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Possibly the greatest NARM event in history was WEA’s bash at Pac Bell Park. Getting to take some hacks from home plate and shagging fly balls in the outfield was the absolute best.
NARM’S EYE VIEW
HITS’ Retail Vet Mark Pearson Takes a Few Swings From the City by the Bay
Four years ago, Newbury Comics founder Mike Dreese called CD-burning the single biggest threat to the industry. This year it’s obvious that the rest of the world has finally caught up with him. Microsoft music honcho Will Poole’s keynote speech agreed that burning is bad, but asserted that copy protection without regard to "fair use" was not a viable option. In what amounted to an info-mercial for Microsoft product lines, he mapped out some options to the problem that seemed viable enough. But the mood of the convention is that something needs to get done—and they don’t really care whose technology it is, as long as it happens soon… NARM attendance was only down some 150 attendees from last year’s total of approximately 2,000. And, after some dire predictions as to how bad it could have been (in light of not only a slumping economy, but 9/11, etc.) NARM boss Pam Horovitz remained very upbeat… Best Buy came to NARM with a new program asking for 360-day dating and a $1.25 rebate on every sale of catalog that falls below the top 3,000 titles. It caused quite a stir, but insiders at the retail giant are now calling the proposal a "jumping-off point" for a discussion on how to deal with the problem of keeping slow-moving deep catalog in stock… Rumors and Innuendo: Word has it that Artemis owner Michael Chambers’ bid for RED Distribution, that looked all but done a week ago, is now dead after a lengthy due diligence. With reports that label chief Steve Rifkind and his closest associates could be leaving Loud Records, which will remain with Columbia, as soon as this Friday, many are wondering what effect that will have on label releases that once fed the RED machine, and also about just how low the price tag will have to dip to get a deal done… EMD topper Richard Cotrell is said to be in New York with a reorganization plan under his arm. Just how draconian will the cuts be? Word has suddenly spread like wildfire on the NARM floor that sister indie Caroline could end up as one of the casualties… Possibly the greatest NARM event in history was WEA’s bash at Pac Bell Park. Getting to take some hacks from home plate and shagging fly balls in the outfield was the absolute best. Former pros were pitching and hitting fly balls. Vida Blue joined WEA artists Josh Groban, the Goo Goo Dolls, the Donnas, Knoc-Turn'al, Systematic, Nicole C. Mullen and Me’Shell Ndegeocello. Giant announcer Duane Kuiper was on hand to provide the play by play, as was ex-pitcher Bill Lasky, who lobbed some marshmallows over the plate, while  former Cy Young Award winner Mike McCormick played fungo. Congrats to Dave Mount, Bob Carlton, Steve Kleinberg, Mike White and Jerry Sharell on the coup of the century, at least for this Giant diehard... Meanwhile, UMVD has upped Mike Davis to Sr. VP Sales from his previous post as VP Catalog, Classics & Jazz, while ex-VP National Sales Mike Gillespie has been promoted to VP National Sales & Operations.
ANOTHER BILLIE BANGER? (UPDATE)
Are you free Wednesday afternoon? (11/12a)
BIEBER BY CHRISTMAS?
How's that for a tease, Bieber Nation? (11/12a)
NEAR TRUTHS: MEET
THE NEW BOSSES
Not the same as the old bosses (11/12a)
CMA CENTERPIECE
CARRIE UNDERWOOD
This sure feels like her moment. (11/12a)
WHO'S GETTING ZERVAS?
It's down to two bidders. (11/12a)
THE GRAMMY NOMINATIONS
They'll soon be here, and then we can start obsessing about who'll win.
U.K. SPECIAL
Forget Brexit--it's our yearly survey of doings in Blighty. And if you still can't forget Brexit, try drinking.
ZERVAS STATION
Who's going to land the hottest unsigned property in music?
WEED!
That's what Hollywood smells like. Seriously. 24/7.
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