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Metal Hammer, Classic Rock and Prog Magazines Acquired by Former Owner Future Entertainment for £800,000

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Mere days before Christmas, 70 staffers at Metal Hammer and several other music magazines were laid off as Team Rock, their publisher, went into administration (a U.K. analogue of bankruptcy). A crowdfunding campaign led by Orange Goblin frontman Ben Ward raised more than £70,000 to benefit the laid off workers, who were let go without severance.

But Metal Hammer is not completely dead. The Guardian reports that Future Publishing, which sold Metal Hammer and Classic Rock to Team Rock in 2013 for £10.2 million, has reacquired both titles — along with Prog — for just £800,000.

In case it’s not clear: Future profited £9.4 on Metal Hammer and Classic Rock in less than four years time, and they got an extra title out of the deal, too. That’s insane. The agreement also includes rights to events such as the Golden Gods.

What happens next isn’t exactly clear. Future hasn’t yet said whether they plan to re-hire any of the staffmembers who were laid off in December, although it’s worth noting that of the 70 who were laid off, not all of them worked on Metal Hammer and Classic Rock, but Team Rock’s other publications as well. Still, we’d imagine (and hope) that Future would decide to bring back some of the folks who ran the publication.

It’s also worth noting that Future itself may not be in the most healthy financial condition: in November of 2015 the publisher announced it would be laying off 460 staff members over a two year period in an attempt to reverse £35 million worth of losses.

So, while it’s fantastic news that Metal Hammer will live on in some form, don’t get too excited just yet. The future (no pun intended) is still very murky.

[via Rock Feed]

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