Radio CEO says ‘I’m no fat cat’

Staff Writer

The UK Digital station, Planet Rock, last month announced that it would offer an 'opt-in' service for listeners who were comfortable paying a monthly fee.

The paid content includes extra ad-free content and online content, plus access to live session recordings. For listeners who wanted to access much of Planet Rock's content, they can still do so at no charge.

Up until now all good. However it has gone pear-shaped.

Planet Rock listeners have been attacking the multi-millionaire CEO and Owner of the radio station over the decision calling him a 'money-grabber', and he has responded with an open letter to station fans on their website saying "I am not a fat cat";

Dear All

I am mortified by the comments posted and the emails I have received since this morning and I think it’s therefore only fair that I post my response;

For the last four years I have worked my backside off to keep this station going. 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.


I have invested thousands of pounds in getting you the additional content which you can purchase or not as you choose, there is no obligation.

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.

Malcolm Bluemel

Friday 29th June 2012 

Frankly, he has a point. He's not forcing anyone to subscribe. 

However, is pointing out to listeners that he's burned through 3 million pounds (the equivalent of around 10 million dollars Australian) likely to draw sympathy?

Either way, the challenge of monetising digital in the UK continues.

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