BAMMEDIA, THE SAN FRANCISCO PUBLISHING company that bought The Rocket three years ago, recently folded one of its other music papers, San Francisco-based BAM. Rocket staff got the news last week from Rocket editor Charles Cross; employees were assured that BAM's demise doesn't spell trouble for The Rocket. In fact, Cross says, the news bodes well for The Rocket. Cross could be right. BAM, started in the mid-1970s, was losing money and dragging down Bammedia's business--which, in addition to The Rocket , includes a paper called This Week. Former Rocket editor Steve Duda sums up BAM's dubious contribution to Bammedia's stable of magazines this way: "While The Rocket contributed mightily to the reputation and financial health of BAM, that was never reciprocated."

Cross says any potential impact of BAM's demise will be positive for The Rocket. "It could help us if the company we're a part of is stronger."

While BAM may have been a bona-fide loser, questions about Bammedia's competence and financial viability persist. Former BAM editor Steven Solder said, "[BAM] was positioned really well and had deep roots in the community--two really vital music communities with L.A. and San Francisco. You have to ask yourself why it didn't flourish in that environment."

Moreover, part of Bammedia's business strategy involved its ad network, which allowed ad reps from papers like The Rocket to offer clients wider visibility. Without BAM, which represented an ideal market for advertisers, that equation is no longer as tenable.

Solder, who now works in Seattle at Amazon.com, said in spite of The Rocket's financial solvency, employees are anxious about BAM's closing. "I've heard they are justifiably concerned. The people at BAM weren't given any warning that the magazine would be shut down, so that can't be comforting."

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