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Music Masters Reportedly Unharmed In Universal Fire

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Universal Music Group's audio masters were not damaged in Sunday's fire at the Universal Studios backlot, contrary to one report, according to a UMG spokesperson.

"We had no loss, thankfully," said Peter Lofrumento, Universal Music Group’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications. "We moved most of what was formerly stored there earlier this year to our other facilities. Of the small amount that was still there and awaiting to be moved, it had already been digitized so the music will still be around for many years." -- Billboard

After word got around that the main structure involved was a large film vault, LA Weekly's Nikki Finke reported that the casualties also included "1000's of original Decca, MCA, ABC recording masters from the last century including a wide range of music from Bing Crosby and the Andrew Sisters to Judy Garland and The Carpenters."

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This morning Finke published a clarification from Universal Music Group, claiming there was "little lost" of the audio masters remaining in the vault. The 54-year-old Finke, named the media mensch of the year (by a former employer), responded to the clarification with skepticism: "Funny, because my insiders insist it's a BIG problem," she wrote.

The Vivendi-owned music group rents storage space on the lot from NBC-Universal, but most of what was there was moved to a new location earlier this year, according to Lofrumento.

We may never know the details or extent of the losses suffered on account of the devastating fire. Similarly, we may never be able to verify Finke's report, which, despite being repeated throughout the media, appears based on the word of a single, unnamed source.

Photo by Lorenzo Desiati via flickr.

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