NEWS ITEMS:
NOW and Forever

All They Need Is the Beatles

Vivendi Is Top Bidder for BMG Music Publishing

Bulletin Board


Reprinted with permission from Hits Magazine

July 25, 2006

Thank god for Now 22.

Nothing like a few hits to put some window dressing on a chart that otherwise has placed a chill in the summer heat.

Sony Music Group's Now 22 sells another 214k, following last week's 388k, to top the gold mark in its second week. Now that's what we call business. When's Now 23 coming?

Epic's Los Lonely Boys are the week's top debut with their sophomore release, Sacred, which lands at #2, chalking up more than 62k in sales for the Latino-rock brothers. Curb's country star Rodney Atkins was the other top finisher, bowing at #4 with If You're Going Through Hell, which may well describe weather conditions in the heat-soaked San Fernando Valley.

Downtown/Atlantic's Gnarls Barkley continue their "Crazy" ways, as St. Elsewhere climbs to #3 with an impressive 55k in sales, bringing the total close to 600k.

Lyric Street's Rascal Flatts climb into the Top 5 as Me and My Gang soars over 2.1 million, making Buena Vista Music Group boss Bob Cavallo one happy Disney exec, with High School Musical still going strong at #6. Flatts are up 4% while Musical shows a 5% increase over the previous week.

The rest of the Top 10 includes Geffen's Nelly Furtado (#7), Def Jam/IDJ's Rihanna (#8), A&M's Pussycat Dolls (#9) and Open Wide/Monument/Columbia's Dixie Chicks (#10).

Virgin alternarockers Red Jumpsuit Apparatus (#25) and Capitol Nashville's Eric Church (#33) are the other two chart newcomers.

Roadrunner's Nickelback (#25-14, +13%), Universal Republic's Hinder (#33-26, +16%) and Show Dog Nashville/Universal's Toby Keith (#40-32, +12%) are the week's double-digit gainers.

Next week, there's some relief in sight, as Capitol soul diva/ex-Destiny's Child member LeToya and Star Trak/Interscope's Pharrell will vie for #1 on the HITS Top 50 album chart, with American/WB's Tom Petty also in the loop.


HITS magazine is the most powerful information vehicle in the music industry, and is read religiously by all the top executives and everyone else.




Top of Page



Reprinted with permission from Hits Magazine

July 25, 2006

Could Microsoft unroll their new digital music initiative with a little help from their friends?

On the eve of their plan to offer a digital music player called the Zune and a download service to compete with market-leader Apple, there is speculation Bill Gates and company have their eye on the Beatles to launch their product.

"Will Microsoft spend money to get . . . the Beatles catalog?" speculates Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter, who follows the company.

The N.Y. Post's always on-the-spot Tim Arango reports that sources within the record industry say there are rumblings the software giant may offer to replace users' entire library of iTunes tracks by writing a massive check to the labels.

Arrango reports that Microsoft execs have touted the success of the company's Xbox video game console in grabbing marketshare from Sony's PlayStation as a model for their digital music and video foray.

Still, short of launching its own record label, Microsoft will offer the same music available on iTunes, unless it could lock up an exclusive deal with the Fab Four, who had been locked in litigation with Apple over the use of its name.

Other sources have denied the long-running rumor that Microsoft would go into business with the legendary rock band.


HITS magazine is the most powerful information vehicle in the music industry, and is read religiously by all the top executives and everyone else.




Top of Page



Reprinted with permission from Hits Magazine

July 21, 2006

Vivendi is in the lead to acquire BMG Music.

Universal Music has offered close to $2 billion in the auction of Bertelsmann's music publishing arm, the Financial Times said today, citing two people familiar with the situation.

UMG now advances to the second round along with Warner Music and private equity group BC Partners, with bids coming in between $1.5 and $2 million.

Earlier this week, Bertie said strategic and financial bidders would participate in a second round of bidding for BMG Songs that begins this week.

Fifteen prospective buyers have been sent information about BMG Music Publishing, which analysts expected to fetch at least 1.5 billion euros.

Companies that didn't make the first cut include Viacom and financial entity Permira, while a proposed management buy-out led by BMG Music's Chief Executive Nicholas Firth also failed to progress.

Universal Music is now seen as a front-runner in the bidding because of the potential cost savings from merging BMG's operations with its own. Universal is the world's largest record company but smaller than some of its rivals in publishing.

EMI Group is working with private equity group KRR on a plan to provide services to BMG Music, according to the FT.

Bertlesmann needs the cash from any sale to pay back the $6 billion it owes Groupe Bruxelles Lamberg after reacquiring the 25% of the company it had reluctantly ceded to the Belgian investment firm so it can remain privately owned by the Mohn family.


HITS magazine is the most powerful information vehicle in the music industry, and is read religiously by all the top executives and everyone else.




Top of Page



By Kenny Kerner

Will the Real BAT Please Stand Up: Meat Loaf (Michael Aday) is suing his producer/writer Jim Steinman for registering the phrase "Bat Out Of Hell" as Steinman's federal trademark. Meat Loaf has been using that phrase for recordings, concerts, videos, and merchandise since 1977. This issue raises the question of whether the public associates the work of a producer/songwriter closely enough with the recordings and merchandise to give that person trademark rights under the law!

Barbra Streisand will hit the road this October for a 20-city tour. Streisand pledged to donate several million dollars in proceeds to environmental, educational, and women's health organizations. Streisand's last concert was at Madison Square Garden in New York on September 27-28, 2000, and the shows grossed $14.5 million!

Look for Eric Clapton to tour beginning September 16 at the XCEL Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. Final date on the tour is October 23 at the American Airlines Arena in Miami. Hey, Slowhand, what about that extended Cream tour we were all hoping for? You guys too tired?

Rick Rubin's production of the new Dixie Chicks CD really made it shine. This is their most professional sounding CD to date. The current Chicks radio backlash will only help them sell CDs and win fans in the long run. Funny, but I always thought this country was founded on Americans being able to speak what's on their minds! Guess I better check to see if anyone changed the Bill of Rights while I was asleep!


Top of Page











See How TAXI Works






















"I had the drive, and the passion. I just needed help, and you keep supplying it."
— Justin K.,
TAXI Member





"Thanks for creating and maintaining this great organization!"
— Angie Peckham,
TAXI Member

"The dedication you have to your members is apparent."
— Tom Kovacs,
TAXI Member


"The TAXI rally was one of the most wonderful experiences I have had in our business."
— Alan Abrahams,
TAXI Member

"It is most certainly my honor to be a member of TAXI. Thank you again."
— Sharon Weinbrum,
TAXI Member


"I had the drive, and the passion. I just needed help, and you keep supplying it."
— Justin K.,
TAXI Member

"I was cynical at first, but my wife convinced me to join and I'm very impressed."
— L.A. Van Fleet,
TAXI Member





"I got a call back from Capitol Records — Thanks!"
— Pete Masitti,
TAXI Member

"Thanks so much for forwarding "Sheree" to Dawson's Creek. It's been selected for the show!"
— DFran Lucci,
TAXI Member



"I think I'm lucky that I've found out about TAXI so early in my career."
— Djamel,
TAXI Member