| MICHAEL RAPINO, LIVE NATION CEO: 'YOU CAN'T REPLACE IRVING AZOFF': A few days before Irving Azoff's abrupt resignation as chairman of Live Nation Entertainment, Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino re-upped with a new five-year contract. In his only interview following Azoff's resignation, Rapino, talks about why he re-signed, what Azoff's departure means to Live Nation, and what's coming next.
| U.K. 2012 SALES REPORT: STRONG GROWTH IN DIGITAL FAILS TO PREVENT 11.2% SALES SLIDE: Sustained growth in digital music sales failed to offset the year-on-year decline in U.K. album sales in 2012, according to new figures released by labels trade body the BPI. In 2012, combined digital and physical album sales fell 11.2% year-over-year while CD sales fell 19.5%. Digital, however, continues to buttress the decline with significant increase in album and singles sales.
| BUSINESS MATTERS: HOW MUCH WILL IRVING AZOFF BE MISSED ON LIVE NATION'S BOTTOM LINE? Irving Azoff stepped down as chairman and CEO of Live Nation on Monday, just over four years after Ticketmaster purchased Front Line and just under three years after Ticketmaster merged with Live Nation. How much will the company miss the revenue he will take with him?
| PATTI PAGE, 1950s BEST-SELLING FEMALE SINGER, DEAD AT 85: Singer Patti Page, best known for her huge 1950 hit "Tennessee Waltz," has died. She was 85. Billboard also looks at her chart history from the late 1940s all the way through the early 1980s here.
| EXCLUSIVE: TIESTO INKS WITH RED LIGHT MANAGEMENT: Tiësto has joined Red Light Management under its influential founder Coran Capshaw, Billboard.biz has learned.
| JUSTIN BIEBER CALLS FOR NEW LEGISLATION IN WAKE OF PHOTOGRAPHER'S DEATH
Justin Bieber is calling for new legislation following the death of a photographer that was killed in an attempt to photograph the singer's white Ferrari -- which the singer wasn't driving.
| GOOGLE, YAHOO AMONG TOP AD NETWORKS ON ILLEGAL DOWNLOAD SITES, STUDY SAYS
A new report sheds greater light on the companies that place ads on illegal music web sites, and it has a couple very familiar names: Google and Yahoo.
LIVE NATION IN TALKS TO HOST GIGS AT LONDON'S OLYMPIC STADIUM: Live Nation is in talks to host gigs at the Olympic stadium in East London from this summer. The company is understood to be in advanced talks to host events at the London Olympic stadium, which is set to re-open with an anniversary weekend of music gigs in late July to mark the first anniversary of the start of the 2012 games.. The Olympic Stadium is expected to become a major rival to London's other major concert venues - Wembley and the 02 Arena.
ENTERTAINMENT STOCKS HIT 52-WEEK HIGHS AFTER FISCAL CLIFF DEAL: Several entertainment stocks hit 52-week highs in early Wednesday ratings as stock markets in the U.S., Europe and Asia posted gains following a U.S. deal to avoid the much-discussed "fiscal cliff," which would have led to a range of tax increases. Shares of CBS Corp., Time Warner, News Corp and NBCUniversal all reached 52-week highs.
Viacom and Walt Disney, also rose but didn't hit year highs.
JACK WHITE'S 'BLUNDERBUSS' IS TOP-SELLING VINYL LP OF 2012: Here's an accolade that will warm Jack White's analog-loving heart as much as a Grammy nomination. His 2012 debut solo album, "Blunderbuss," was the year's bestselling vinyl record. The LP version of the album, released on Third Man/Columbia, sold just over 33,000 copies, according to Soundscan figures and an announcement from White's camp Wednesday morning. It knocked off the perennial vinyl top-seller, The Beatles' "Abbey Road," which had claimed that spot for the last three years.
Los Angeles Times
GOOGLE'S 20-MONTH ANTITRUST NIGHTMARE SHOULD END TODAY: Google will resolve a 20-month antitrust probe by regulators today with a voluntary agreement and a consent decree on the company's alleged misuse of patents, three people familiar with the matter said. The FTC is poised to announce that Google has agreed to voluntarily change some business practices and settle allegations it misused patents to thwart competitors in smartphone technology, the sources said. The FTC is expected to close its investigation into whether Google skews its search results to favor its own services without enforcement action. The FTC's decision not to take action is a blow to competitors including Microsoft, Yelp, and Expedia.
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- Meet Vomiting Larry
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