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SongLink NewsLink | Music Industry News for May/June 2004


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Editor & Publisher: David Stark
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Ukraine won the Eurovision Song Contest in Istanbul, Turkey on May 15th - only the second time the country has taken part. The winning song, Wild Dance, was sung by Ruslana, a successful singer, producer, dancer and composer, and co-written with UK writers Sherena Dugani, Jamie Maher and Fayney. Serbia and Montenegro were second, with Greece third. The UK's James Fox took 16th spot, while 16 year old British singer Lisa Andreas, performing for Cyprus, took joint fifth place with Sweden. The 50th contest will now be held in Ukraine in 2005.

EMI Music Publishing has bought the 49% of Hit & Run Music it did not already own under the deal struck in 1999, and will fully absorb the company by May 31st. The move also sees the exiting of Hit & Run's three remaining staff including MD Jon Crawley and creative director Michelle De Vries. The catalogue includes Genesis, Phil Collins and Mike & The Mechanics among others, while chairman Tony Smith will continue to head Hit & Run Management, with Phil Collins about to embark on his 'First Farewell Tour.'

Jive Records UK is to close as a consequence of the merger with BMG. Although its Willesden headquarters will disappear, Jive will remain as an imprint with over 50% of its 26 staff expected to be found roles at BMG. Meanwhile producer/writers Rollo (Faithless) and Mark Hill (Craig David, Artful Dodger) have been signed by Zomba Management.

Telstar Records, Multiply Records and other companies in the West London group have gone into administration, with Menzies Corporate Restructuring optimistic of finding a buyer. The main acts affected by the closure include Mis-Teeq and Victoria Beckham. However, the Wildstar label, to which Craig David is signed, and the Strongsongs publishing joint venture with Anna & Mark Jolley are unaffected. Meanwhile two of Telstar's compilation labels, Euphoria and Breakdown, have been acquired by Ministry of Sound.

Former EMI UK president/CEO Jean-Francois Cecillon has returned to the record business as president of EMI Music Continental Europe, replacing Emmanuel De Buretel, who has left the company. Cecillon will oversee EMI Music's operations in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, reporting to Alain Levy, chairman/CEO of EMI Music. Meanwhile EMI Group plc recently plans to cut 1,500 staff, dropping 20% of its artist roster, and exiting from disc manufacturing in Europe and the USA.

The Kobalt Music Group has named Sam Winwood as A&R/Creative Manager, having previously worked at Sony S2 and WEA/London. He reports to Kobalt CEO Willard Ahdritz and A&R director Sas Metcalfe. Michelle Manghise joins as Executive Director of Global Administration, joining from EMI where she was Head of Copyright Administration. Gemma Dempsey has been promoted to Head of Media Synchronisation, having formerly been at Chrysalis Music. Kobalt administrates in excess of 60,000 copyrights including Sanctuary Music, Air-Edel, B-Unique, and for a diverse roster of artists and songwriters.

Nick Battle has joined Decca Music Group as A&R consultant for its adult contemporary/crossover projects, returning to the industry after a five-year sabbatical. During 27 years in the industry, Battle has worked as a musician, as a writer for Cliff Richard among others, and as creative director for Windswept Music. Recently he was writing with Phixx and Natasha Bedingfield and managing producers/remixers Sitting Duck.

Emma Pike will take up the role of British Music Rights' Director General in early September in succession to Kate Fulton, who resigned in February. She is currently European Affairs Executive at IFPI's Brussels office working on copyright and international trade issues.

Universal Music Publishing has recruited Karina Masters to the newly-created position of Film/TV creative services manager, reporting to Barbara Zamoyska. Previously, Masters worked for Stage Three Music and for Chrysalis Music Publishing for seven years.

BBH music co-ordinator Alice Kendall has left to join Sony/ATV Music Publishing as synch/marketing manager, reporting to Rachel Iyer.

Former Creation Records boss Alan McGee has a new label deal with Mercury Records, who will release all albums by new artists signed to McGee's Poptones label. Poptones singles releases will continue to be released independently via Pinnacle.

The Mean Fiddler Group has revived the London Fleadh festival on June 20 in London, having cancelled it last year, citing a lack of headlining acts. Bob Dylan will headline supported by Counting Crows, the Charlatans, Christy Moore, Polly Paulusma and many others.

London's Denmark Street will be the location of a one-day festival on July 11. The summer street party, entitled Tin Pan Alley Live, is organised in association with homeless charity organisation Shelter.

Following the recent departure of Julian Lancaster, the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters has recruited Alice Lemon as its new manager of Classical and Media Composer Relations. She was Head of Membership Services at the National Federation of Music Societies.

Brad Pitt makes his BBC radio debut narrating 'Lost Boy - In Search of Nick Drake,' who died 20 years ago this year aged 26. It will go out at 9pm on Saturday May 22 and includes the first airing of a 'lost' Drake track, Tow The Line, and Norah Jones' version of his Day Is Done.

Producers Clive Langer and Alan Winstanley have employed Hannah Management to manage their careers. Hannah is a new venture set up by Hugh Gadsdon of Barbera Music Ltd and Dennis Muirhead of Muirhead Management. Previously managed by Sandy Robertson, Langer & Winstanley recently produced Crackout's second album Oh No for Hut/Virgin, and the forthcoming set by Dogs Die In Hot Cars for V2.

Warner Music Group have merged the Atlantic and Elektra labels, which along with Lava, will be combined under the Atlantic Records Group banner. Jason Flom, who was president of Lava, is now chairman/CEO of the Atlantic Records Group, with Atlantic president Craig Kallman named group co-chairman/COO. Both report to Lyor Cohen, WMG chairman/CEO. Julie Greenwald, former Island president, is promoted to Atlantic president, reporting to Flom and Kallman. Ahmet Ertegun continues as founding chairman of Atlantic Records.

Warner Music Germany is facing up to 100 job losses but its headquarters will remain in Hamburg, relocating to new premises in the historical warehouse district. Around 1,000 Warner Music Group employees around the world are being let go as the major's new owners strive for a projected $225 million in cuts.

Peter Ende, president and CEO of EMI Music Publishing for GSA, has been promoted to president and CEO for continental Europe. He will also be reponsible for new business development, A&R strategy and the exploitation of EMI's catalogue across the continent. Terry Foster-Key becomes COO of the region with responsibility for industry matters, and continues to have sole responsibility for EMP's operations in eastern Europe. Both report directly to chairman/CEO Martin Bandier.

Sanctuary Records Group has named former Sony Music Europe executive Frank Stroebele as Continental Europe president, taking charge of the Berlin-based operation. Prior to joining Sony, he was marketing and promotion director at Universal Music in Germany and head of international at Roadrunner Records in the Netherlands. Sanctuary's management clients include BeyoncÈ, Jane's Addiction, Iron Maiden, Manic Street Preachers, Guns N' Roses, Robert Plant and The Who.

EMI Music Publishing is to acquire the remaining 20% of Jobete Music it did not already own, for $80 million. The transaction was instigated when Berry Gordy exercised a 'put' option on the remaining stake in the company. Gordy will continue to offer "development and creative direction" for the catalogue, for which EMP $321.3 million total.

Famous Music has bought exclusive worldwide rights for the Clyde Otis Music Group which classic pop and R&B songs written by Clyde Otis and Brook Benton. The deal was struck by Clyde Otis' children Isidro Otis (president), Clyde Otis III (VP business affairs) and Ana Iza Otis (VP of Film/TV) who have run the company since the semi-retirement of Clyde Otis, 79, who remains active in Nashville.

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