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Editor & Publisher: David Stark
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Music Copyright Solutions (MCS) has purchased Palan Music, the publishing administration company headed by the late Mark Levinson, and most recently MD Justin Sherry. MCS was founded in 2001 by Guy Fletcher, Brian Schofield and Tim Hollier, with John Sanderson as chairman. The deal makes MCS the biggest independent media music publisher in Europe and brings a significant number of Palan's film & TV music administration rights under MCS's control, including episodes of Baywatch, the BKN animation folio and the original Fleetwood Mac song catalogue including Albatross. MCS also plans to move to the AIM share listing in March.
Arista Records president/CEO L.A. Reid has left the BMG label in a sudden move. His tenure at the label included some major international breakthroughs such as Avril Lavigne, Pink, Usher and Outkast. The news of his departure came a day after BMG and Sony moved to the next stage of their planned merger with a formal application to the EC. Arista executive VP/GM Larry Mestel will oversee the label for time being, reporting to CEO Michael Smellie, while speculation is that the Arista, RCA/J and Jive labels may all be merged prior to the merger with Sony.
Innocent Records MD Hugh Goldsmith has left the EMI label to re-join BMG with a brief to develop a "new breed" of music company incorporating recording, publishing, management and consultancy activities. In a deal brokered by BMG chairman/CEO Tim Bowen, the new deal is a 50/50 joint venture between BMG and Goldsmith, who from 1995-97 was MD of RCA Records before setting up Innocent with EMI and having success with Blue, Atomic Kitten, Martine McCutcheon and Billie Piper. However EMI has also retained Goldsmith as a consultant to oversee development of Innocent's roster, which includes Javine, Speedway, VS and Wonita. Innocent is now be headed by label manager Sara Freeman, who reports to EMI chairman Tony Wadsworth.
Sony Music Senior A&R VP and S2 boss Muff Winwood is to retire at the end of March after 26 years at the company. He joined CBS in 1978 as A&R director working with Sade, the Clash, Wham!, Adam & The Ants and others, and in 1991 became MD of the Sony S2 label, working with Des'ree, Jamiroquai and others. He was originally the bass player for the Spencer Davis group, and was later A&R head at Island Records.
Sally Perryman has left EMI Music Publishing six months after she was promoted from head of A&R to the role of general manager.
Edel Publishing MD Phil Hope left the company at the end of November, and can be contacted at 020 7263 3172, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fran Nevrkla has signed a new three-year contract as chairman/CEO of PPL, announcing the society's priority for the coming years is to improve the collection of overseas recorded music performance revenues.
The MCPS-PRS Alliance has joined international collection body FastTrack in order to improve the exchange of international repertoire information. Alliance CEO John Hutchinson will join FastTrack's supervisory board to oversee the linking of the UK database.
Former singer Feargal Sharkey has been appointed chairman of the Live Music Forum, a new Government-backed task force set up to investigate and support the UK's live music scene. The Forum's first meeting is scheduled for February 3rd.
Former Zomba Europe A&R head Martin Dodd is joining Sony Music as a London-based European A&R executive, reporting to SMI president Rick Dobbis. Meanwhile French industry veteran Nanou Lamblin becomes VP A&R International, while A&R consultant Charlie Rapino has left the company. Nick Feldman continues as A&R director.
BMG Germany/Switz/Austria president Thomas Stein has resigned his position, with BMG International president Maarten Steinkamp taking on his responsibilities, reporting to BMG CEO Michael Smellie.
Tim Renner has quit as chairman/CEO of Universal Music Germany, following a disagreement over the prioritisation of international versus local repertoire. Previously head of Motor Music, he was appointed head of Universal in 2001. His duties will be assumed by London-based UMI chairman/CEO Jorgen Larsen until a successor is appointed.
The Darkness, with four nominations, and Dido and Daniel Bedingfield with three each, are the strongest contenders at this year's Brit Awards on February 17th. The awards will feature appearances from The Darkness, Busted, Black Eyed Peas, Dido, Muse, 50 Cent and Duran Duran, who will receive the Outstanding Contribution to Music award.
The Who's classic 1969 album Tommy has been reissued by Polydor in a Deluxe 5.1 SACD format, with an extra CD of out-takes and demos. The album was remixed by Pete Townshend from the original 8-track masters, and was launched at Ronnie Scott's on January 15th, nearly 35 years after the band premiered the original album at the same venue. Meanwhile Townshend and Roger Daltrey are working on a brand new Who album and play the Royal Albert Hall on March 29th in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust (box office: 020 7589 8212) as well as headlining this year's Isle of Wight Festival in June.
Ray Davies of The Kinks was shot in the leg after chasing a mugger in New Orleans on January 5th, but left hospital the day after the incident. He is due to perform shows at London's Bloomsbury Theatre in March featuring new and old material, and received a CBE in the New Years Honours list. Other honours recipients included Eric Clapton (CBE), veteran compooser/producer Norman Newell (OBE), and film/TV music composer Debbie Wiseman (MBE).
The European Commission is sponsoring a new music awards ceremony being launched at MIDEM to recognise up-and-coming talent. The nine winners of the inaugural Border Breakers Awards will be announced by French culture minister Jean-Jacques Aillagon in Cannes on January 25th, with each act having achieved high sales outside their country of origin during 2003, as researched by Billboard Information Group. The awards are also being held in conjunction with the European Music Office, the IFPI, indie labels group Impala, authors rights organisation GESAC and international publishers body ICMP/CIEM.
Norway's Kurt Nilsen was the winner of the first World Idol contest aired over the holiday period. The 25 year old former plumber performed U2's Beautiful Day, taking the winning vote in 9 out of 11 voting regions. The USA's Kelly Clarkson finished in second place, while Belgium's Peter Everard was third. The UK's Will Young came fifth.
Four EMI Denmark executives are exiting to form their own label, Copenhagen Records, headed by Mik Christensen, GM of the Capitol and Medley labels. He is joined by A&R head Nick Foss, A&R manager Christian Bachman and marketing manager Jakob S¯rensen. Meanwhile Ole Mortensen has been appointed GM of Medley, while Morten Myrup is promoted to GM of Virgin and Capitol.
Inductess at the 19th Rock & Roll Hall of Fame awards at New York's Waldorf Astoria Hotel on March 15th include the late George Harrison, Prince, Traffic, ZZ Top, Jackson Browne, the Dells and Bob Seger, while Rolling magazine Stone founder Jann Wenner will be inducted in the non-performer category.
Carnival Records and Carnival Group Management has been launched by Nashville executives Frank Liddell and Travis Hill as an expansion to their five-year old publishing company Carnival Music. The new divisions will be headed by Courtney Clay.
Paul Simon has signed a worldwide admin deal with Universal Music Publishing for his entire catalogue and future work, for the world ex-USA/Canada where he continues to be published by Paul Simon Music. However UMP will represent him globally including N. America for synchronisation oppoturnites. Simon was previously with Warner/Chappell.
Wilson Phillips (Carnie & Wendy Wilson and Chynna Philips) has reformed for their first album in twelve years. Pacific Coast Highway is a classic covers album produced by Peter Asher to be released by Columbia/Sony in May. Meanwhile the Wilsons' father Brian Wilson is touring the UK and Europe next month with the first ever live version of the Beach Boys legendary 'lost' album Smile.