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SongLink NewsLink | Music Industry News for Summer 2008


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Peermusic MD Nigel Elderton was elected unopposed as chairman of the MPA at the recent AGM, replacing Nicholas Riddle who had taken over after Paul Curran stepped down in May to join Sony/BMG as chief operating officer. Chris Butler (Music Sales) was elected as deputy chairman, which also saw presentations by MPA CEO Stephen Navin, Steve Porter ( MCPS-PRS Alliance) and Feargal Sharkey (British Music Rights). Peermusic's Bryony Walden has won the 2008 MPA Richard Toeman Scholarship, which provides funding of 3,000 towards personal professional development.

MCPS-PRS CEO Steve Porter told PRS members at its recent AGM that the society is processing more data than ever before, with some 16.5m music performance analysed for its April 2008 distribution alone, covering 650,000 individual songs and 70m individual royalty payments. This coincided with the highest PRS distribution payment yet of 110m.

The UK Office of Fair Trading has cleared Universal Music Publishing Group's acquisition of Jazz Summer's Big Life Music last April. The deal gives Universal worldwide publishing rights to such names as Snow Patrol, Badly Drawn Boy, the Futureheads and Gabriela Montero.

Composer and saxophonist Keith Donald, a founding member of instrumental group Moving Hearts, has been appointed Chairman of IMRO (Irish Music Rights Organisation) for a term of 3 years. Victor Finn has been named as CEO, having been MD of MCPS Ireland from 2001-2008.

The music industry is optimistic that copyright term extension in Europe from 50 years to 95 years will happen, with EC Commissioner Charlie McCreevy's draft proposal to change the term likely to be delivered before the end of this month. The proposal may be ready for ratification as soon as August.

Jean-Francois Cecillon is leaving EMI Music once again, and is replaced by Billy Mann and David Kassler, who become president, A&R Labels, international; and president, Europe, Middle East and Africa, respectively. Nathalie Collin becomes chairman of EMI Music France, reporting to Kassler. Mann will work closely with Nick Gatfield who joined EMI Music as president, A&R Labels North America and UK on July 15th.

Robbin Gibb, Patrick Doyle, Laurent Petitgirard and BACS chairman David Ferguson have met with representatives of the EC Competition office in Brussels in an attempt to head off "disastrous" legislation on reform of Europe's collecting societies. The EC is preparing to rule that more than one society should be able to offer internet and satellite rights in any EC country, leading to likely price wars and a lowering of the value of creators' rights.

Nick Robinson is leaving BMI London as writer/publisher relations executive to become senior VP of sales and business development at Kobalt Music.

Permusic Hamburg has promoted Lubna Al-Aswad to the new position of General Manager, reporting to European chairman Michael Karnstedt. Additionally Michael Böttcher has been appointed head of the A&R department, having been associated with the company since 1972.

IFPI litigation head Jo Oliver has been promoted to general counsel, reporting to John Kennedy. She will be overseeing global litigation, regulatory compliance and corporate legal affairs for the international trade body. The position has been vacant since Geoff Taylor left in 2007 to join the BPI as CEO.

Jay Rosenthal becomes senior VP and general counsel of the NMPA, based in Washington DC and reporting to president/CEO David Israelite. Most recently, he served as the general counsel at the Recording Artists' Coalition, representing music industry organizations, writers, publishers and labels.

Clay Owen Bradley has re-joined BMI Nashville as assistant VP of writer/publisher relations, having been senior A&R director of A&R for Sony BMG Nashville for the last five years. He began his career at BMI in 1991 and has also served at Acuff Rose Music and MCA Nashville

Janice Brock assumes the new London-based position of UK operations senior VP at Sony/ATV Music. Previously based in New York, she continues to report to chairman/CEO Marty Bandier, for whom she previously worked for at EMI Music Publishing where she spent 18 years.

Michelle Belcher is now heading Primary Wave Music Publishing's new West Coast office in Los Angeles. Other staffers on board include Film/TV director Diana Turk and marketing co-ordinator Shara Prophet.

Jim Catino has been promoted to Vice President A&R at Sony BMG Nashville, reportiing to Executive VP, A&R Renee Bell. He was previously at DreamWorks Nashville and Giant Publishing.

BMI Nashville's Songwriters' Workshop Series in Nashville kicks off this month, led by songwriter and author Jason Blume. The workshops offer creative and business advice to all songwriters, with 50 participants admitted to each session. Dates are: July 15 - Song Publishing: Taking Care of Business; Aug. 12 -Song Rodeo (in-depth critiques); Sept. 16 - Secret of Successful Demos; Oct. 28 - Hit Melody Analysis.

Kobalt Music Group has launched a new online pipeline royalty advances tool which allows Kobalt's 700+ worldwide clients complete transparency in accounting. CEO Willard Ahdritz said the tool gives clients "fast access to their money already in the pipeline for distribution, or access to money we project to be collected through incoming sales data or future earning estimates."

SonyBMG Australia/NZ senior A&R manager Courtney Hard takes on additional duties as senior manager of the new entity Sony BMG Publishing, reporting to local chairman/CEO Denis Handlin.

A month-long Led Zeppelin exhibition, 'Memories in Music 1968-2008', will be held during August at Knebworth House, Hertforshire to celebrate the band's 40th anniversary. Proceeds of all donations/raffle-prize money will go to Jimmy Pages' favoured charity, ABC Trust (Action for Brazil's Children). Entrance to the exhibit is included in the price of the Knebworth House guided tour, priced at 9.50 for adults.

Oasis were honoured at the annual Nordoff-Robbins Silver Clef Awards, with Noel Gallagher picking up the main Silver Clef Award at London's Park Lane Hilton. Bryan Adams won the Hard Rock Ambassadors of Rock award in recognition of his charity work; Chris Difford and Glenn Tillbrook of Squeeze picked up the Icon award and The Fratellis were named best British band. Other winners included Nicola Benedetti (Classical Award); Estelle (Download of the Year for American Boy); Meat Loaf (International Award) and Amy Macdonald (Newcomer Award).

LA-based entertainment forum Musexpo is launching its first annual European event in London at the end of October. MUSEXPO Europe will follow the networking-led format successfully established in the US. During the day the invite-only audience will attend conference sessions, while by night delegates will be able to see some of the hottest emerging artists from the UK and abroad perform live. The event will take place at London's Cumberland Hotel from October 27-29th. Musexpo has teamed up with the Great Escape Festival, a division of Mama Group, to stage the showcases at the Borderline and The Metro venues. British-born Musexpo founder Sat Bisla said, "MUSEXPO Europe will retain the high quality, focus and ethos the world has come to expect from the annual events in the US." Also working as part of the London team will be Ajax Scott, former publisher of Music Week. Speakers already confirmed include music supervisor Alex Patsavas, Jeff Smith (Radio 2); Max Lousada (Atlantic Records UK); Christian Wahlberg (Murlyn Music Sweden); and Nick Raphael (MD, Epic Records UK).

RIP: Bo Diddley of heart failure in Florida (79); Mel Galley guitarist, writer and member of Whitesnake and Trapeze (59); Mickey Waller, drummer with the Jeff Beck Group (66); LA engineer/producer Larry Levine (80); former Decca Records A&R head Hugh Mendl (88); country legend Eddy Arnold (90).

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