WEDNESDAY
19 DEC 2012

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CMU ARTISTS OF THE YEAR 2012: PLAN B
When Plan B received the Artist of The Year award at this year's Artist & Manager Awards in November, one of his thank yous went to his label, Warner/Atlantic, for "believing in" him. Fairly standard, but he pointed out that he was one of the few artists that Warner Music kept on after its purchase of 679 Records, when, as far as he was concerned, he was "just some rapper with an album that didn't sell very well" more>>
 
APPROVED: WIDOWSPEAK
Their last significant release being an eponymous first LP last year, Brooklyn-based boy-girl duo Widowspeak have since let fall a couple of leaves from their new collection 'Almanac', and what pleasant leaves they are. First came the Laurel Canyon-esque 'Ballad Of The Golden Hour', a track with a tender western bent and a keener lightness of being than anything on 'Widowspeak', whose tone, at times, tended towards the listless more>>
TOP STORIES
- Lostprophets Frontman accused of sexual offences against children
IN THE POP COURTS
- Alicia Keys sued over Girl On Fire
- RZA sued for royalties by former collaborator
AWARDS & CONTESTS
- John Kennedy receives Xfm Inspiration Award
CHARTS, STATS & POLLS
- Madonna has highest grossing tour of 2012
- X-Factor winner slightly ahead in Christmas number one race
IN THE STUDIO
- Adele took ages to record Skyfall, alright?
- Enter Shikari "will definitely have been in the studio" by 2014
RELEASE NEWS
- New Danny Brown LP to feature Rustie, A$AP Rocky, Purity Ring
- Mogwai release zombie TV score
- Gaggle charge £3000 for new single
BOOKS NEWS
- Patti Smith writing Just Kids sequel
GIGS & TOURS NEWS
- Meat Loaf to quit touring after Last At Bat shows
- Imagine Dragons announce UK tour
FESTIVAL NEWS
- Festival line-up update
TALKS, DEBATES & CONVENTIONS
- CMU Insights announces new evening training course
THE DIGITAL BUSINESS
- Google adds scan-and-match to locker in US
THE MEDIA BUSINESS
- Jon Holmes named new Xfm breakfast host
- Vice buys i-D
- Absolute Radio owner considering a sale again
AND FINALLY...
- Pete Waterman proud of "one of the acts" from Popstars: The Rivals
WARP RECORDS - DIGITAL MANAGER
Responsible for the presence of Warp Records and our artists across all online and digital platforms – bringing an innovative, digital led perspective into the planning of our releases and beyond. Reporting to the head of marketing, the Digital Manager is in charge of a small digital team and works closely with A&R, production and project managers on campaigns. While the role is based London, the Digital Manager has International responsibilities and will liaise, assist and create assets for our Worldwide teams.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.
   
DOMINO – RADIO PLUGGER
Domino is looking for a new radio plugger to join its in house promo team. The successful applicant will work within Domino’s current radio structure and will have an extensive knowledge of UK radio. He or she will need established relationships at radio and a proven track record of working successful releases.

For more information including a full job description and how to apply click here.


LOSTPROPHETS FRONTMAN ACCUSED OF SEXUAL OFFENCES AGAINST CHILDREN
The lead singer of Welsh rock outfit Lostprophets has been charged with sexual offences against children. According to the BBC, Ian Watkins is due to appear at Cardiff Magistrates Court later today facing charges of conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a female under thirteen and the possession/distribution of indecent images of children. Two women have also been charged with related offences as part of an investigation by South Wales Police.

Officers said they were revealing Watkins identity at this time "in order to assist their investigation". Commenting on the current enquiry, the police force's Detective Inspector Peter Doyle told reporters: "Specially trained staff are available to speak to anyone with concerns or information regarding this investigation and a dedicated telephone number has been set up. I want to encourage anyone who has any concerns or information which they think may be relevant to contact us. Safeguarding children involved in such cases is always a high priority and as such measures have already been taken".

Formed in 1997, the now fully Sony-signed Lostprophets (their European releases were previously handled by Visible Noise) released their fifth album, 'Weapons', earlier this year. The band are yet to comment on the allegations made against their frontman.

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ALICIA KEYS SUED OVER GIRL ON FIRE
Alicia Keys is being sued by songwriter Earl Shuman over her new single 'Girl On Fire'. Shuman claims that the lyrics of the song bear similarities to those of his 1962 composition 'Lonely Girl', written with Leon Carr and best known via Eddie Holman's 1970 version under the name 'Hey There Lonely Girl'.

To be honest, if I thought some of my lyrics sounded a bit like some as bad as the ones in 'Girl On Fire', I'd stay quiet about it, but it's only a very small bit of Keys' track that Shuman says has been lifted from his song.

The similarity was apparently first brought to his attention via an article on Roger Friedman's Showbiz 411 website, in which the entertainment journalist stated: "In the middle of the song, Alicia sings a couplet or so from Eddie Holman's 1970 classic 'Hey There Lonely Girl'. The song was written by Leon Carr and Earl Shuman, who are both gone to rock and rock and roll heaven ... Keys only uses two seconds of the original, but it helps make her record".

Shuman subsequently got in touch with Friedman, firstly to point out that he's not dead, and secondly so say that he's not amused with Keys borrowing his words and that he is now getting his lawyer on the case. Previously both Anita Baker and Beastie Boys have used unaccredited samples from Holman's recording of 'Lonely Girl', both subsequently reaching settlements with Shuman and the estate of Leon Carr.

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RZA SUED FOR ROYALTIES BY FORMER COLLABORATOR
RZA has been sued by a Dutch artist who claims that the producer owes her royalties on fourteen tracks they collaborated on between 2004 and 2011. According to TMZ, Thea Van Seijen says that she previously failed to demand her cut of royalties out of fear that she'd damage her own music career if she fell out with the Wu-Tang man. But with that partnership now seemingly at an end anyway, the vocalist is seeking a cut of the action from the RZA-produced songs on which she appears.

But a spokesman for RZA has told Pitchfork that the legal claim is baseless, accusing Van Seijen of trying to "drag the producer's name through the mud" despite him having "done nothing but help" the singer over the years.

RZA's publicist said: "RZA and his entire family have done nothing but help Thea Van Seijen over the years. He even welcomed her into his home and gave her all the resources and money she needed to start a career in music (and eat!). She was a streetwalker in Sweden brought to his attention by a family member many years ago, who literally pulled her off the street and encouraged her talent as a singer. I met her back then. She was eager and just trying to sing".

Continuing: "RZA helped her by collaborating with her and put her on a handful of tracks as a 'work for hire'. Very common in the music industry. This is the second time she has tried to knock RZA down for money she isn't owed. She is a fish out of water. She has no idea what she is doing and thinks she can build a case for herself in the media and have it hold up in court. Meanwhile, she is dragging RZA's name through the mud conveniently positioned during a time when his film career is blossoming".

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JOHN KENNEDY RECEIVES XFM INSPIRATION AWARD
John Kennedy was awarded this year's Xfm Inspiration Award on Monday night, recognising his 20 years at the station making really rather good radio shows.

The award is usually presented to musicians - previously artists including Mick Jones of The Clash and The Strokes' Julian Casablancas have won it - and Kennedy had been told that he would be handing it over to Mumford & Sons this year in the middle of the Xfm Winter Wonderland show at London's Brixton Academy on Monday. However, when he took to the stage it was the band who presented the award to him.

Speaking after receiving the award, Kennedy said: "There are too many highlights to mention from my years at Xfm but this is definitely up there. I feel honoured to receive this award".

Ted Dwayne from Mumford & Sons added: "John's had a place in our hearts before we were even a band. We all grew up in London listening to Xfm, listening to 'X-posure', as any self-respecting teenager does in London, and John showed us loads of great music and continues to do so for loads of people every night of the week and we're just really grateful that John does what he does and stays true it".

Prior to the presentation, a video of artists, including Noel Gallagher, Paul Weller, Guy Garvey and Brett Anderson, all paying tribute to Kennedy, was played. And you can watch that video too, right here.

And to find out more about Kennedy's illustrious career in radio, have a read of this interview he did with us earlier this year, ahead of appearing at the CMU-programmed Great Escape convention in Brighton in May.

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MADONNA HAS HIGHEST GROSSING TOUR OF 2012
As usual, while those pesky youngsters might populate the record sales charts, its old-timers who dominate in the end-of-year touring stats, with Madonna boasting the most lucrative tour of the year, possibly justifying the ludicrous sum of money promoter Live Nation paid to the aging queen of pop for a stake in her whole career in 2007. Though perhaps the real kudos should go to Michael Jackson, whose musical legacy comes fourth in the year-end touring charts despite his death three years ago.

Here's the Billboard end-of-year touring top ten...

1. Madonna
Total Gross $228,406,085; Number of Shows 72; Total Attendance 1,635,176; Number of Sell-Outs 72

2. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band
Total Gross $199,371,791; Number of Shows 72; Total Attendance 2,165,925; Number of Sell-Outs 54

3. Roger Waters
Total Gross $186,466,703; Number of Shows 72; Total Attendance 1,680,042; Number of Sell-Outs 51

4. Michael Jackson The Immortal World Tour by Cirque Du Soleil
Total Gross $147,310,505; Number of Shows 183; Total Attendance 1,374,482; Number of Sell-Outs 9

5. Coldplay
Total Gross $147,188,828; Number of Shows 67; Total Attendance 1,811,787; Number of Sell-Outs 56

6. Lady Gaga
Total Gross $124,879,545; Number of Shows 65; Total Attendance 1,111,099; Number of Sell-Outs 65

7. Kenny Chesney & Tim McGraw
Total Gross $96,458,890; Number of Shows 23; Total Attendance 1,085,382; Number of Sell-Outs 9

8. Van Halen
Total Gross $54,425,548; Number of Shows 46; Total Attendance 522,296; Number of Sell-Outs 9

9. Jay-Z & Kanye West
Total Gross $46,986,464; Number of Shows 31; Total Attendance 371,777; Number of Sell-Outs 15

10. Andre Rieu
Total Gross $46,785,717; Number of Shows 99; Total Attendance 490,165; Number of Sell-Outs 2

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X-FACTOR WINNER SLIGHTLY AHEAD IN CHRISTMAS NUMBER ONE RACE
While 'X-Factor' bosses basically withdrew from the Christmas number one race last year by releasing their winner's single a week earlier, a move repeated this time too, most recent 'X' champion James Arthur could still have the festive chart topper this year with his debut release 'Impossible'. Though The Justice Collective's 'He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother', raising monies to fund the legal costs still being incurred by families of those killed in the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy, is a close second.

According to the Official Charts Company, Arthur's single, which shifted 490,000 units last week, has so far sold 76,000 further copies this week. That puts it just over 3000 units ahead of the all-star Justice Collective's cover of The Hollies classic, which has been bookies' favourite to be Christmas number one in recent weeks. Both tracks are in aid of charitable causes, with profits from the 'X' song going to Together For Short Lives.

Commenting on this year's Christmas number one race, OCC boss Martin Talbot said these words: "While James Arthur has an early lead over The Justice Collective after just two days of sales, it is exceptionally tight - especially with Christmas gift purchases likely to impact on both releases as the week progresses. It looks like being an extremely exciting race for this year's Official Christmas Number 1".

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ADELE TOOK AGES TO RECORD SKYFALL, ALRIGHT?
Contrary to recent reports, it took Adele longer than ten minutes to record the vocals for her James Bond theme song, 'Skyfall'.

The 'ten minute' claim arose from an interview with the song's producer and co-writer Paul Epworth, who said of the moment that he finished writing the initial instrumental version: "I thought, 'This could be the song', and I rang her up and said, 'It might be too dark'. But she said she loved it. [And once she was in the studio] within ten minutes, she put down most of the vocals. She had the lyrics ready in her head when she drove over. It was the most absurd thing. She's fast, but it was really quite phenomenal".

But yesterday, Epworth said via Twitter: "OK OK... Can I clarify this? Adele didn't record her final 'Skyfall' vocal in ten minutes. We cut the first draft of the verse and chorus. It took us a while to hone the track into the end result. Don't you just love it when things are taken out of context?"

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ENTER SHIKARI "WILL DEFINITELY HAVE BEEN IN THE STUDIO" BY 2014
So, this is a pretty far-off event in the grand scheme of things, but by this time next year, Enter Shikari will "definitely" have begun making new music. Though it could be another year after that until we hear anything.

Says James Batten of the band, who released 'A Flash Flood Of Colour' to great fanfare back in January: "The first half of [next] year will be spent finishing up the tour. Half a year's quite a lot touring really. And then for us it takes us about eighteen months to do a solid album really because we're lucky enough to go to a lot of places really, so it does take us a fair while".

He also notes: "But towards the end, and in the second half of the year we'll be focusing on the next record. We won't have anything released next year but we'll definitely have been in the studio".

So that's that, we'll all have to have patience. Or spend the intervening time staring at the Enter Shikari tour dates page.

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NEW DANNY BROWN LP TO FEATURE RUSTIE, A$AP ROCKY, PURITY RING
Alt-rapper Danny Brown has changed the name of his new LP, so it's now just 'Old' (rather than 'ODB' aka 'Ol Danny Brown' - as Brown recently stated was the title in this FUSE interview).

In a conversation with Pitchfork yesterday, the Detroit MC added that the "75% done" sequel to last year's 'XXX' will feature collaborations with Purity Ring, Kitty Pryde, A$AP Rocky and Schoolboy Q, and guest "beats" by Rustie and Darq E Freaker.

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MOGWAI RELEASE ZOMBIE TV SCORE
Horror-fond Scotch quintet Mogwai yesterday released a digital EP featuring part of the score they composed for a French TV series, and a zombie-themed one at that. Their doing so, by chance, coincided with the France-only finale of 'Les Revenants' ('They Came Back'), as is based on a 2004 film of the same title.

The four-track EP is available now via iTunes, and will also have a limited release on ten-inch vinyl on 28 Jan. Meanwhile Mogwai will release their 'Les Revenants' soundtrack in its entirety via their label, Rock Action, in all formats on 25 Feb.

Here's a creepy preview

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GAGGLE CHARGE £3000 FOR NEW SINGLE
Following yesterday's news that Mike Doughty is releasing a song at the price of $543.09 (albeit with every customer getting an original rendition of it), indie choir Gaggle have gone a step further and put their new single, 'Power Of Money', on the market for £3000. In this case, the price tag is a comment on the difference between the perceived and actual cost of music - £3000 being the amount of money they estimate it cost them in total to create that one recording.

The group explain: "What does money mean to you? How do you put a value on the things you care about? Is money the same thing as worth? This song is precious. And yet, we're told that, nowadays, 'a single' is almost valueless. And that pisses us off. So we have done a budget of how much this single 'cost'. The many hours it took to write, arrange, compose, master; the expertise of all the musicians, technicians, designers, producers involved; all money, time, energy, love and blagging that was ploughed into making all that happen. And [we have] come up with a VALUE. We are putting this tune to market for the sum of £3000".

So, at a price of very slightly under £1000 per minute, you can choose to own the song in MP3, WAV or FLAC format here.

Or you can just watch the video on YouTube for nothing at all.

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PATTI SMITH WRITING JUST KIDS SEQUEL
Patti Smith is planning to publish a second edition of the story that began with her 2010 memoir 'Just Kids'. Whilst the original detailed her relationship with late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, Smith says its sequel "will be more, perhaps, music-based".

She adds: "It's in the 'Just Kids' vein and even in the similar time period, but shifts more to family, Fred [Smith, MC5 guitarist and Smith's late husband], music. So it's a different perspective".

She also notes: "I don't have a big rock n roll lifestyle, a sex, drugs and rock N roll story to tell. I think I have maybe a better story. Through rock n roll I travelled the world, worked with my late brother and, best of all, that's how I met Fred. It changed my life in many unexpected ways, so I have my story to tell".

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MEAT LOAF TO QUIT TOURING AFTER LAST AT BAT SHOWS
Meat Loaf has announced a new list of live dates that will, apparently, be his last ever. Each of Meat et al's eight 'Last At Bat' shows, as are happening between 5-21 Apr 2013, will comprise a "concert in two acts"; the first half a set of greatest hits, and the latter an unedited rendition of his 1977 debut LP, 'Bat Out Of Hell'.

Says Mr Loaf of his and collaborator Jim Steinman's pre and post-'Bat' experience: "When we first came together, we couldn't have dreamt the profound effect 'Bat Out Of Hell' would have on both our lives, and the lives of our fans around the world. I know the fans will enjoy the show as much as I enjoyed putting it together".

Ah, that's nice. And now, the dates:

5 Apr: Newcastle, Metro Arena
7 Apr: Glasgow, SECC
10 Apr: London, O2 Arena
12 Apr: Birmingham, LG Arena
14 Apr: Nottingham, Capital Fm Arena
17 Apr: Manchester Arena
19 Apr: Sheffield, Motorpoint Arena
21 Apr: Cardiff, Motorpoint Arena

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IMAGINE DRAGONS ANNOUNCE UK TOUR
US electronic rock troupe Imagine Dragons, who released their debut album 'Night Visions' in their home country in September, will be over here next April to show us all why they've been so flippin popular over there. Of course, we'll already have some idea, as the album will be released in the UK on 18 Feb.

Check out the video for 'Radioactive' here, after which you'll find those tour dates:

2 Apr: Bristol, Academy
4 Apr: Liverpool, Academy
6 Apr: Glasgow, Garage
8 Apr: Manchester, Club Academy
9 Apr: Birmingham, Institute Library
11 Apr: London, The Forum

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FESTIVAL LINE-UP UPDATE
So, Sidmouth's deceptively-titled (in that it lasts eight days) Folk Week has just published an initial list of artist names, and will thus host the likes of Show Of Hands, Lau, Capercaillie and Nic Jones Trio between 2-9 Aug 2013.

Earlier in the year than that, death-blues twosome Wet Nuns have invented a new alternative to any average festival. The band's all-new Detestival, as will overtake Sheffield's Queens Social Club at the end of March, is set to feature such special guests as Hookworms, Bo Ningen, Wolf People and - self-evidently - Wet Nuns themselves.

Daft Punk are also rumoured to be playing next year's Coachella, but since that isn't a certainty yet, it won't appear in the following official festival line-up update:

DETESTIVAL, Queens Social Club, Sheffield, 30-31 Mar 2013: Wet Nuns, Wolf People, Bo Ningen, Hookworms, KULT COUNTRY, John J Presley, Blood Sport. wetnuns.com

SIDMOUTH FOLK WEEK, various venues, Sidmouth, Devon, 2-9 Aug 2013: Capercaillie, Show Of Hands & Miranda Sykes, Blowzabella, The Spooky Men's Chorale, Lau, Nic Jones Trio, Flook, Peatbog Faeries, Maddy Prior & Hannah James & Giles Lewin, Le Vent Du Nord, Jaipur Kawa Brass Band, Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas, Saltfishforty, Carthy, Hardy, Farrell & Young, Tim Eriksen, Roy Bailey, Coope & Boyes & Simpson, John Kirkpatrick, Melrose Quartet, Bella Hardy & The Midnight Watch, Dave Burland, Colum Sands, Nancy Kerr & James Fagan, Emily Portman Trio, Lady Maisery, Steve Turner, Jeff Warner, Sandra Kerr, The Askew Sisters, Jim & Lynette Eldon, Richard & Jess Arrowsmith, Pete Shepheard & Arthur Watson, Will Duke, Roger Digby & Liz Giddings, Bob Lewis, Short Sharp Shanties, Under Her Skin, Toothless Mary, Blackbeard's Tea Party, Bedlam, Flowers And Frolics, Mr Gubbin's Bicycle, Steamchicken, Gloworms, English String Band, Cis Hinkle, Joe Hodgson, Frances Richardson, Les Barclay, David & Kathryn Wright, Ivan Aitken, Madeleine Smith, Jerry O'Reilly, Pendragon, Moonlighting, Momentum, The Jovial Crew Band, Mollie Koenigsberger, Berkshire Bedlam, Boggarts Breakfast, Flag & Bone, Gog Magog Molly, Outside Capering Crew, Sallyport Sword And Rapper, Silver Flame Rapper, Stoney Steppers, Stroud Ladies, Whip The Cat, Witchmen. www.sidmouthfolkweek.co.uk

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CMU INSIGHTS ANNOUNCES NEW EVENING TRAINING COURSE
CMU Insights, the training and consulting side of the CMU operation, has just announced the launch of a brand new training course that is due to kick off next month. 'The Music Business In 2013' is a ten-week evening course, providing an overview of the 21st century music industry.

Introducing the new course, CMU Publisher and Business Editor Chris Cooke says: "We've had a lot of people contact us this year asking if they could access our training expertise outside of office hours, and this new programme has been developed with those people in mind. With ten two-hour sessions taught over ten weeks, it provides an overview of where the music industry is at in 2013 - with a particular focus on music rights, music marketing and the changing relationship between artists and their fans and business partners".

The new course will kick off on 21 Jan in Shoreditch, East London. New editions of all of the CMU Insights training courses have also been announced. Cooke continues: "As 2012 draws to a close and the customary 'reviews of the music year' are published, it's clear that the music industry continues to evolve at a rapid pace, but also that opportunities abound as challenges are met. In a changing business it pays to stay in touch with the latest trends and developments, to expand your knowledge of the wider industry, and to consider what's coming next. And that's where our courses come in. When better than the start of a new year to brush up on the basics, delve into the detail, and catch up with the changes?"

CMU's one-day training courses are £125 including VAT and booking fees. The new ten part course is £295. Information about all of the CMU Insights courses are online at www.theCMUwebsite.com/insights/

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GOOGLE ADDS SCAN-AND-MATCH TO LOCKER IN US
Google has added scan-and-match to its digital locker service in the US. As much previously reported, when the web-giant originally launched its music-based locker service in America it did so without the backing of the record labels and music publishers.

This meant that, under copyright law, the web firm couldn't offer users the add-on service where its software scans a customer's hard-drive for music files and automatically puts copies of any tracks already in the Google libraries into his or her online music storage locker, rather than the customer having to manually upload every track. Offering that service requires Google to make a copy of said tracks, which requires a licence (whereas, in most countries, the user can upload copies of legitimately acquired MP3s without a licence using their 'private copy' or 'format shifting' right).

With Apple entering the digital locker market with the music companies on board, and therefore with scan-and-match included, and after Amazon added the arguably essential function to its digital locker service in August, it was clear Google would have to follow suit to compete. And sure enough, when the web firm launched its digital locker in Europe last month, scan-and-match was included. The latest development sees scan-and-match incorporated into the Google Play locker in the US.

Now that it is on par with Apple and Amazon in terms of functionality, Google will hope to win a bigger slice of the music locker market by offering its service for free, rather than charging a nominal annual subscription fee (£21.99 for Apple's service in the UK). Users can also stream music over the net from their Google lockers at a higher bitrate.

Apple and Amazon presumably hope to compete despite charging an annual fee partly by their lockers being closely linked to their respective download stores, which are much more popular than the fledgling Google Play download platform, and partly by allowing users to store more tracks in their lockers (25% more in the case of Apple, ten times more in the case of Amazon).

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JON HOLMES NAMED NEW XFM BREAKFAST HOST
Jon Holmes has been announced as the new host of Xfm's breakfast show in London. He will take over from Danny Wallace, who announced his departure earlier this week, on 7 Jan.

Holmes said of his new role: "Xfm has always been the go-to station for enormous indie music, funny, irreverent broadcasting and the best ballsy entertainment on the radio. The Xfm Breakfast Show is the stuff of legend, and this is where we take it to the next level (which, in accordance with council regulations, has both steps and a ramp)".

The Global-owned station has also announced two more new appointments, who will also join the station on 7 Jan. Jo Good, who like Holmes is a former BBC 6music presenter, will take over the 1-4pm slot on weekdays in both London and Manchester, while Dan O'Connell will return to the station to follow her on the drivetime slot from 4-7pm in London only. In Manchster, Clint Boon will move from early afternoons to take over the drivetime show.

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VICE BUYS I-D
Vice Media, the company behind Vice magazine and its various spin-off business ventures, has bought London-based style mag i-D. Vice says the acquisition will help it expand its wider media interests, including its online and video-based platforms, into the fashion space.

The Guardian quotes Vice's Andrew Creighton, who previously worked for i-D, as saying: "We have traditionally built everything we do here within the company, but i-D was perfect as a partner to launch a play into fashion. What i-D has not necessarily done, by accident or design, is move into the digital area in a big way".

i-D's founder Terry Jones, who reclaimed full ownership of the title in 2004 after two decades of being in business with Time Out, will retain a minority stake in the publication with his wife Tricia. He said of the new deal with Vice: "This marks the beginning of an incredibly exciting chapter in i-D's history. There is a huge void in video-driven fashion channels and this partnership will fill and dominate that void".

While the printed Vice magazine is a free title, i-D will remain a newsstand magazine, for the time being at least, though its new owners seemingly feel that the real potential of their new partnership with Jones is online, where Vice and i-D together will bid to win a slice of the online fashion media market.

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ABSOLUTE RADIO OWNER CONSIDERING A SALE AGAIN
The owner of Absolute Radio, India-based TIML Radio, is reportedly once again in talks to sell the British radio station.

TIML Radio's parent company, the Times Of India Group, toyed with selling the loss making music radio station last year, but took it off the market, reportedly because none of the interested bidders would commit to anything near the £20 million the current owner wanted for it. According to The Guardian, TIML ise now talking to just one possible bidder, John Pearson, who previously ran the station when it was still Virgin Radio.

Pearson was part of one of the consortiums that bid last year. Then he was reportedly backed by the Virgin Group, who would have rebranded the station under the Virgin name had they successfully acquired the Absolute business and frequencies.

But this time Pearson, who has continued to work as a consultant to the Virgin Group since leaving Virgin Radio in 2004, is seemingly bidding without Richard Branson's firm, with financial backing coming instead from Oakley Capital, the venture capital firm best known in media circles for its stake in Time Out.

Whether a deal can be struck this time round remains to be seen. Experts value the Absolute business at about half the figure TIML was looking for last year (and about a fifth of what TIML paid for it in 2008). Though with the radio company making a loss of just under £4 million last year, the Indian media group may now be ready to cut its losses.

It's not thought that UTV Radio, which was also bidding for Absolute last year, is interested in the company any more, while Global Radio, which has expressed an interest in the past, would now be unlikely to get an Absolute purchase passed the competition regulator, given its current and ongoing acquisition of the Real and Smooth radio networks.

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PETE WATERMAN PROUD OF "ONE OF THE ACTS" FROM POPSTARS: THE RIVALS
Pete Waterman has said he's proud to have had a hand in the success of Girls Aloud. He was a judge on the TV show that created them, 'Popstars: The Rivals', as I'm sure you all remember.

He tells the Daily Star: "It's amazing how they've been worked. Brilliant. From a show that everyone tells me was a piece of garbage, we had number one, number two and number three in the Christmas charts [that year] and one of the acts is still around ten years later. But we didn't know what we were doing".

You might think Waterman is being a bit modest at the end there, but as the career of the show's winning boyband, who he was he was supposed to be managing, clearly shows, he really didn't know what he was doing.

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CMU Editor Andy Malt and CMU Business Editor Chris Cooke are both available to comment on music and music business stories. Together they have provided comment and contributions to BBC News, BBC World, BBC Radios 4, 5, 6music and Scotland, Sky News, CNN, Wired and the Associated Press. Email andy@unlimitedmedia.co.uk or chris@unlimitedmedia.co.uk.

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