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Metal Hammer's Future Is Uncertain As Parent Company Shuts Down

Does this mean its the end for these publications? Unless there is somebody willing to buy the names and relaunch the brands, it seems so.

Does this mean its the end for these publications? Unless there is somebody willing to buy the names and relaunch the brands, it seems so.

Metal Hammer magazine has been bringing the UK and the world the latest metal news since 1983 – as long as I have been born. But it might be on its last breath.

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The UK's Daily Record reports that Metal Hammer's parent company, Team Rock, "has entered administration." This seems to be the UK's equivalent of either bankruptcy or liquidation, according to Wikipedia:

“The process – in the United Kingdom colloquially called ‘under administration’ – is an alternative to liquidation, or may be a precursor to it. A company in administrative receivership is operated by an administrator (as interim chief executive with custodial responsibility for the company’s assets and obligations) on behalf of its creditors. The administrator may recapitalize the business, sell the business to new owners, or demerge it into elements that can be sold and close the remainder.”

Either way, it does not look good for the staff of the magazine, with a reported 73 job cuts with only seven members of the staff left on board. From the report:

Team Rock had also acquired the Classic Rock, Prog and Metal Hammer magazines from Future Publishing in 2013 in a £10.2 million deal which took the Small/ Mid sized Deal of the Year at Insider's 2013 Deals and Dealmakers Awards.

Appointed administrators from FRP Advisory said the business had traded at a loss “for a significant period of time, with consequent constraints on the cash position”.

The administrators added: “Cost-cutting measures were implemented and despite the best efforts of the directors to seek additional investment or a purchaser for the business, no deal could be completed, leaving the company with no viable option other than to enter administration and to immediately cease trading.

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“A handful of staff have been retained to assist the administrators, with all other employees made redundant.”

“Given the financial situation of the company, unfortunately 73 staff have been made redundant with immediate effect (46 in London; 27 in High Blantyre).

“Seven staff will be retained in the short term, three in London and four in High Blantyre, to assist the administrators with magazine publishing, website maintenance and other matters.

The report notes that at the end of 2015, Team Rock was £11.7 million in debt, a number surely much increased at this point.

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Metal Hammer editor Merlin Alderslade confirmed that he was let go in a series of tweets moments ago:

The official Metal Hammer Twitter account also noted uncertainty:

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This is truly a bummer for fans of metal journalism, but a story we've heard all too many times before.

What we know for sure is that there are essentially no writers left at Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, etc. Does this mean its the end for these publications? Unless there is somebody willing to buy the names and relaunch the brands, it seems so.

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