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  Disappearing Ink

EXCLUSIVE: Shakeup At The Advocate As Here Media Focuses On Digital Properties

Just a few months after returning to the newsstands as a bimonthly, the Advocate is about to undergo another major change. Recognizing that the future is digital, Here Media, which publishes the Advocate and Out, will be producing the magazine through Grand Editorial, the media company run by Out editor-in-chief Aaron Hicklin. Matthew Breen (right), the editor-in-chief of the Advocate, will retain his title but the magazine’s print focus (and Breen, being a good soldier himself) will shift from the current LA headquarters to New York, where Grand is based.

There is precedent for the change. Here Media outsourced the entire staff of Out to Grand Editorial last year, with the entire staff being laid off and some brought back on a contract basis. This time only Breen will be on contract; the rest of the Advocate staff will remain Here Media employees, at least for the time being.

Breen says that the move makes sense for Here as it tries to invest more in its digital properties. “The biggest growth opportunity for the Advocate brand generally speaking is online and mobile,” he says. “Here is devoting more of its resources that went in past to print to online and mobile.”

These are tough times for print journalists, particularly at news publications. (Newsweek, anyone?) The move back to the newsstands was surprising for swimming against a current that grows stronger by the day. Still, Breen insists that there is still a market for the print edition.

“We have a readership that feels a very specific ownership having the magazine as a brand,” says Breen. “Our advertisers will want a print edition as well. While a lot of growth opportunities are online, we still have demand for print.” For how long, though, is another question.

The Advocate has long had a bumpy history as a business, verging on extinction multiple times in its 45 years. Just three years ago, contributors  were complaining bitterly about unpaid writing fees. Still, the magazine manages to hang on. Around the same time, the print edition was folded into Out as a “supplement,” effectively ending the magazine’s days as a stand-alone title. With such dwindling visibility and broader industry trends working against it, the magazine somehow manages to hang on, at least for a while longer. As Breen puts it, “We are nothing if not survivors at the Advocate.”

True, but even survivors are mortal.

By:           John Gallagher
On:           May 3, 2013
Tagged: , , , , ,

  • 9 Comments
    • jeff4justice
      jeff4justice

      The Advocate, Queerty, Joe.My.God, Bilerico Project, Towleroad, Pam’s House Blend, etc… Don’t they all pretty much post the same things that we already see on HuffPo Gay Voices & Buzzfeed LGBT?

      May 3, 2013 at 6:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • viveutvivas
      viveutvivas

      They have not been news magazines for years, just advertising vehicles targeted at a certain class of gay consumers. True, every magazine except maybe the “Sun” is an advertising vehicle, but these ones are NOTHING BUT advertisements, including pretty much all their “articles.” Nobody will mourn their demise, since that already happened many years ago.

      May 3, 2013 at 7:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jerry12
      Jerry12

      Having been a reader since it’s first edition (If you can call it’s first printings “Editions”). We have both been through a lot together over the years. And it looks we will both be dieing together, also. At 86,I do not expect to be around much longer,
      myself.

      May 3, 2013 at 8:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joetx
      Joetx

      They can start by getting rid of that bigot, Michael Lucas.

      I stopped reading “The Advocate” b/c they continued to give that bigot a platform to spew his trash.

      May 3, 2013 at 9:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jeff4justice
      jeff4justice

      @viveutvivas: Good point. I use Firefox ad blockers on these blogs.

      May 3, 2013 at 10:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charli Girl
      Charli Girl

      dont say that jerry…i hope you hav a gr8 weekend!!!!

      May 3, 2013 at 10:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike
      Mike

      I hope they get editors that take more pride in their work by proofreading and using spell(and grammar)check, before they publish an article.

      May 3, 2013 at 11:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • aintnoshame
      aintnoshame

      You guys SUCK at Queerty and all gay media for what it’s worth!

      How much did the scumbags at here! (Colichman, et al…) pay you to drop the story about here! execs being sued by Bank of America for $25M.

      Where’d that story go?

      It was real. It was serious. It was fraud. And you dropped it.

      Good follow up guys.

      May 4, 2013 at 11:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • film@12
      film@12

      @aintnoshame:

      I was very disappointed to see those spot-on articles exposing the losers at Here! TV vanish from Queerty. I can only assume that Here! threatened slander and Queerty immediately pulled the articles from their site.

      I’m just pleased that GLAAD did NOT include Here! on their Network Responsibility Index for 2012. Had they included them there would have been many of us who would have demanded Here TV’s immediate removal. In the past GLAAD has allowed Here! to sponsor them which was very troubling. An organization against defamation and yet they took money from an organization who has ripped off and downright abused members of the LGBT community.

      Also, I believe Here! is being sued $90 million for fraud not $25 million.

      May 6, 2013 at 9:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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