Metal Hammer Magazine is Back Up and Running!
After entering administration in December (a UK analogue of bankruptcy), Future Entertainment acquired the magazine from TeamRock — along with its Classic Rock and Prog titles — and began the process of putting the pieces back together.
Now, less than two months later, the first issue of Metal Hammer under its new and former owners (Future sold the property to TeamRock in 2013) has hit the news stands, featuring a cover story interview between Black Sabbath and Avenged Sevenfold.
Metal Hammer editor Merlin Alderslade tells MetalSucks that the “main team” behind Metal Hammer has been hired back by Future, accounting for roughly one-third of the 73 folks that were laid off by TeamRock. “So far, the core editorial teams of each magazine have been hired back. There are also a few other ex-TeamRock employees that have been brought in, such as Scott Rowley, who is now Editor In Chief across all three mags, as well as our two Online Editors and some of the sales team.” Alderslade adds that no new staff has been hired at any of the three magazines, although some of Future’s existing staff has been helping out.
Readers worried that the content of Metal Hammer might change under new ownership can breathe a sigh of relief: “Future haven’t expressed any interest in changing what Hammer does or having any kind of editorial influence whatsoever,” Alderslade explains. “They respect that we know this scene, we understand the bands and the fans within it and that we’re the best people to continue the work we were doing. We may be introducing some new features over the next few months, but that’s all part of the natural process of magazine evolution. It’s our call.”
As for the nearly £80,000 that Orange Goblin’s Ben Ward crowd-funded to benefit the 73 laid off staffers — who were let go without severance right before Christmas — Alderslade tells us that the money was evenly distributed last week to all the former full-time workers. While receiving those funds was very helpful, the gesture from Ward and the metal community as a whole was even more meaningful: “The general outpouring of support we received after TeamRock imploded, was a bigger silver lining than any of us couldn’t have imagined. Thank you to everyone who made it possible for Hammer to bounce straight back from the brink. We won’t let you down.”
We’re SO glad that Metal Hammer — and Classic Rock and Prog — continues to breathe new life. May it live for 31 additional years beyond the 31 it’s survived already.