Music: Geffen Records is the leading contender in a bidding war to secure the services of the music industry's latest cutting-edge entrepreneurs: Smashing Pumpkins manager Andy Gershon, R.E.M. producer Scott Litt and Virgin A&R; whiz Mark Williams, sources said Thursday. Geffen Records Chairman Ed Rosenblatt is apparently close to signing the three to a joint venture label deal with his West Hollywood firm, which is owned by MCA Music Entertainment.

* Music: Entertainment Tonight host and New Age star John Tesh inked a joint venture record label on Thursday with PolyGram Records Inc., the Dutch record conglomerate that owns Island Records, A&M;, Motown and Def Jam. Under the new arrangement, PolyGram will acquire 50% of GTS Records, which was founded in 1992 by Tesh and his wife, actress Connie Sellecca.

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