Music Media Upheaval: Publisher of Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog Shuts Down; Spin, Vibe, Stereogum to Hollywood Reporter-Billboard

by VVN Music

It really is a very tough time for the publishers of magazines. It seems, at times, that there are more titles on the shelves that are competing for fewer and fewer eyes.

This week has seen two major shakeups in the music media business starting on Monday with the sudden announcement that the U.K.'s Team Rock, owners of Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog magazines along with TeamRock Radio, had closed down, sending 73 of the company's 80 employees out into the street. According to sources, final checks may be in jeopardy and freelancers and consultants may be left not receiving payment.

Word is that the company was losing over $300,000 (£250,000) per month and that up to five companies were looking at buying the company; however, each pulled out recently with the last on Monday, leaving the only choice as shutting the doors.

The remaining employees were originally retained to try and keep the website somewhat operational but, later Monday, it was announced that Thomas Campbell MacLennan, Alexander Iain Fraser and Jason Daniel Baker of FRP Advisory LLP had been appointed as Joint Administrators of Team Rock Limited to find ways to sell the assets.

For those with subscriptions to the magazines, the administrators are also looking into the possibility of continuing publication to some extent. There have been varying reports in some interest in the titles.

In the mean time, Ben Ward of the heavy metal band Orange Goblin has started a Just Giving page to help the 73 employees who have been laid off just before the holidays. Initially setting a goal of just under $25,000 (£20,000), the current total is almost $87,000 (£70,744) from over 3,000 supporters.

Team Rock also ran the Classic Rock Awards, the Metal Hammer Golden God Awards and the Progressive Music Awards.

Then, today, it was announced that SpinMedia, owners of Spin, Vibe and Stereogum, had been acquired by the Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Music Group.

Group co-president John Amato talked about the value of the acquisition to his company. "In recent years, we set out to own the topic of music online, and the acquisition of these incredible music assets helps us do just that. By making these brands part of our family, The Hollywood Reporter-Billboard Media Group will be able to fully capture the value of millennials and music, and continue to strengthen its leadership position in this critical arena."

Spin magazine was last sold in 2012 to BuzzMedia group who rebranded it SpinMedia. Vibe was purchased later.

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