queen biopic 'Bohemian Rhapsody' has a new director already, with producers confirming that Dexter Fletcher - of being Dexter Fletcher fame - has taken on the project. Again.

As previously reported, production on the Queen movie was halted last week and its director Bryan Singer then fired from the project. There were rumours of creative differences between him and lead actor Rami Malek - who plays Freddie Mercury - coming to a head. Although Singer insists that he parted company with the film because producers wouldn't give him time off to deal with ill-health, both his own and that of a parent.

Actor/director Fletcher was lined up to direct the very-long-time-in-development Queen film once before, but dropped out in 2014, seemingly because of creative differences with producers. Hopefully this time he'll stick the project out and this film might actually get finished one day.


ANDY MALT | Editor
Andy heads up the team, overseeing the CMU bulletins and website, coordinating features and interviews, reporting on artist and business stories, and contributing to the CMU Approved column.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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