An open letter from Planet Rock CEO Malcolm Bluemel says the station has been criticised for offering subscription-based content.
Malcolm says he is mortified by the abuse and comments – and that if he was a fat cat he would have not spent £3m of his own money keeping the station running.
“For the last four years I have worked my backside off to keep this station going,” he said. “It has, during that time, cost me personally £1,000 a day (yes, I have spent every penny I’ve worked all my life for), to get up at 5.45 in the morning and travel to London, to agonise over playlists and deal with all the compliance and contractual issues that go with running a small business these days.
“I’m told that we have a passionate audience who love the station but as soon as I try anything to ease the tremendous losses I get abused by a minority of that said audience.”
In his letter, posted on the Planet Rock website, he points out the station is still available free of charge 24 hours a day and the additional content is there for people to purchase or not as they choose.
“I am not a fat cat. If I was I would have kept my money in my pocket, stayed at home with my wife and children and been 3 million pounds better off. The team at Planet Rock remain dedicated to providing our listeners the highest quality service possible both on and off air and will continue to do so.”
The station announced on June 11th that is was planning to charge £5 a month for a VIP club, which will provide listeners with extra ad-free programmes and content online.
At the time, Malcolm was quite open about offering the service to help the station survive. He said: “The world is changing and Planet Rock has to change with it. We are asking our family of listeners to help us make that change and secure the future of their favourite radio station.”