Team Rock goes into Administration

As if 2016 wasn’t already an utterly dreadful year, now comes the news that Team Rock, publishers of Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog magazines has gone into administration with the loss of 73 jobs, a week before Christmas.

If a buyer cannot be found and these titles cease publication it will be devastating blow not just for music writing but also for those genres of music ill-served by the rest of the British music press. It was host to many talented writers passionate about the sorts of music the mainstream media tended to dismiss as unfashionable and irrelevant.

You’d never catch any of their writers filing a Pseud’s Corner style piece about production line pop extruded for twelve-year-olds. Let’s hope they all land on their feet.

I hope something of Team Rock survives. For many of those bands who appear regularly on this blog, Prog Magazine in particular was the only national high street print publication that was ever likely to feature them. Yes, there are limited-circulation subscription-only magazines and many specialist bloggers, but nobody else has a fraction of Prog’s reach. I know I’ve been critical of Prog in the past, and questioned whether having one and only one powerful gatekeeper was healthy for the scene in the long term, but their loss will still leave a huge hole, and the bands will inevitably suffer from the loss of the exposure they brought.

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11 Responses to Team Rock goes into Administration

  1. PaulE says:

    The loss of Prog Magazine would be a serious blow. Let us hope that they have better finances than the parent company and it attracts a buyer.
    Prog Rock itself would not continue to exist without a fanbase willing to spend money. Internet crowdfunding was pioneered and proven by this community. That ought to persuade investors that this is viable. For me it has been a “must read” and a “must buy”, even if there were one or two articles I disagreed with.

  2. Chris Hall says:

    That’s a real shame. I only buy 3 or 4 for issues a year but it will definitely be missed.

  3. Tim Hall says:

    It sounds as though the staff have been royally screwed-over. Being reported today that they won’t be paid for December. They have also shut down all the magazine’s official Twitter accounts.

    This blog post by The Anonymous Sound Guy suggests bad management was the cause:
    https://secretsoundguy.wordpress.com/2016/12/19/business-and-passion/

    Meanwhile the metal band Orange Goblin have set up a JustGiving page for the staff:
    https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ukrockcommunity?utm_id=108&utm_term=WPVKkYrKA

  4. Tom B says:

    Disgusted with the way they have been treated. Hope they find new jobs soon. Ben Ward is one of life’s good guys.

  5. PaulE says:

    Over 75k on that JustGiving page. That is over 1000 each – not a months pay, but it will help.

  6. John Hunt says:

    I’ve only ever bought Classic Rock Magazine a few times, when they have published articles on Queen or T.Rex, but I’ve donated a bit to the Just Giving page. Must be hard, losing your job just before Christmas.

  7. nich says:

    As well meaning as some of these comments are – “I’ve only ever bought Classic Rock Magazine a few times, when they have published articles on Queen or T.Rex” and I only buy 3 or 4 for issues a year but it will definitely be missed – they sum up the problem these magazines faced.

    While it’s great that people donated to the Just Giving fund, it would have been better if they had spent less and simply bought the magazines regularly. The actual magazines were still in profit, but couldn’t possibly sustain a mickey mouse radio station which chose not to sell advertising and websites piled high with free content plundered from the print titles and terrible, desperate click-bait articles.

    The fact that Classic Rock hosted an awards ceremony in Japan and paid for Johnny Depp to attend via private jet – just weeks before they screwed-over their staff and went into administration, tells you everything you need to know about the degree of criminal mismanagement at senior level.

    Billy Anderson and his TR management cronies should run and hide. These people have destroyed lives, livelihoods, reputations and successful magazine brands out of sheer egomania. They are absolute scum.

    Edited by moderator to replace inappropriate metaphor

  8. Tim Hall says:

    To be fair, even people who only bought 3-4 issues a year still made a contribution towards the bottom line. And as you say, the magazine business was viable anyway.

  9. PaulE says:

    A Feb. 2017 issue of Classic Rock is new in the local supermarket. I hope it isn’t the last one.

  10. Tim Hall says:

    Assume that one had already gone to print by the time the axe fell, so it makes financial sense to distribute.

  11. Subscribers are saying they haven’t seen their copy, though. If that’s the case, it seems that the administrators trying to recoup every last penny they can — subscribers have already paid (and will cost us in postage), so screw ‘em and let’s sell their copies a second time in Smiths.

    I hope that’s not the case, but I’ve gone through “administration” before and I know how they work (and how much they award themselves to pay for their “services”).

    I stress that it will be the administrators thinking like this, not the people who actually produced the magazine, who now won’t be making any decisions at all.