Column from January 17th, 2000 issue
One interesting happening this week that seems to have passed most of the world by, is that Dennis Publishing in the UK has sold four of its titles to Future Publishing. Two of the titles are "Classic Rock" and the yawn-inducing "Metal Hammer" (still rubbish after all these years!).
This could have worrying consequences for Classic Rock. Future Publishing is very much about selling to the spotty-faced adolescent market, so its hard to see how Classic Rock with its clearly older target market could fit into the mix of things. If is any consolation, Future did also buy "Hi Fi Choice" (which has been on the wane for some time), and its another one that is targeted at an older audience.
Another issue this raises, reading between the lines, is that Classic Rock may not be doing that great. I mean if they were pulling in the sales and advertising revenue, Dennis would hardly want to sell them would they? Overall Classic Rock seems to have started to lose its direction and its name would be better being "Oldie Rock" or "Seventies Sounds"! They also don't include a cover CD anymore which could be another indication that they are in some trouble and struggling to get people to stump up the cash for appearing on the cover CD. The rock market needs that publication to be a success, but it needs to keep its direction focused and it also needs to have the right financial backer. I'm not sure that Future Publishing is the right owner, but I guess it's one of those situations where everyone will tell me "time will tell". That's all well and good, but we won't know if they are the wrong type of owner for that publication until its much too late!
Apologies to everyone waiting for new reviews at the AOR Basement site ( http://www.aorbasement.com ) but pressures of work are going to make it unlikely that there is going to be a new set of reviews there until well into February, and possibly even the second half of February.