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INSIDERS SAY EMI LIKELY TO BE SPLIT AS PART OF SALE
As much previously reported, Citigroup put EMI up for sale earlier this year, having repossessed it from former owner Terra Firma. Between five and seven bidders are thought to have submitted final offers last week, some to buy the London-based major outright, others to acquire just its record labels or just its music publishing business.
With the number of bidders and offer prices thought to have been negatively impacted by wider economic turmoil, if Citigroup wants to sell now rather than later, and if it wants to make as much money as possible to recover its past losses as backer of Terra Firma's 2007 EMI purchase - and it seems the bank wants both those things - then selling the music company in bits would make sense.
Also, if any of the buyers are existing music majors, them buying one half of EMI is less likely to cause lengthy regulatory issues than if Sony, Universal or Warner were to try and acquire the company outright. While there would almost certainly be some objections raised to Universal buying the EMI labels and Sony buying EMI Publishing, insiders feel both deals could be speeded through with only a few concessions to competition regulators in Europe.
Reuters reckons that Universal buying the EMI labels is now looking pretty likely, backing up a rumour that has been circulating since last weekend, though Warner is thought to have bid for the record company business too. On the publishing side, sources say it's a battle between Sony and BMG (former partners in a way, of course, though neither Sony/ATV or the all new BMG were actually part of the SonyBMG merger), who, Reuters reckons, have put in very similar bids money-wise.
Of course EMI's current top man Roger Faxon has been very public about his opinion the company should be kept together as one, to allow the sort of integration between the major's recordings and publishing businesses that he's spoken about an awful lot in the last year (though signs of that integration on the ground have been minimal). But bids for the company outright, most likely from the two Rons (one from Ronald Perelman's MacAndrews & Forbes and another from Ron Burkle's Yucaipa Companies), don't seem to be in the running any more.
If EMI is split that will mean more turmoil for a company which, after three years of restructuring, downsizing and executive shifts post Terra Firma's takeover, has finally settled down in the last twelve months to become, arguably, the most efficient of the big music business players.
As for Faxon, while he is a respected music business veteran, would there be a role for him in a divided EMI? He'd most likely follow the publishing business, that being his background. But it seems unlikely he'd want to rejoin his former EMI Music Publishing colleague Marty Bandier in a less senior role at Sony/ATV, though if a good job was offered at BMG - should it get the EMI publishing catalogues - that might be tempting, even if it was essentially a backwards step.
And what for the EMI name? Daily Mail City correspondent Alex Brummer recently bemoaned the fact that this sale would most likely result in the big British music company falling into (or, technically, given Citigroup is American, staying with) foreign hands. But if the labels go to Universal and the publishing catalogues are consumed by BMG, will the EMI brand - one of the iconic British entertainment brands - still exist? Possibly not.
It's thought Citigroup will now make an announcement about their intent for EMI towards the end of next week.
SONY SUSPENDS 93,000 ONLINE ACCOUNTS AMID NEW SECURITY SCARE
In a post on the official PlayStation blog, Sony's Chief Information Security Officer Philip Reitinger said: "These attempts appear to [utilise] a large amount of data obtained from one or more compromised lists from other companies, sites or other sources. Given that the data tested against our network consisted of sign-in ID-password pairs, and that the overwhelming majority of the pairs resulted in failed matching attempts, it is likely the data came from another source and not from our [own] networks. We have taken steps to mitigate the activity". He added that "less than one tenth of one percent of our PSN, SEN and SOE audience may have been affected".
As previously reported, Sony revealed in April that user information held by the company's PlayStation Network and its Qriocity music service had been accessed by a hacker, who had stolen a great deal of personal information, possibly including credit card numbers. Access to both the PlayStation Network and Qriocity was suspended on 20 Apr, with users notified that this was due to an "external intrusion" two days later, though the database compromise was only announced when it was uncovered by a security firm assessing the scale of the attack. Sony's management of and communication during the hacking attack were widely criticised.
Sony blamed hacker group Anonymous for that data grab, because it happened while the conglom's security teams were dealing with one of the group's largely pointless Distributed Denial Of Service attacks. Various Sony websites have been victims of the increased trend of late among hacking communities to stage DDoS and other hacking attacks against companies they believe too draconically enforce their copyrights. Some recent arrests of alleged Anonymous members have related to attacks on Sony's servers.
Also suffering network problems at the moment, of course, is Blackberry, whose servers have also been up and down this week, leaving users without access to emails and that BBM messenger thing (which will be why there have been no riots in the last few days). Similar bad management and poor communication by Blackberry owner RIM during its network crisis has led to speculation it too is dealing with, and hiding, a hacking attack and possible data grab, though RIM has denied this is the case, and techie experts seem to think the phone firm's alternative explanation is more plausible.
IT WAS LIKE LEAVING A BABY SLEEPING ON A KITCHEN TOP: MURRAY TRIAL UPDATE
Murray, of course, is accused of causing Michael Jackson's death by negligently administering the drug propofol. But the doctor claims that the late king of pop must have administered another shot of the powerful anaesthetic while he was out of the room, and that it was that shot that killed him.
Dr Alon Steinberg listed the errors made by Murray for the jury, most of which had already been covered in other prosecution testimonies, though not quite so succinctly. Mistake one, administering propofol for sleep when it is meant for anesthesia. Mistake two, giving it at home rather than in a hospital. Three, not being prepared for an emergency with back-up staff and life-saving equipment. Four, not taking proper measures to try to revive Jackson once the doctor saw he wasn't breathing. Five, not calling for an ambulance immediately. Six, not keeping proper records.
Just to hammer home the accused's most fundamental mistake, Steinberg concluded: "I've never heard of anyone using propofol for sleep except Dr Murray".
Concurring with medical examiner Dr Christopher Rogers, who testified on Tuesday, Steinberg added that even if the jury believed Murray's claims that Jackson actually self-administered the fatal shot of propofol, the doctor is still guilty of negligence for leaving such drugs within easy reach of his unattended patient. Steinberg told the court: "It's like leaving a baby that's sleeping on your kitchen countertop. You might look at it - and it's probably going to be OK and you're just going to go grab some diapers or go to the bathroom - but you would never do it".
Elsewhere in yesterday's proceedings the defence told the judge it was dropping one element of its self-administration argument, that Jackson might have drunk the fatal shot of propfol. The defence previously argued that the presence of propofol in Jackson's stomach suggested the singer, desperate to sleep, may have taken the drug orally. The theory helped answer those who question whether or not a drugged up Jackson would be capable of injecting himself with another shot of propofol.
However, yesterday the defence conceded that research - including one piece of work they themselves commissioned - showed that when consumed orally the affects of propofol would be slight, and it's unlikely that if the drug was taken that way it could have caused Jackson to go into cardiac arrest. But the defence will stick with their theory that Jackson himself injected the fatal shot.
The case continues.
GIRLS ALOUD'S SARAH HARDING CHECKS INTO REHAB
A source told The Sun: "She's been through a traumatic time in her personal life and had to honour her work commitments on top. She needs some time out to clear her head. Splitting from Tom [Crane, her now ex fiancé] has played a huge part in her decision to seek help. She just needs to get herself back on track emotionally. She had hit rock bottom. It all just got the better of her".
Confirming the news, a rep said: "Sarah Harding has entered a treatment centre for depression and alcohol addiction".
TAYLOR SWIFT NAMED BILLBOAD WOMAN OF THE YEAR
Billboard editorial director Bill Werde said in a statement: "At the young age of 21, Taylor has already made a major impact on music and has been an incredible role model for aspiring singers/songwriters and young women everywhere. I look forward to watching her career continue to flourish in the years to come".
She will officially receive the award at the 2011 Billboard Women In Music event on 2 Dec in New York.
INDEPENDENT MUSIC AWARD SHORTLISTS ANNOUNCED
As previously reported, Björk will receive the Outstanding Contribution To Music Award, while Domino Records founder Laurence Bell will be given the Pioneer Award. The rest of the winners will be announced at a ceremony at Floridita in Soho on 10 Nov hosted by Steve Lamacq and Huw Stephens.
Says AIM CEO Alison Wenham: "In its first year, the AIM Awards have already shone a bright light on some of the most talented and hardworking people in the industry. The response to the awards has been incredible, and signals the start of a new era in recognising a whole new measure of talent and success in music".
And the nominees are...
Independent Entrepreneur Of The Year: Rob da Bank (Sunday Best/ Bestival), Ruth Daniel (Fat Northerner Records/unConvention), Martin Goldschmidt (Cooking Vinyl), Julie Weir (Visible Noise/Wiseblood Management)
Best Difficult Second Album: Adele - 21, Bon Iver - Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues, Friendly Fires - Pala, Toddla T - Watch Me Dance
Catalogue Release Of The Year: Various Artists - Ninja Tune XX, The Fall - The Wonderful & Frightening World Of The Fall/This Nation's Saving Grace (Omnibus Edition), Orange Juice - Coals To Newcastle, Various Artists - Matador At 21
Best Small Label: Ambiguous Records, Naim Edge Records, Smalltown America, Stolen Recordings
Hardest Working Band or Artist: Beardyman, Bring Me The Horizon, Frank Turner, Random Hand
Innovative Marketing Campaign of the Year: Amon Tobin - ISAM (Ninja Tune), Ninja Tune XX (Ninja Tune), Frankie & The Heartstrings - Hunger (Radar Maker), Flying Lotus - Cosmogramma (Warp)
Independent Breakthrough Of The Year: Bring Me The Horizon, Caro Emerald, The Horrors, SBTRKT
Indie Champion: Tom Robinson (6music), Nathan Clark (Brudenell Social Club), John Robb (Louder Than War), John Doran & Luke Turner (The Quietus)
Golden Welly Award For Best Independent Festival: Bearded Theory, Belladrum, End Of The Road, Y Not Festival
PPL Award for Most Played Independent Artist: Adele, Arctic Monkeys, Vampire Weekend, The xx
Best Live Act: Bring Me The Horizon, Enter Shikari, Frank Turner, Warpaint
Pioneer Award: Laurence Bell, Domino Recording Company
VIDEO AWARD NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED
Says the awards' Editorial Director David Knight: "The UK Music Video Awards is all about giving rightful recognition to the creativity, craft and sheer entertainment value of music videos today. On a professional level, they continue to be an important testing ground for filmmakers - potentially the next generation of movie directors, and certainly commercials directors. But the playground is now open to pretty much everyone, and this year the MVAs have expanded the number of awards to reflect the vibrancy and diversity of music video creativity in 2011. Some really outstanding videos have been made in the past year, for all genres of music, in the UK and beyond. We're looking forward to honouring them at the 2011 UK MVAs in November".
And here are all the many many nominations...
Best Pop Video: Adele - Rolling in the Deep, Bruno Mars - Lazy Song, Jessie J - Do It Like A Dude, Kylie Minogue - Get Outta My Way, Mark Ronson feat. Boy George - Somebody To Love Me,
Best Dance Video: Calvin Harris feat Kelis - Bounce, Chase & Status feat. Liam Bailey - Blind Faith, Grum - Through The Night, J Majik & Wickaman feat Dee Freer - In Pieces, Japanese Popstars - Let Go, Magnetic Man feat. John Legend - Getting Nowhere
Best Urban Video: Chase & Status feat. Tinie Tempah - Hitz, Ed Sheeran - You Need Me, I Don't Need You, Tinie Tempah feat Ellie Goulding - Wonderman, Tricky - Murder Weapon, Wiley - Numbers in Action, Wretch 32 - Traktor
Best Indie/Rock Video: Battles - Ice Cream, Foals - Blue Blood, Is Tropical - The Greeks, Little Comets - The Isles, Metronomy - The Bay, The Shoes - Stay The Same
Best Alternative Video: Depeche Mode - Personal Jesus (Stargate remix), James Blake - Lindisfarne, Klaxons - Twin Flames, Tom Vek - Aroused, Tyler The Creator - Yonkers, Yeasayer - Madder Red
Best Pop Video: Cassius - I Love You So, Justice - Civilization, Karl X Johan - Flames, Oh Land - White Nights, Robyn - Call Your Girlfriend, Woodkid - Iron
Best Dance Video: !!! - Jamie, My Intentions Are Bass, B Fleischmann - Playtime, Bag Raiders - Sunlight, Bonjay - Stumble, Duck Sauce - Barbra Streisand, Wolfgang Gartner - Illmerica
Best Urban Video: Beastie Boys feat Santigold - Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win, Eminem feat. Rihanna - Love The Way You Lie, Jay-Z & Kanye West - Otis, Raphael Saadiq - Good Man, Thunderclaps - Judgement Day "Todor & Petru"
Best Indie/Rock Video: El Guincho - Bombay, Manchester Orchestra - Simple Math, No Age - Fever Dreaming, The Black Keys - Howlin' For You, The Good The Bad - 030, WhoMadeWho - Every Minute Alone
Best Alternative Video: Arcade Fire - The Suburbs, MGMT - Congratulations, OK Go - All Is Not Lost, OK Go - White Knuckles, Royksopp - Senior Living, Spoek Mathambo - Control
Best Pop Video: Alex Clare - Relax My Beloved, Clean Bandit - Telephone Banking, Cool Fun - House, Duran Duran - Before The Rain, Josh Radin - I Missed You, Sébastien Tellier - Look
Best Dance Video: Clean Bandit - Mozart's House, Craze Hoax - Wait For Me, Eskmo - We Got More, Etienne de Crecy - No Brain, Jaymo and Andy George feat J2k - Hold Me Back, Loose Fit - Table Beggar
Best Urban Video: Dels - Trumpalump, Dels feat Roots Manuva & Joe Goddard - Capsize, Ghostpoet - Survive It, Jargon VA feat Tinie Tempah - Disappoint You, Riz MC - Get On It, Skillit feat T.B. & K-Nite 13 - The Truth
Best Indie/Rock Video: Fulton Lights - Staring Out The Window, Hollerado - Americanarama, Keaton Henson - Charon, Lasse Passage - Say Say Say, Maps & Atlases - Israeli Caves, Memory Tapes - Yes I Know
Best Alternative Video: Esben & The Witch - Marching Song, Ghostpoet - Liiines, Hauschka - Children, King Creosote & Jon Hopkins - Bubble, Matta UK - Release The Freq, UNKLE - Runaway Pointman re-edit
Best Animation in a Video: Clinic - Bubblegum, Eskmo - We Got More, Flying Lotus - Kill Your Co-Workers, Is Tropical - The Greeks, King Creosote & Jon Hopkins - Bubble, Massive Attack - Atlas Air
Best Art Direction & Design in a Video: Adele - Rolling In The Deep, Chase & Status feat. Liam Bailey - Blind Faith, Justice - Civilization, Oh Land - White Nights, Plan B - The Recluse, Scissor Sisters - Invisible Light
Best Choreography in a Video: Darwin Deez - DNA, Radiohead - Lotus Flower, SebastiAn - Embody, Two Door Cinema Club - What You Know, Wave Machines - Keep The Light On, Wiley - Numbers In Action
Best Cinematography in A Video: Adele - Rolling In the Deep, Battles - Ice Cream, Calvin Harris - Feel So Close, Chapel Club - Surfacing, J Majik & Wickaman feat Dee Freer - In Pieces, Jessie J - Do It Like A Dude
Best Editing in a Video: Battles - Ice Cream, Ed Sheeran - You Need Me, I Don't Need You, Little Comets - The Isles, Metronomy - The Bay, The Subways - We Don't Need Money To Have a Good Time, Tom Vek - Aroused
Best Styling in a Video: Alpines - Cocoon, Chase & Status feat. Liam Bailey - Blind Faith, Oh Land - White Nights, Paloma Faith - Smoke and Mirrors, Scissor Sisters - Invisible Light, Woodkid - Iron
Best Telecine in a Video: DJ Fresh - Louder, Plan B - Love Goes Down, Kylie Minogue - Get Out Of My Way, Liam Bailey - It's Not The Same, Metronomy - The Bay, Plan B - The Recluse
Best Visual Effects in a Video: Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi feat Norah Jones - Black:: 3 Dreams of Black, Justice - Civilization, Klaxons - Twin Flames, Massive Attack - Atlas Air, Memory Tapes - Yes I Know, Woodkid - Iron
The Innovation Award: Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi feat Norah Jones - Black: 3 Dreams of Black, Arcade Fire - We Used To Wait: The Wilderness Downtown, OK Go - All Is Not Lost, Professor Green with Doritos - Coming To Get Me 360 degree interactive video, The Shoes - Cover Your Eyes, White Lies - Strangers web video
Best Live Music Coverage: Faithless - Passing The Baton, Jessie J - Live In London, Kylie Minogue - Aphrodite Les Folies tour in 3D, Richard Ashcroft - Live at Shepherds Bush Empire, Tinie Tempah - Ibiza Rocks, Various - Live From Abbey Road
Best Music Ad - TV or Online, BBC 6Music - Building, Fenech-Soler - Minotaur (album launch viral), Mark Ronson & The Business International - Record Collection, Ministry of Sound - Electronic 80s II
Best Producer: Leanne Stott, Liz Kessler, Sarah Tognazzi, Tamsin Glasson, Tim Francis, Tom Berendsen
Best Commissioner: Ailsa Robertson, Dan Curwin, Daniel Millar, James Hackett, Phil Lee, Ross Anderson
Best New Director: Bob Harlow, Chino Moya, Ian Pons Jewell, Sam Pilling, The General Assembly, Us
Best Director: Canada, Daniel Wolfe, Daniels, David Wilson, Emil Nava, Saam Farahmand
STUDENT RADIO AWARD NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED
Best Newcomer: Jonny Chambers - 107 Spark FM, Tom Watts - Fly FM, Natalie Holiday - Smoke Radio, Ian Thursfield - RamAir, Aislinn Hayes - IC Radio, Lissie Day - LSRfm.com
Best Journalistic: Buzz Demolition 2010 - 1449AM URB, York 60 - URY, Nineteen: Now or Never? - LSRfm.com, The Pulse - URN, Trent Talk - Fly FM, From out own Leeds Correspondent - LSRfm.com
Best Marketing & Station Sound: URN, Radio Sonar, 1350AM GU2, 107 Spark FM, LSRfm.com, 1449AM URB
Best Live Event: Elections Night - URN, Leeds Day of Action - LSRfm.com, Varsity Rugby 2011 - KCL Radio, Summer Party - URN, Click-a-thon - Click Teeside, The Hidden Broadcast - LSRfm.com
Best Interview: Scott McGerty Interviews Wretch 32 - 107 Spark FM, Gary Pounder Interviews Gary Powell - Smoke FM, Rusko in the Studio - Forge Radio, Stu Manton with Greg Davies - URN, Kieran and Ness Meet Greg Davies - Fly FM, Luke Cooper Milbank Protest Interview - URF
Best Specialist: Asian Invasion with Yasser - LSRfm.com, John Cadigan - The World Music Show - Smoke Radio, Carlos Slazenger's Audio Obstacle Course - VOX Radio, Bernie's Playhouse - The Cat 1251, French Toast - Smoke Radio, Dance Revolution - 107 Spark FM
Best Chart: Xpression FM, 1449AM URB, Demon FM, Xpress Radio, 1350AM GU2, Radio Sonar
Best Entertainment: Luke and Ed - Xpress Radio, The Two Bens Radio Show - LUSH Radio, The, Chalk and Charles Show - URY, Pete and Pearse - Fly FM, Ollie and Liam - URN, The Sean & Martyn - Xpress Radio
Best Speech: The More Beautiful Game - URY, The Zombie and You - 107 Spark FM, The Price of Humberside - URY, In the Stalls - URY, 2UP - Smoke Radio, Slapdashery - Smoke Radio
Best Technical: Push Framework - Xtreme Radio 1431am, IRIS - Interchangeable Radio Playout System - Insanity Radio 1287AM, Radio Presenters FasDashboard - 1350AM GU2, Outside Broadcast Software - Surge, Station Manger - Xtreme Radio, Facebook Application - Surge
Best Male: Pete Allison - Fly FM, James Robinson - Fuse FM, Darcy Samuel - LCR, Martyn Littlewood - Fly FM, Sean Thorne - Xpress Radio, Jon Jackson - Demon FM
Best Female: Cheeka Eyers - Urn, Erica Dancer - Demon FM, Jade Worsley - Fly FM, Michelle Owen - Xtreme Radio 1431AM, Sarah Harrison - 107 Spark FM, Tamsin Grainger - Xpress Radio
Best Station: URY, Xpress Radio, LSRfm.com, 1449AM URB, URN, Fly FM
MONKEES CONSIDERING ANOTHER ATTEMPT AT A REUNION TOUR
As previously reported, no official reason was given for the cancellation of the band's most recent reunion tour, but a rep for Micky Dolenz said at the time: "Management had booked a number of dates with the venues without running them by the group first ... so we had to cancel the remaining dates".
Speaking to Rolling Stone this week, Tork gave a much longer explanation, though without really telling us anything more, except that another reunion tour wasn't an impossibility. He told the music mag: "I'm not really at liberty to get into detail about what happened, but there were some business affairs that couldn't be coordinated correctly. We hit a glitch and there was just this weird dislocation at one point. I can't say anything more without getting into the stuff that we have to keep down. We need to work on this stuff outside of the public eye. [But] between everybody's behaviour changing enough and restructuring the way that we related to one another... we did it all right. We had a good time onstage, laughed and created jokes".
He continued: "I'd say that the odds of another tour are better than 50/50... it would probably be in the next year or two. But obviously nothing is settled yet, and until we see a settlement in sight, we can't even begin to arrange a tour. Once you start arranging a tour, you may be able to get it mounted about six or seven months down the road".
Some people might say it would be more dignified if they just left it alone. But what fun would that be?
MANIC STREET PREACHERS TO STOP RELEASING SINGLES
Nicky Wire told Xfm: "I think for a certain incarnation of the band it is a sort of end. I dunno if we'll be releasing singles again. The way everything in the music industry has changed, for an old guitar band like us to be bothering the charts seems somehow quaint. It's definitely not the end of the band, we're still in love with each other and the notion of one final re-invention. We're trying to think of a final third way".
Speaking about the band's new compilation of their 38 singles to date, 'National Treasures', Wire added: "[It's interesting] looking back at these 38 songs and the memories they evoke and the idea that you could, with a bit of sedition, get number one singles about the Spanish civil war and working class culture and things like that".
Also in nostalgic mood, James Dean Bradfield has revealed to the NME that the band nearly split after Richey Edwards disappeared in 1995, and, in fact, that they technically weren't together for six months that year. Explaining how they came back together, he said: "I was living in London and [Nicky] sent me some lyrics in the post. Two [sets] arrived; one was called 'Pure Motive' and one was called 'A Design For Life'. They both had a hint of violence and reaffirmation about them, what working class attitudes should have. And then I atomized the two sets of lyrics and wrote some music to it, which came really easily. I rang him up and said, 'I found the song that will give us reason to exist as a band!'"
'National Treasures is out on 31 Oct, and the band will perform all of those 38 singles in chronological order at the O2 Arena on 17 Dec. Which will be, um, long.
ASOBI SEKSU ANNOUNCE COVERS SINGLE
JARVIS COCKER BECOMES FABER AND FABER'S EDITOR AT LARGE
Publishing Director Lee Brackstone said of the new appointment: "Jarvis felt like a natural fit with the Faber sensibility, both as author and editor, and I'm sure the small list of books he will develop will represent his eccentric and yet popular touch. We now have an excellent portfolio of authors from the pop world and our intention is to develop these relationships and continue to build a reputation as the home for exciting and original writing on music".
The two year role will commence in January. Coincidentally, Cocker's first book, a collection of his lyrics called 'Mother, Brother, Lover', will be published by Faber And Faber next week.
FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE ANNOUNCE HACKNEY EMPIRE SHOW
The second Florence And The Machine album, 'Ceremonials', is due for release on 31 Oct.
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GHOSTPOET ANNOUNCES KOKO SHOW
And, hey, don't take my word for it that he was good on 'Later...', have yourself a watch of this here YouTube video featuring him performing 'Survive It' (it is 'Survive It', whatever it might say on your screen): www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPNzAI202cg
Dates as follows:
MINISTRY SUCCEEDS IN BLOCKING RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT NEXT TO SUPERCLUB
Developer Oakmayne argued that it would triple glaze the apartments, and also that it had offered to pay to have sound-proofing put into the Ministry building. However, the club's bosses argued that the developer's sound-proofing proposals were unworkable, and - noting that Oakmayne boss Christopher Allen had once supposedly remarked that "nightclubs come and go" when discussing the issue of building flats next to the Ministry Of Sound - the 20 year old clubbing institution launched a petition, encouraging clubbers to back their bid to block the development.
Oakmayne's planning application went before Southwark Council's planning committee earlier this week, and the committee voted five to nil to reject the plans. Responding, Allen said he was considering whether to appeal the decision, telling reporters: "We are both confused and bitterly disappointed by the planning committee's decision, which was made against their own officer recommendations and the weight of expert evidence in support of [the development]. What will [now] remain is a 1960s obsolete eyesore and the area, which desperately needs regeneration, will continue to stagnate".
Needless to say Ministry CEO Lohan Presencer welcomed the decision. Music Week quotes him thus: "A huge thank you to the 25,000 plus people who signed the petition. Last night the Planning Committee showed why local democracy matters to this country. We are incredibly pleased that committee members have applied proper scrutiny to all the aspects of the application and its relation to planning policy". He also revealed he was in discussions with an architect about the possibility of putting together an alternative plan for redeveloping the site next to his club.
ANOTHER FORMER UNIVERSAL EXEC JOINS SONY
Says Morris: "Mel is among the top executives in the music industry and I am very happy to have him joining us in this important role. I have worked closely with Mel for many years and have a deep respect for his ability to balance business acumen with artistic vision. He has played an invaluable part in the success of Universal Music, MCA and Warner Music, and his keen insight and knowledge of the music business will be a major asset to our company".
Lewinter himself told reporters: "Over the years, Doug and I have formed a unique working relationship that is quite instinctive for both of us. I look forward to the challenge ahead and am delighted that I will be continuing my association with Doug at Sony Music".
BEYONCE DENIES FAKING PREGNANCY
Rumours that she was wearing a prosthetic bump while a surrogate actually carries her child for her have been circulating since she announced that she was pregnant. However, they stepped up this week after an interview on Australian TV show 'Sunday Night' appeared to show her bump collapse in on itself as she sat down. A rep for the singer yesterday told E! that the claims were "foolish", and then MTV that they were "stupid, ridiculous and false".
Make up your own mind: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqYIsTNl4mM