TODAY'S TOP STORY: An investigation into the failed record deal agreed between the Prince estate and Universal Music has concluded that the estate's former advisors - Charles Koppelman and L Londell McMillan - should repay the commissions they earned from the transaction. The two men received payment for their part in brokering the deal but, investigators have concluded, they failed to provide "anything of value that would entitle [them] to a commission"... [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 Prince estate court advised to reclaim advisors' commission on failed Universal deal
LEGAL Nelly to sue woman who accused him of rape
Two to face trial over Ghost Ship fire
Court rejects much of Kim Dotcom's bid for judicial review over extradition
DEALS Birdy signs to Warner/Chappell
DIGITAL & D2F SERVICES Erik Huggers steps down as Vevo CEO
Deezer launches its own song identification software, SongCatcher
EDUCATION & EVENTS CMU Insights seminars on music rights and fan engagement announced
INDUSTRY PEOPLE Warner investigates alleged sexual misconduct in the US, as Australian promoter sacked over harassment claims
ONE LINERS Camila Cabello, Stormzy, Big Shaq, more
AND FINALLY... Ed Sheeran already has a Bond theme written, just in case he's asked
Rough Trade Records seeks a Global Product Manager to join its London based team. Product Managers strategise and drive artist campaigns and must take a global overview of their implementation.

For more information and to apply click here.
SJM offer exclusive VIP ticket packages across many of our major tours for artists such as Take That, One Direction, Little Mix and Coldplay which over the last year has amounted to over 60,000 packages. Working as an assistant to the VIP Manager within our VIP department, the VIP Assistant is responsible for the day to day administration of our exclusive VIP packages, as well as providing general office admin support.

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A Trainee Orchestral Contractor (aka Fixer) is required to join an office of six staff, based in the Chelsea Harbour area of SW10. The company books freelance orchestral and specialist musicians for feature films, video games, TV film scores, records and TV commercial recordings.

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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.

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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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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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Prince estate court advised to reclaim advisors' commission on failed Universal deal
An investigation into the failed record deal agreed between the Prince estate and Universal Music has concluded that the estate's former advisors - Charles Koppelman and L Londell McMillan - should repay the commissions they earned from the transaction. The two men received payment for their part in brokering the deal but, investigators have concluded, they failed to provide "anything of value that would entitle [them] to a commission".

As previously reported, a deal granting Universal access to a big chunk of the Prince recordings catalogue, along with his vault of unreleased music, was announced back in February this year. The $31 million deal also allowed Universal to pick up recordings currently controlled by Warner Music, as its smaller rival's previous deals with Prince lapsed.

However, Universal quickly became concerned that all was not as it seemed and that it hadn't actually got what it thought it paid for.

Both Universal and Warner felt that some tracks promised to the former were actually still under the control of the latter. In an attempt to clear up the confusion, Universal was given access to Warner's most recent Prince contract to work it all out. Unfortunately, lawyers were unable to make head nor tail of that agreement - leaving what Universal had actually bought still in doubt. As a result, the deal was rescinded in July.

The deal was done under the watch of the Prince estate's original administrator, the Bremer Trust. Always a temporary overseer, the financial management of the estate then transferred to a more permanent home at the bank Comercia in January. Koppelman and McMillan were dropped as official advisors to the estate at that point, although McMillan remains linked to some of Prince's heirs. Former Lady Gaga manager Troy Carter then took over as the estate's official music industry advisor.

Following the collapse of the Universal deal, the judge overseeing the estate appointed a special administrator to produce a report into whether or not Koppelman and McMillan should be allowed to keep the 10% commission they earned on the record deal. Submitted to the court last Friday, that report concludes that, no, they should not.

According to Billboard, said report notes that the Bremer Trust acted "prudently and reasonably" when hiring Koppelman and McMillan, and adds that the two men themselves had acted properly when hiring experts to advise on the various deals done on their watch. However, it notes that at no point during the deal making process with Universal did Koppelman and McMillan - or any of their advisors - look over the existing Warner agreement, despite having access to it.

Had they done this, says the report, "there would have been material questions raised concerning the scope of the rights granted to UMG in the UMG agreement in respect of the WB masters that required further investigation, analysis and diligence".

Basically, the report implies, all the issues that arose after the deal was done would have been apparent beforehand, had anyone checked what Warner had been given control of in its 2014 deal, made while Prince was still alive.

The report recommends the estate reclaim fees paid to Koppelman and McMillan, as well as legal firm Stinson Leonard Street, on the grounds that "both have received something of value in the nature of an unjust action and are not entitled to it".

The report adds that, under the circumstances: "It makes no sense to conclude that the estate has received anything of value that would entitle the advisors to a commission". Those monies could be treated as damages relating to overpaid fees, it also states. Which is important, because that would give the court the power to order repayment.


Nelly to sue woman who accused him of rape
Nelly has said that he will take legal action against a woman who accused him of rape. She subsequently asked prosecutors to drop the case, the alleged victim's lawyer saying that her client "believes the system is going to fail her".

As previously reported, prosecutors confirmed last week that they would not be pursuing the case, as Nelly's accuser had refused to testify. The rapper was originally arrested in October, after the woman made a 911 call in the early hours of 7 Oct saying that he had raped her on his tour bus after a show in Auburn, Washington. He strongly denied the allegations throughout.

After the woman decided that she did not want to continue pushing for a conviction, her attorney Karen Koehler criticised how the system deals with rape victims, saying: "We do not live in a society where a 21 year old college student can feel safe enough to pursue criminal charges against a celebrity for an alleged rape".

However, Nelly has now announced the he plans to sue his alleged victim. In a statement to the New York Post, his attorney Scott Rosenblum said: "Nelly has suffered very real damage to his reputation. He has incurred economic loss and painfully has watched his family suffer. As a result, Nelly is planning to proceed with litigation as the first step in restoring his reputation".

"We were confident, that what our investigation revealed from the outset of this allegation would ultimately be clear and Nelly would be vindicated", he added, saying that the accusation against his client was "an affront to the real survivors of sexual assault".


Two to face trial over Ghost Ship fire
Two men will face trial for the manslaughter of the 36 people who died in a fire at Oakland's Ghost Ship warehouse venue, it was ruled last week. Derick Almena and Max Harris had a "substantial" role in managing the multi-purpose venue, said the judge, which he then described as a "death trap".

As previously reported, fire broke out at the converted warehouse, being used as a shared space for artists to live and work in, during a party last December. Seven musical acts were due to perform that night, members of which were among the dead. Almena later gave an interview saying that the party had been held as a means to keep rent low for the artists who lived in the building.

In June, Almeda and Harris, who had a supervisory role at the warehouse, were charged with involuntary manslaughter. The two men are accused of knowingly operating an unsafe space, which had been illegally converted into living quarters, having failed to put in place basic safety measures.

At a hearing last week, reports Business Insider, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Horner ruled that the case could proceed to trial, saying: "I find there is sufficient cause to believe both defendants are legally responsible for what happened on that terrible, terrible night, and are legally responsible for the deaths of 36 individuals".


Court rejects much of Kim Dotcom's bid for judicial review over extradition
We are fast approaching the sixth anniversary of the shutdown of often controversial file-transfer website MegaUpload on copyright grounds, and its founder Kim Dotcom is still fighting extradition to the US to face various criminal charges there.

As previously reported, after various false starts and following the employment of various legal technicalities, courts in Dotcom's adopted home of New Zealand finally decided at the end of 2015 that the MegaUpload founder should be extradited to America to face those aforementioned charges.

However, Dotcom continues to work his way through the appeal process. Earlier this year, New Zealand's High Court reaffirmed the earlier judgement that Dotcom and some of his former MegaUpload colleagues could indeed be extradited. But more routes of appeal remain, and the whole matter is expected to reach the country's Court Of Appeal next February.

Concurrent to that, earlier this year Dotcom filed a claim requesting a judicial review of the extradition process to date. That claim outlined eight specific grievances, including issues with search warrants and the seizure of property, most of which had already been aired in some detail at past court hearings.

Last week the High Court judge considering that claim rejected seven of the eight grievances. Judge Timothy Brewer noted that while there had indeed been some issues with the search warrants secured by officials when New Zealand police raided Dotcom's home in 2012, that matter went to the country's Supreme Court which subsequently upheld the validity of said warrants.

Meanwhile, the dispute over whether there are actually grounds for extradition in this case has already been considered by the High Court as part of the initial appeal hearing, and will be considered again in the Court Of Appeal next year.

To that end Brewer sided with US prosecutors, who had disputed seven of Dotcom's arguments, and dubbed the application for judicial review as a "collateral attack on previous decisions of the courts and an attempt to pre-empt Mr Dotcom's appeal".

According to Torrentfreak, last week Brewer wrote: "I have granted the USA's application to strike out causes of action one to seven of the statement of claim for judicial review dated 21 July 2017. The proceeding is now 'live' only in relation to the eighth cause of action".

That eight gripe related to another legal technicality already raised by Team Dotcom, that being the sharing of digital data seized by New Zealand officials with prosecutors in the US. The USA hadn't disputed that specific grievance, so that element of Dotcom's submission for judicial review stands for now.


Birdy signs to Warner/Chappell
Warner/Chappell has signed singer-songwriter Birdy to a new global publishing agreement, covering her work to date and a new album, due out next year.

"Birdy is an incredible talent", says Warner/Chappell's Mike Smith. "The fact that she broke through at such a young age and has been able to hone her songwriting over the course of three albums while still only being 21 is staggering. I think there's a lot more to come from this amazing singer-songwriter and I look forward to working with her in the years ahead".

Birdy herself adds: "It's great to be working with Mike and the team at Warner/Chappell. I started writing music when I was really young and it's always been something I felt I had to do and I feel very lucky to be able to do it for a living. I'm currently writing for my fourth album and I'm very excited to see it start to come together".


Erik Huggers steps down at Vevo CEO
Erik Huggers has announced that he is stepping down as CEO of Vevo. The music video platform's CFO Alan Price will take over until a permanent replacement can be found.

"During the last couple of months, I have been doing a lot of soul searching and I have come to the conclusion that it is time for me to step down as Chief Executive Officer as we close out a record breaking year", said Huggers in a memo to staff - obtained by Variety - on Friday.

Talking up new "growth opportunities" for the company, he added: "I also think that now is the perfect time for someone new to lead this next chapter for Vevo".

Accepting his resignation, the Vevo board said in a statement: "We would like to thank Erik for his hard work, dedication and leadership at Vevo, which grew dramatically during his tenure and helped forge stronger connections between artists and fans through popular features and original programming".

Huggers originally joined Vevo as CEO in 2015, joining from online pay-TV service OnCue shortly after its acquisition by Verizon. Prior to that, he also ran digital stuff at the BBC, overseeing the rise of the iPlayer.


Deezer launches its own song identification software, SongCatcher
Earlier this year, Spotify bought Sonalytic. Last week, Apple forked out $400 million for Shazam. On Friday, Deezer launched its own audio identification software, because apparently that's a thing you can do. No fun for fans of expensive acquisitions, though.

Called SongCatcher, the new software is already available in beta to selected Deezer users, allowing them to identify songs they hear when they're out and about within the streaming service's app. From there, they can add identified tracks to their libraries or just play them straight away in full. Do I really need to explain all this to you?

"Deezer SongCatcher is something that our product team has been working on for some time as we recognise that there is clear demand from music fans to find out the name of an unknown track or artist when they are listening to music", says Chief Product & Content Officer Alexander Holland. "The beta has proven very positive and so we are excited to be able to officially communicate the launch of Deezer SongCatcher to all music fans around the world".

The new feature comes at just the right time as, presumably, with Apple now in charge of market leader song identifier Shazam, Deezer - along with Spotify and Google Play Music - all of which are currently integrated with the Shazam app - are going to be increasingly concerned about said app gathering data on their users for a key streaming music rival.

Powered by audio fingerprinting technology ACRCloud, Deezer SongCatcher will be rolled out to Android users over the coming months. There are also plans to add the feature to Deezer's iOS app.


CMU Insights seminars on music rights and fan engagement announced
Bookings have opened for another series of CMU Insights seminars, once again supported by law firm Lewis Silkin, which hosts the sessions at its London HQ on Chancery Lane.

The six seminars taking place in February and March come in two sets of three. The first set is focused on making money from music copyright, and provides a concise introduction to music rights, music licensing and the music rights sector. The second set is on fan engagement, with seminars of social media, music PR and direct-to-fan.

Says CMU's Chris Cooke, who runs the seminars: "Everyone involved in music should know the basics about copyright, as they are almost certainly creating, representing or exploiting music rights. Copyright can seem very complicated at times, but our seminars provide all the basic information in an easy-to-follow fashion, which is why they are so popular".

He goes on: "Our fan engagement sessions are also really popular. We have one focused on social and another on music media. The latter also includes stats from our recent survey of UK music journalists. And this time we are also introducing a revised direct-to-fan seminar, looking at what to do with all that data and how to build an effective artist store".

Places on each seminar are £49.99 including booking fee and VAT. Though places can be booked on all three copyright courses or all three fan engagement courses for just £125. The seminars take place each Monday evening from 5 Feb - get all the info here.


Warner investigate alleged sexual misconduct in the US, as Australian promoter sacked over harassment claims
Warner Music Group in the US is reportedly taking disciplinary action against two Warner Bros Records executives - including EVP A&R Jeff Fenster - over accusation of sexual misconduct. Meanwhile, Australian concert promoter Dave Cutbush has been fired from independent touring company Life Is Noise following multiple accusations of sexual harassment.

According to Billboard, a former WBR employee recently came forward with accusations against Fenster and another executive. She is also said to have accused WMG CEO Stephen Cooper of once making an inappropriate comment at a party.

In a statement, Warner Music said: "We are grateful to a former Warner Bros Records employee for coming forward to raise these concerns with us. We appointed an independent investigator to conduct a thorough, in-depth investigation, as a consequence of which we are taking the appropriate disciplinary actions. The findings have also helped us identify areas where we can improve the enforcement of our policies and bolster our efforts to maintain a safe, respectful, and professional environment for all of our employees".

Warner Music Sweden also recently conducted an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations, resulting in the firing of a senior executive.

Meanwhile, in Australia, Dave Cutbush was fired on Friday, following the emergence of numerous claims about his conduct. These came following the recent launch of the #meNOmore campaign by a group of over 300 women working in the Australian music industry.

In a statement, Life Is Noise co-owner Jack Midalia said: "I'd like to respond to recent reports of unacceptable behaviour towards women by company director, Dave Cutbush. I take these reports seriously, and deeply apologise for not providing the safe space that the women in our industry deserve. Dave will no longer have any involvement or association with Life Is Noise, effective immediately".

After being fired, Cutbush issued a lengthy statement addressing the accusations - confirming the accuracy of one, that he had propositioned a sixteen year old girl, directly.

"It is true that in the past I have acted poorly and in a manner that is inappropriate and sleazy", he wrote. "Using my male privilege to gain sexual favours has been disrespectful towards women. I have used my position in the music industry to my advantage. I have propositioned women much younger than me and have behaved creepily in person at music events and online".

He added: "Whilst I have acted shamefully and said things I regret, I have at no stage physically or sexually abused anyone. This is something of which I am certain. Any allegations to the contrary are untrue".

Confirming his departure as a Director of Life Is Noise, he said that he would now seek "treatment for substance abuse problems" and "educate myself to be a more compassionate human and show more respect to women".

Despite Cutbush's departure from the company, a number of acts have cancelled Australia and New Zealand tours being promoted by Life Is Noise. Sleep, Chelsea Wolfe and Wolves In The Throne Room have all cancelled planned dates in 2018.


Approved 2017: Lorde
Every day this week, we'll be looking at the last twelve months for one of our favourite artists of 2017. First, Lorde...

Back in 2013, the sixteen year old Ella Yelich-O'Connor was hyped to what felt like the point of oblivion from the release of her debut single as Lorde onwards. It seemed unlikely that her debut album, 'Pure Heroine', could live up to all those expectations. Somehow though, Lorde rode the wave that she had been placed upon, came down without a wobble on the other side and strode off into the sunset.

Resisting what must have been the huge pressure to make a quick return, she took her time on a follow-up, going back to New Zealand and living something as close as possible to a normal life for a while, aside from very occasionally re-emerging into public life for an occasional show here or the odd track there.

Far from rushing, she worked slowly and methodically on her new music. And, far from this being a 'difficult second album', during her appearance on 'Song Exploder' to discuss the creation of the song 'Sober', she seemed to really relish working on the new material, taking that particular track to different producers so to tap a range of skills in order to realise her vision for the song. And at no point does it seem like there was an inclination to simply get some marketable names on her album credits.

When she eventually returned with that new music, the single 'Green Light', she was welcomed back like an old friend, any 'Lorde fatigue' people must have been experiencing as a result of all the aforementioned hype a few years earlier having apparently all worn off by now. The subsequent album, 'Melodrama', clearly benefitted from having developed slowly, and from the unifying creative direction of Lorde herself.

That vision also extended to the live shows, in particular her performances at the Coachella and Glastonbury festivals. At both, she opened the show in front of a glass box, eventually moving inside it, as it filled with dancers who played out a house party narrative throughout the set. It was a truly innovative performance and further marked Lorde out as a special kind of pop star.

Watch the video for 'Green Light' here.

Listen to (almost) ever artist featured in the CMU Approved column in 2017 on this Spotify playlist.

Camila Cabello, Stormzy, Big Shaq, more

Other notable announcements and developments today...

• Camila Cabello has released yet another new track. This one, 'Crown', is taken from the soundtrack of new Netflix movie 'Bright'.

• Stormzy has released the video for 'Blinded By Your Grace Part 2', taken from his 'Gang Signs & Prayer' album.

• Big Shaq has - and I've triple checked that this isn't some weird dream I had - released a Christmas version of 'Man's Not Hot'.

• The Shins have announced that they will release 'A Worm's Heart', a complete reworking of their recent 'Heartworms' album, on 19 Jan. From it, here's a new version of 'Name For You'.

• Bishop Nehru has released new mixtape 'Emperor Nehru's New Groove'. The release pre-empts new album 'Elevators Act I & II', which is due out next year.

• Poppy Ackroyd has released new single 'Paper'. It is, as you should bloody well expect, really good.

• Paul Thomas Saunders has released a Christmas song, 'Christmas: The Sequel'. "I'm a big Christmas movie fan, but every time the festive season comes around I feel that there's a giant black-hole of a gap in the market", he says. "The Christmas apocalypse movie. No one would give me the desired budget to make said Christmas apocalypse movie, so this year, the world will have to make do with just the theme tune".

• The Bug and Flowdan have released the video for recent single 'Bad'.

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


Ed Sheeran already has a Bond theme written, just in case he's asked
It's alright, Ed Sheeran has written a Bond theme. No one's asked him for one, but he's written it nonetheless.

"With Bond, I've had a theme tune written for about three years, just in case", he said on Ireland's 'Late Late Show'.

It seems Sheeran actually has quite a stockpile of songs written in case they're ever required. He went on: "I just recently did a song with one of my all time heroes, Eminem. When we did the song together, I'd already had the song planned - because I was like, 'If I ever work with Eminem, I've got this song'. So it's the same for Bond. If ever I'm called, I'll be, like, there you go".

I can't quite imagine Ed Sheeran doing the souring vocals usually expected of a Bond theme. But, hey, they let Sam Smith do one, so why not Ed?


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.
Email (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 (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 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.
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