CMJ bought by UK’s Amazing Radio, plan fall relaunch
CMJ held their last NYC “music marathon” in October of 2015, and then the festival just stopped happening; a lawsuit from former employees over alleged unpaid wages followed, with Adam Klein, owner and CEO at the time, eventually being ordered to pay over $500,000. Back in December, CMJ (with new owners) announced on social media that it would relaunch in 2020 and now some details have emerged. As Billboard reports, CMJ has been purchased by UK company Amazing Radio who plan on relaunching the festival this fall.
"It’s the perfect fit," Amazing Radio founder Paul Campbell said in a press release. "With gigs canceled and venues shuttered, the world’s next generation of musicians need help to keep working. ... We plan to breathe new life into CMJ and revive its influence and presence for the benefit of musicians and music. Its heritage is immense -- but we intend to make sure CMJ’s best days are ahead of it by combining it with Amazing Radio."
Campbell launched Amazing Radio in 2009, an online radio service which focuses on emerging artists and offers the ability for artists to upload songs through the site that then can get placed on different stations, and allows fans to pledge money directly to artists. The CMJ relaunch will coincide with the launch of US Amazing Radio, with CEO Andrew Zicklin and chairman Bill Hein (who co-founded Enigma Records in the '80s). Amazing actually tried to acquire CMJ back in 2016, with Campbell telling Billboard at the time, "In the end we didn't do a deal, and the main reason was that I didn't want to spend the rest of my life in court."
"This is a revolution for American emerging artists; the opportunity to be played on the radio, increase their popularity through listener engagement, have the chance to play CMJ and grow their careers, all backed up by audience support and expert advice," said Hein in a statement. "We’re still planning to bring CMJ back to New York in October, come hell or Coronavirus. But we’re here to help musicians, now, anyway."