Publishing house Future has acquired the Team Rock roster of magazines, including Metal Hammer, Classic Rock and its prog brands, less than a month after administrators were called in, resulting in the loss of 73 jobs.
The acquisition encompasses the magazines, domain names, events, radio license and websites of Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog, Blues and the Golden Gods for £800,000 from FRP Advisory, the administrators of Team Rock Limited.
It is not yet known how many of the 73 members of laid off staff will get their jobs back.*
Zillah Byng-Thorne, Future chief executive said: “The acquisition of these classic rock brands with their associated magazines, events and websites marks a further step in our buy and build strategy.
“It further reinforces our creation of a leading global specialist media platform with data at its heart, which we are monetising through diversified revenue streams.
“We look forward to developing further these iconic and much-loved brands and to continuing to serve their communities of dedicated enthusiasts around the world.”
Tom MacLennan, joint administrator and partner with FRP Advisory said: “We are delighted to have sold the assets of Team Rock Limited to Future plc and wish the new owners every success. The deal took just three weeks to conclude, during which time FRP Advisory received extensive support for our efforts to find a buyer, for which we are very grateful.”
A fundraising campaign for affected staff was set up by Orange Goblin frontman Ben Ward, raising more than £52,000 for employees in less than 36 hours.
Founded in 2012, Team Rock was responsible for a stable of music titles including Metal Hammer, Classic Rock and Classic Rock Presents Prog. It also ran TeamRock Radio and teamrock.com, which received an average of three million visits per month. It bought Classic Rock, Classic Rock Presents Prog and Metal Hammer from Future Publishing in 2013.
Ward started the campaign after it emerged that 73 members of staff are to be laid off immediately with no severance pay, six days before Christmas. With an initial target of £20,000, the campaign is currently at 260% of its target.
The campaign has received donations from rock fans around the world, including names such as Avenged Sevenfold, Black Stone Cherry, Asking Alexandra, Tesseract, Earache Records. Singer/songwriter Frank Turner has also set up an auction in aid of those affected.
* Music Week has since been told that "all seven retained staff have been transferred. We’re [Future] also in conversations with people in key roles today about employment opportunities and over the coming weeks we’ll be looking at optimum levels of ongoing employment".