9 Jan 2017 / Brandon John
Classic Rock And Metal Mags Have Been Saved From The Chopping Block
It’s safe to say that music media has changed a lot in recent years, and it’s tough for music publications out there – especially those who work in print. You may have noticed a smaller range of music mags littering the shelves of your supermarket as they compete for shelf space against the swathe of pop-culture rags that continually force Kimye to make and break up for our supposed amusement.
Even decades-old stalwarts aren’t immune, as was realised by the 30-year-old magazine Metal Hammer and its stablemates Classic Rock and Prog when they were shuttered in December, The Guardian reports, causing over 70 staff across the publications to lose their jobs with no severance pay – right before Christmas.
But, like all good Christmas stories, this one has somewhat of a happy ending, as U.K. metal outfit Orange Goblin leapt to the rescue, throwing a fundraising gig and launching a crowdfunding effort that raised over £70,000 (around 115,000 bucks in Aussie money) for the beleaguered staff.
Plenty of money came pouring in not only from fans and readers across the world, but also acts including Avenged Sevenfold, Tesseracts, Black Stone Cherry, Asking Alexandra and former Gallows frontman Frank Carter, the latter auctioning off some memorabilia for the cause.
Rather than just helping out some music journos in a tough spot, however, the outpouring of support may have made even bigger waves. Following the strong turnout from their audiences, the mags have now been re-purchased by former owners Future Publishing, who currently run titles like Guitarist and T3 – bringing them back to life in the final hour.
The long-standing Metal Hammer had been kicking since 1986, while Classic Rock launched in 1998 and Prog started in 2009. Future Publishing originally sold the titles to fellow publishers TeamRock for £10.2m in 2013, The Guardian states, but with the new owners falling into administration in December, Future have been able to reacquire all three for a mere £800,000.
It’s not celebrations all-round however, as only a small number of staff are believed to have been offered guaranteed jobs following the move, although more may be able to negotiate new roles in the transition.
While it may not be the ideal ending to the story for everyone involved, it’s encouraging to see bands and fans kicking up noise to help out some passionate music journos, and to see a 30-year-old publication fly the metal flag a little longer.
Feature image via Metal Hammer