Loss-making station Planet Rock for sale
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Loss-making station Planet Rock for sale

Malcolm Bluemel, the owner of Planet Rock, is reportedly looking for a buyer for his national digital radio station.

He’s ran the station since buying it from GCap Media in 2008, and has since invested £3m of his own money which The Guardian says is losing between £200,000 and £300,000 a year.

Four potential buyers have shown an interest, according to the report, in which Malcolm said: “Digital radio has come of age and Planet Rock is at the forefront of that.

“I have put four and a half years of my life into this and £3m of my own money. Some people might say that I was lucky to have it in the first place, but I am not going to walk away from that lightly.”

One potential bidder could be the new TEAMROCK service started by John Myers and Billy Anderson. But Myers told us: “At that level of losses it’s hard to determine value – if any.”

The station has just under a million listeners according to the latest RAJAR figures.

But who could be a potential buyer? Leave your thoughts below.



0 19 212 25 September, 2012 Digital Radio News September 25, 2012

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Roy Martin is Managing Editor and Founder of RadioToday. Follow him on Twitter @roymartin.

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19 comments

  1. peasy

    I am an avid listener to PR. and have noticed a real drop in the standard of rock music played, too many songs repeated during the day. the only part I look forward to listen to is the rockblock, and only because it is chosen by the rock fan listener…. please we need someone with passion to take this on and change things for the better

    Reply
  2. Nadie Keating

    Planet rock has just become one giant sales pitch. When you have Icons of Radio like Nicky Horne selling dating and casinos then you have a problem. And that problem is the station ceased to be about the music and more about a way of extorting money from its listener. The fact is that the station wouldn’t be indifficulty if it just kept to its successful format. And losing brilliant DJs like Rob Birnie are further nails in the coffin. I hope whoever buys PR returns it to its glory as its listener base are loyal and passionate rock music fans and thats what we want from our radio station.

    Reply
  3. James

    The upmost respect to Malcolm for giving Planet Rock a go. You can tell he poured his heart and soul into that station, and really wanted to make it work. In a different economic climate, things may have turned out better. Hats off to you for trying, sir. Our industry needs more people with vision and passion like you.

    Reply
  4. Paul Wizbat Watson

    The station needs to learn what made radio great many years ago and what importance dj’s used to have to a station, letting the dj choose a proportion of their playlist to enable them to bring new music to the listener based on their own opinions just like john peel and not just using ‘presenters’ forced only to play music playlisted by faceless people who are given backhanders by record copanies to play only what they want promote and those that think the station is their own personal jukebox. PR could also consider establishing its own record label and start championing new bands themselves, there are plenty of bands out there and no one is in a better position to give them airplay than this staion.

    Reply
  5. Mike Clark

    Unfortunately Planet Rock has become just another playlist driven station where the DJs play what they are told to, by a computer! I wrote to the station a couple of years ago pointing out that they only play a small handful of tracks by bands that have produced hundreds! Their response was a typical “we know best” attitude. This blinkered, lazy way of running a radio station is why listeners are getting BORED!!! The VIP Club becoming a subscription only service was the final nail in the coffin as far as I’m concerned. I do hope that they find a buyer who is prepared to go out on a limb and create something new, vibrant and interesting for all of us die-hard Rock fans.

    Reply
  6. Radio Geordie

    Maybe now is the time to let TOTAL ROCK takeover the slot. They at least know how a rock and metal station should sound like.
    I would listen to it.
    The clue’s in the name.

    Reply
  7. Steve Price

    In the current climate it’s hard to see this as a viable investment for anyone. With losses running at the level they are it’s a big risk. Plus the cost of running on DAB is crazy!

    Reply
  8. Nikgee

    A few weeks ago Malcolm had an amazing outburst at me, I can understand his anger, but I felt at the time it was aimed at the wrong person, and still do. But what was said immediately made me suspect the station would be up for sale. I am not going to say what he said to me personally, as it was between Malcolm and myself, and those within earshot….

    I have always believed that there is a future for the station, and I hope it won’t be just internet based, but sadly this is down to the government and to see if they go DAB or DAB+ (neither of which is compatable).

    Yet I have put my money where my mouth is and backed the station with the VIP club, I am not backing Malcolm, I am backing Planet Rock. I said I would do this before it was bought, along with many others.

    Rock music is a niche market, but it is a huge niche and definitely has a future, so please don’t let it die.

    Planet Rock is the best radio station out there, but it used to be better, yet over the years it has suffered one big problem, the restrictive playlist. I have worked on the PR stall a fair number of times, had a lot of abuse thrown at me, all because of the playlist yet remained diplomatic and intact for want of a better word.

    Tommy Vance used to have a two hour show on a Friday evening and fit more variety into a very short two hours, and still find time to have a slot for new unsigned bands, large archive sessions, a competition and plenty of interaction with the listeners..

    Reply
  9. Malc B

    It’s got boring and has been for a long time. Too much by the same artists especially Led Zep, AC/DC, Foo Fighters and this will have to be reduced before I listen again. This overload of the same stuff hour after hour is obviously forced upon the presenters who just play what’s been decided and once a track is put on the playlist it can stay there for months. And there’s too much pre recorded on before midnight like Alice here’s one I made earlier Cooper.

    Reply
  10. Dekka

    I think TeamRock,People like John Myers…has the potential too Turn around this station,and of my opinion the chance to
    bring in a whole new team of presenters!!!!

    Reply
  11. Dean Stockton

    I used to listen to radio when it was advert free but listen less & less now due to the amount of adverts they play. The last thing I want when listening to the radio is to hear about dating or car buying or any other advert, unless it refers to music that is played by the station.

    Reply
  12. batteryman69

    Sadly, I have just turned off PR for the last time. The constant barrage of “Sign-up to the VIP club” was, this morning, taken to a new level. Announcing a series of competitions, associated with their ‘Advent Calendar’, they stated that only members of the VIP club would be able to enter…
    I have to disagree with some of the posters, who say that the play lists are too limited. Take a listen to my local ‘Rock’ station – 106.1 Real Radio XS, who used to be called ‘Rock Radio’ – I’m sure you will change your minds.
    For most of the time, the output from PR suits me fine – and I guess this is where the problem lies; differing tastes. I could no more listen to say, Thrash Metal, than I could listen to Justin Bieber. This puts me in a minority group, along with the other, previously satisfied PR listeners. As a minority listener, I would be glad to pay for the service, but as most of my listening is done in the car – and there is no reliable way to stream radio to a car – this is not an option for me.
    So, It’s back to R4 to be informed, and the cd collection to be entertained. Shame really. Nice while it lasted.

    Reply
  13. Paul Roberts

    What a set of wankers….. this guy puts his own money in.. and loses plenty but you lot all want it for free.. you have absolutely no concept of what this costs – or if you do then you are just idiots! “The fact is that the station wouldn’t be indifficulty if it just kept to its successful format. ” Please…

    Reply
  14. G Man

    Planet Rock would make money if it would advertise properly rather than nonence like Planet Rock Dating and Planet Rock VIP club which must be costing them a fortune……back to basics…..great classic rock music and ads to pay for the brilliant presenters……well most of them are brilliant
    Long live planet Rock

    Reply

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