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(ABC Jan-Dec 11 )
|Founder||Wilfried F. Rimensberger, Jürgen Wigginghaus|
Metal Hammer (sometimes MetalHammer) is a monthly heavy metal music magazine published in the United Kingdom by TeamRock, and in several other countries by different publishers. Metal Hammer articles feature both mainstream bands and more unusual acts from the whole spectrum of heavy metal music.
London-based Wilfried F. Rimensberger instigated the concept of MetalHammer magazine in 1983. At the time, he suggested to the infant Kerrang! magazine in London that they should publish a German version, but the editors of the time were not interested. Rimensberger took the idea to Jürgen Wigginghaus, publisher of German MusikSzene magazine where Rimensberger was Chief-Editor, and proposed the idea of a multi-lingual rock music publication. He also approached some of Europe's largest publishers such as Springer, Ringier and Bauer, but none were interested.
Eventually, Wigginghaus used the Dortmunder Rocknacht as a test ground for the publication in Germany and Rimensberger started the international English version Metalhammer UK from London. He developed the multilingual concept that propelled the magazine to a monthly circulation of over 1 million and, during its peak, published in 11 different languages across the globe - at the time largely outselling Kerrang!. Metalhammer had local language editions in countries such as Israel, Japan, Serbia, Spain, The Netherlands, Italy, Poland, Hungary, France. Metalhammer was also the first Western youth publication in the Soviet Union. Rimensberger made up the original and, at the time, unique concept of a heavy metal lifestyle magazine which was embedded in a network of Metalhammer branded multi-national radio shows, awards, tours, festivals, recordings, etc. This organization made the publication into the leading genre platform of the 80's - and the global leader in his segment of the publishing market.
Rimensberger, who started and owned Metalhammer UK Ltd and the registered rights of the name, later sold them to Wigginghaus whilst remaining in the background until the early Nineties as an adviser to Wigginghaus. Rimensberger was the promoter of the first Metalhammer Lorelei Festival, with leading metal acts such as Metallica, Motörhead and Venom. It was him who recommended Metallica to Peter Mensch (AC/DC) for management. Rimensberger also linked the name Metal Hammer with other successful brands such as the BBC (Friday Rock Show with Tommy Vance), MTV Metal Show with Bailey Brothers and Castle Donington Monsters of Rock Festival.
Harry Doherty, formerly of Melody Maker, became the launch editor of the English-language Metal Hammer, also producing the Metal Hammer TV Show on satellite television. He left to found the video magazine, Hard'n'Heavy, before being asked back by Wigginghaus to take over all the European issues of Metal Hammer and other associated magazines, such as Rock World. In association with Picture Music International, the video arm of EMI Records, Doherty also launched the Metal Hammer Video Magazine, in direct competition with his earlier creation, Hard'n'Heavy. Doherty left after a management dispute with Wigginghaus. Harry Doherty's original personal assistant Sue Powell went on to manage the London-based offices under Wilfried F. Rimensberger.
Rimensberger joined the start-up crew of MTV Europe as a consultant to the director of Network Development. He also became a co-producer of Tom Galley's Phenomena project, organising its worldwide record deal and linking it with some of the best rock musicians and singers. He co-produced with Tom Galley Dream Runner, Phenomena's best selling album which has become somewhat of a rock classic, uniting the best rock voices of the time on one studio album. Rimensberger also represented Stiletto Entertainment Los Angeles in Europe, produced Nina Corti at the Royal Albert Hall and various TV productions for Swiss, German and UK TV. He is the sourcing producer of Barry Manilow's movie project and Broadway-bound musical Harmony, the founder of The Children's Arts Academy and the producer of further cross-culture based projects such as 'Europa - The Woman′ and EuropeanIcons. In the 1990s, Wigginghaus lost control over the publication and, advised by Rimensberger, sold the German edition to Jürg Marquart, the publisher of Penthouse and Cosmopolitan magazines in Germany. Later, Wigginghaus had to sell the remaining UK publication to cover personal financial liabilities.
With their November 2011 issue, the magazine celebrated "25 years of keeping it heavy".
Metal Hammer Podcast
The Metal Hammer Podcast was originally presented by James Gill and Terry Bezer and contains "All of the news, headlines, general rantings and reviews" of the week. Gill and Beez coined the phrase "You Clahn" when describing a silly person.
As of June 2011, Terry left Metal Hammer to work elsewhere and Comedian Stephen Hill replaced him on the Podcast. James left Metal Hammer on 3rd February 2012 and this was also the date of his last podcast. He was replaced on the Podcast by Metal Hammer writer Merlin Alderslade.
Since then Metal Hammer has appointed London-based journalist and musician Amit Sharma as Features Editor, who now runs the Metal Hammer Podcast with Merlin and Stephen. The Podcast has developed a cult following among listeners, with a Facebook page containing over 5000 fans who, at their peak, have been influential in increasing exposure for bands such as britrockers Max Raptor and progressive metal band Bleeding Oath.
Metal Hammer UK changed hands several times, being bought first by Dennis Publishing and then by Future plc. is now owned by Axel Springer. There remain Greek and Italian Metalhammer publications, both published independently. Today, Rimensberger is Founding Chairman of The Children's Art Academy CAA in London, is further involved in international magazine publications and is co-producer of Tom Galley's superstar rock music concept Phenomena and remains producer and director of the related multi-media project Phenomena. Wigginghaus is now publishing a local event publication in Germany. Serbia's edition is published by Color Media Group. It has over 20000 sold copies each month, and magazine covers Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro as well as all other former Yugoslavia republics.
- "ABC Consumer Magazines Circulation Certificate Metal Hammer January to December 2011". Retrieved 20/08/2012.
- Story in Metalhammer Germany special edition 2009, celebrating the publication's 25 years anniversary
- "Metal Hammer website". Metal Hammer. 2011-10-19. Retrieved 2011-11-16.
- "Metal Hammer website". Metal Hammer. 2009-08-07. Retrieved 2009-08-07.
- "The Metal Hammer Podcast Says Goodbye To Gill". Metal Hammer Website. Retrieved 07/02/2012.