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Is Gay Media Mogul David Unger On the Verge of Collapse?

kapferunger

PUBLISHING PERILS — There’s more happening at gay publisher Window Media and parent company Avalon Equity Fund than simply seeing Genre editor Neal Boulton running for the door. As we told you last month, Avalon has been placed into receivership by the federal Small Business Association for not having enough cash on hand to match the taxpayer funding it received. Now we’re hearing there might be an active investigation underway into Avalon founder and managing partner David Unger, known to most as the bossman at The Washington Blade, The Southern Voice, Genremagazine, Express Gay News, David, Houston Voice, The New York Blade, 411 Magazine, and HX. Oh, and all the freelancers who claim they haven’t been paid? Their lawyers are involved.

Unger (pictured, right) is reportedly being looked at by the U.S. Department of Labor, according to a source on the inside, who tells us an agent was at Window’s offices on Friday looking for Unger, who wasn’t there because he “works from his home now.” The agent “wandered around with a notebook and talked to a few people.” (Avalon’s website lists Benjamin E. Brandes as another founder and managing partner; it’s unclear whether he’s also being investigated. We’re waiting for our requests for comment to be returned.)

genredec2008

At least some staffers on salary at Window and Genre haven’t been paid “for weeks,” we’re also told. Which might explain Boulton’s exit. But what about Genre publisher William Kapfer (pictured, center) and executive editor Brian O’Connor? We’re told they’ll also be quitting today. (We’re waiting to hear back on whether that’s true.) And being strapped for cash might also explain why issues of Genre aren’t reaching subscribers. Update: More information arrives saying Kapfer has “formally quit and even issued a letter to his staff about his leaving.” As for the others? “After Neal left pretty much everyone quit with him”; just try calling them at the office.

And what about all the freelancers who claim they haven’t been paid by Window Media for the past year? On Friday an attorney representing “a huge band of former freelancers” supposedly “served … papers” to Unger and Avalon. (We have yet to see any record of an actual lawsuit, and court papers are often “served” by court officers or law enforcement, not opposing council.)

Meanwhile, says our source, the Small Business Association, which sank $38 million in loans into Avalon, has “discontinued their investment in Window” as of last week. (We haven’t confirmed this.) But if that’s true, it would leave Avalon very strapped for cash: Already its coffers were nearly empty, and without SBA’s funds, there’s no liquidity. Not helping is the dwindling advertising revenues from the Blade newspapers, Genre (which, we’ve often heard rumors of, gives away full pages in exchange for favors to top execs), and magazines like 411 and David (where ad policies are even looser). Window, we’re told, even issued a memo about “changing the payroll date” after “missing payroll for salaried employees for a third cycle.”

It’d be unrealistic to assume any of this means the gay publications Unger and Avalon have a stake in will fold tomorrow. But their future grows more uncertain.

UPDATE: Here’s Kapfer’s goodbye memo to staff, sent yesterday afternoon. Turns out his last day is March 27.

Subject: William Kapfer stepping down as Window Media CMO/Genre
Magazine Publisher

Dear Staff:

I wanted to confirm that each of my team members were aware that I am stepping down as Window Media’s CMO and Genre Magazine’s Publisher, effective March 27th.

Attrition is a natural progression in any industry, and I feel I’ve done my best to bring the company into a Web 2.0—21st Century state of mind. Although I am not aware of the details for a succession plan, the company will remain in good hands, under the direction of David Unger, Mike Kitchens and Steve Myers.

The management team I’m leaving behind has an acute understanding of the current economic situation, and I am confident are making significant steps—courageous steps—to ensure that Window Media and Genre Magazine are able to maintain our leadership position in the LGBT community. In addition to working with world-class sales and publishing executives over the past three years, I’ve been able to build two amazing teams in Marketing and Online—talented teams I’m leaving behind at Window Media.

We have a deep and talented management team across all areas of the company. Our successful implementation of core strategies and the timely rollout of key products this past three years testify to the effectiveness of this team. I continue to believe that intense focus on our key news products is the best means to create value with our available resources and continuing to create cross-platform, integrated programs that include a rich digital strategy to address that value—will continue to strengthen Window Media’s unique operating platform in the industry.

Window Media did not begin to fully invest in its online department until I arrived in 2006, so the recent successes we have seen are largely in part due to the maturation of investment into a strategic online strategy. Under the leadership of Kevin Smith, specific items that attributed to the success of our digital strategy include: simple weekly/monthly rates, sales training in creating packages, resource investment into search engine optimization, capitalizing on high-traffic components to increase page-views (photo galleries, surveys, etc.), redesign of sites to accommodate large agency buys, and much more were introduced.

What’s more, 2008 pushed the envelope in development and strategies that had been missing previously, enabling us to expect to see continued growth in 2009 due to the following: additional online revenue stream opportunities, investment in e-marketing strategies, further online sales training, and many more added website features to drive traffic (interactive dining guides, new bladewire 2.0 system, and interactive video sections for every website).

Our commitment to high quality journalism also continues unabated. Window Media and Genre Magazine are public service journalism companies—and we understand that our investment in providing honest, independent information continues to perform a vital role in our democratic society. In so doing, David Unger and his team will continue to broaden our reach in each community and should expect our total audience in print and online to grow, further solidifying the company’s position for delivering mass reach for advertisers in each market.

The same technology that brings us new competition for audiences and ad sales also empowers us to redistribute work, centralize some functions and operate far more efficiently. Over the past three years, Window Media has done a better job at sharing news content and resources within our company, which both saves money and improves quality.

Finally, and after much soul searching and contemplation, I am leaving Window Media & Genre Magazine with the confidence that the leadership team will continue my vision of creating a hybrid print and online, news and advertising company for the increasing needs of the LGBTQ Community—one strongly positioned to capture our share of business in the evolving media world.

Sincerely,

Bill Kapfer


UPDATE 2: Is Unger just going to close Genre all together? After he allegedly fired the magazine’s sales staff (and refused to pay their salaries or commissions, according to our source), he announced “so that everyone could hear it” that he’s closing the magazine. Meanwhile, Unger was “behind closed doors” with the man reportedly from the U.S. Department of Labor. (Unger has yet to respond to requests for comment.)

By:           editor editor
On:           Mar 9, 2009
Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,
  • 76 Comments
    • Jon
      Jon

      The fact that Bill Kapfer is part of the Genre staff as this house of cards collapses is no coincidence. Kapfer is a very impressive front man, who masquerades as an innocent bystander. Don’t be fooled. He’s a snake in the grass whose reputation precedes him among circles where he’s more well known. He’s been able to work the system in New York at a shallow depth securing a social circle and impressing a few people along the way. But trust me, if there’s some questionable wheeling and dealing going on at Genre, Kapfer is an active participant. And he would stab you in the back while kissing your hand. I don’t know where he’ll end up next, but he’s not to be trusted.

      Mar 9, 2009 at 2:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sebbe
      Sebbe

      “But their future grows more uncertain.” – That’s an understatement. LOL

      Mar 9, 2009 at 2:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael Palm Springs Jon
      Michael Palm Springs Jon

      I do not like Genre. I invented it and invented Instinct. Gay media is basically falling apart because I left the scene.

      Mar 9, 2009 at 2:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Diva
      Diva

      Boy, that Michael (Jon) from Palm Springs certainly does not like Kapfer. LOL.

      Mar 9, 2009 at 2:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • anonymous
      anonymous

      Including myself, I am among several staffers here who have not been paid our salaries. There are so many labor violations going on here with respect to our benefits (my Medical Flex spend has run dry due to their lack of funds, too), I have not gotten any of my tax papers and it’s nearly April, and all David Unger can do is visit us and rant at us out LOUD when we ask him when he will pay us.

      Mar 9, 2009 at 2:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anonymous 2
      Anonymous 2

      @Jon: William Kapfer was the ONLY good thing about Window Media. The entire publishing community respects his work and his ethics and has been trying to court him since coming on board. David Unger lied to him and placed him in a situation that he ultimately discovered was unethical to endure. Jon, whoever you are, you are within the minority in your feelings about William. The world is small my friend and in media, everyone has a way of coming back. Remember that before you slam your former colleagues.

      Mar 9, 2009 at 2:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David
      David

      I us to work in the same offices at Genre and Unger always made Bill take the fall and do his dirty work. Unfortunately guys like Jon had been fooled, as Bill was truly the “innocent bystander” using Jon’s words. Anyone who knows him knows that he was a cool guy and nice to everyone. This whole story is such a bore now. Why can’t we here about bigger stories that impact our everyday lives? Let’s hear more about what is happening here in California to our rights.

      Mar 9, 2009 at 2:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jake
      Jake

      What passion.

      Mar 9, 2009 at 2:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stop! Or My Daddy Will Shoot!
      Stop! Or My Daddy Will Shoot!

      @David: NO 24-HOUR PROP 8 COVERAGE PLEASE NO FOR THE LOVE OF GOD NO.

      Mar 9, 2009 at 3:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • James
      James

      I worked for Genre and Bill was always a gentleman. He believed in being completely up front with everyone, even freelancers who he had never even met. If there was an outstanding invoice, and yes there have been many, he would cc: me on all of his notes to the finance staff. But it became quite apparent that Bill had no power of David Unger and that David just has no intention of paying the people who worked very hard for Bill and Neal on Genre. Thank heavens for good lawyers.

      Mar 9, 2009 at 3:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • HollyWoodMan
      HollyWoodMan

      That memo sure read like a letter from a killer. HA HA HA

      Mar 9, 2009 at 3:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CONGRATULATIONS BILL
      CONGRATULATIONS BILL

      You were the only good one there. You will be missed, go far, and do great things. There is a reason that always smile and remain peaceful. It was because you were a good person. All of us around you were calmed by that and you were an inspiration to publishing.

      Mar 9, 2009 at 3:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • True story
      True story

      David Unger fucked Bill just like he fucks everyone. But there is nothing sad here other than the nice people who Bill leaves behind because Bill was smart enough to leave. And he did so in his usual eloquent way.

      Mar 9, 2009 at 3:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tyler
      Tyler

      Ditto Congrats – We all wish Bill great success. I hope that he reads this. Go, BILL

      Mar 9, 2009 at 3:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jock
      Jock

      What happened to Unger’s partner in SLIME, Matthew Bank?

      Anyone know what that fucker has been up to lately, besides driving another GLBT publication into the ground like he did with IN Newsweekly?

      Mar 9, 2009 at 3:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anoymous
      Anoymous

      Is HX still open?

      Mar 9, 2009 at 3:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Qjersey
      Qjersey

      Where did all the money go?

      Is this another example of top execs raiding the piggy bank and leaving the corporations bust? HMMMMM.

      Mar 9, 2009 at 4:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sexinthecity
      Sexinthecity

      QJersey – you sound like you hit the nail on the head. Money being spent by owners on sport suites and such?

      Mar 9, 2009 at 4:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bos02131
      Bos02131

      Bill sounded like he let this happen to himself—nice guys finish last. We have all been those types of suckers who have been so nice that we get taken advantage of? We were happy that the company pulled out of Boston – they screwed just as many lives in New England.

      Mar 9, 2009 at 4:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • EquityGuy
      EquityGuy

      QJ: The money went into the company’s pocket – leaving the employees behind.

      Mar 9, 2009 at 4:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shaniqua Ubangi
      Shaniqua Ubangi

      Matthew Bank has nothing to do with Genre or how it is run so I don;t know why Jock keeps bringing him into the equation. HX is still open as I got the new issue on Saturday night.

      Mar 9, 2009 at 5:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • True story
      True story

      There is no story here girls. Matthew does what he does and it is quite separate from Genre. Bill was a fine man and led Genre very well always treating the staffers with respect. Everyone knew that David Unger was in way over his head with not enough operating capital, no publishing acumen, and no clear vision as to how to proceed. He used all of the employees like credit cards, spending, spending and spending but with no intention, sad to say, of ever paying them in full. Bill left when he, like all of the others had so long ago, discovered that David was a crook.

      Mar 9, 2009 at 6:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hector
      Hector

      @Shaniqua Ubangi: HX will not exist much longer from what I heard.

      Mar 9, 2009 at 6:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hardmannyc
      hardmannyc

      Good reporting, David. You smelled smoke, you found fire. I’d have to question the “$34 million” in SBA loans. That’s far more than Window’s entire capitalization. The SBA may be as fucked up as every other loan agency out there, but they’re not that fucked up.

      As for Bill Kapfer: I’ve heard that he’s a phony, I’ve heard he’s a great guy. What I haven’t seen is him producing as a publisher. That may not be his fault, but that’s still (or was still) his job. I think Genre really got squeezed by Metrosource, which covers the whole affluent coastal urban pretty gay market a lot better. And is free and rakes in a ton over its listings. Also, Unger, like a lot of others (Sam Zell for example) bought into print properties just before the moment that they were beginning their very steep decline.

      Mar 9, 2009 at 6:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • True story
      True story

      @ Hardmannyc: You “haven’t seen him producing as a publisher” is curious at best. It is clear you are biased here. William Kapfer led a team that incurred very little debt and ad revenue (as many people as there are who haven’t been paid is NOTHING compared to what a magazine venture typically incurs in debt and will easily be dealt with through the insurance that covers David Unger) enough to afford an expensive relaunch from which the net was an enormously high sell through, growing circ., and the breaking of many ad categories that his previous team was unable to achieve even though (thanks to Daving Unger) his ad sales team consisted of two men. He also led a team that out-lasted Cargo and many other magazines that have recently folded. What you also have failed to do in your queeny, bitchy way was to acknowledge the challenges that faced William Kapfer and how creative he was in facing them with élan. If you had been on the inside, you would be celebrating this. But again, it really doesn’t matter, because the team that is gone, now inclusive of William Kapfer, will go BACK to doing things far and away from the tiny, smalltown drama that is David Unger and his puny empire of nothing. At least William Kapfer gave his all to his community JUST by trying to do the right thing for these historic magazines.

      Mar 9, 2009 at 7:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Guy
      Guy

      You all are forgetting that Avalon owns and operates many, many businesses. Window Media is suffering, but so are a ton of other news publications, including the Tribune and the NYT to name just a few.

      This obviously isn’t good, but saying all of these problems are just with Window companies just isn’t accurate. Don’t forget the radio and tv stations – which are doing just as badly, if not worse.

      Mar 9, 2009 at 8:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hardmannyc
      hardmannyc

      True Story, I don’t know who you are, but you are fighting this battle way too hard not be be involved. I was neither queeny nor bitchy. Kapfer had a lot of challenges: no budget, hard times for print, recession, no back up, only one national magazine to sell so no bundling etc. The list goes on. Still, as I said, a publisher lives or dies by the ads he brings in and the rates, and I don’t see those great new ad categories and accounts you’re talking about in the past two years of Genre.

      As for outlasting Cargo et al, isn’t that the point of David’s story? That Genre in fact, isn’t surviving?

      I’m not sure how ‘historic’ Genre is. I hate to see any magazine go under, but it was always bathing in the shallow end of the pool. Maybe Kevin Naff can do something with it.

      Mar 9, 2009 at 8:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hardmannyc
      hardmannyc

      ^^^ That said, I’m not saying he didn’t try to sell best he could under the circumstances.

      Mar 9, 2009 at 8:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • A Bit Of Reality GAY PUB REALITY
      A Bit Of Reality GAY PUB REALITY

      Oh MIcheal Davis—fucking Jerk off once a day and get over yourself. You WERE small time…when you worked on a low level at Genre decades ago, ARE small time now…as are all of the former people who DID work on Genre like Andy T., and , YOU Michael, and all of the other hags you teamed up with, will never be anything like William.

      Oh and David Unger will never be the Randolf Hearst of gay publishing like Mr. Paul Colichman of Regent IS. LOL.

      Mar 9, 2009 at 8:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike Barton
      Mike Barton

      It makes me wonder if they’re paying their other vendors, like their printers. It doesn’t look good.

      Mar 9, 2009 at 8:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Poodle McClure
      Poodle McClure

      @Hector – who cares if HX isn’t around much longer. The statement that Jock made (and for the same thing, Queerty) is incorrect. David Under is not the bossman at HX. Matthew Bank has no influence or interaction with any Window Media publication. What is going is accurately reflected in Guy’s statement – ALL media is suffering across the board and has for quite some time. Television, Radio, Print, etc. is on the decline in this horrific economy. Time Magazine just issued a list of the 10 most endangered publications (http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1883785,00.html?xid=rss-topstories) which includes The New York Daily News, The Boston Globe, and the San Francisco Chronicle.

      In today’s world being a “gay” publication is not enough anymore. Those that advertise in publications such as Genre, Instinct, et al can find the same demographic and reach the same market with publications such as Details, GQ, etc. With the new medium being the online/internet market, perhaps that is where such publications will still live on.

      Mar 9, 2009 at 9:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Westvillage
      Westvillage

      Hardman is obviously not a magazine person – Metrosource is a regional mag. Genre is a national mag. What a poor excuse to even bring to the blog. We would hope that Genre would not consider Metrosource a competitor – that would be a disaster for any national magazine. Sounds like you are a novice. Genre would have to see national brands such as OUT and Instinct competitors. Thinking Metorsource says that Hardman works or is part of HX or NY Blade – as they are NY based.

      Mar 9, 2009 at 10:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Qjersey
      Qjersey [Different person #1 using similar name]

      Hardman is obviously David U’s BF Etore. Great post.

      Mar 9, 2009 at 10:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • michael davis
      michael davis

      @A Bit Of Reality GAY PUB REALITY:

      What queen wants to call me out?Give your full name you tired coward.I will be suprised if you do.

      Why you mentioned my name in this story is very strange? I have said nothing publicly about Kapfer.

      Its quite obvious the Genre problem- the shit runs down. Look at the 3 ring leaders.

      What have you done ever to contribute to the gay cause?

      We many many created stories about gay men that were making a difference to the community.

      Small time? Look in the mirror.

      I worked as Creative Director for Genre for about a year and then Instinct. Both magazines have had a very positive influence on gay men at times.

      Most publications go through cycles, the good and bad. Genre has always been dear to my heart because Andy ,Randy and I and the team created a great publication at the time.

      I worked for JR a class act who Publishes Instinct and contributed to help that publication as well.

      Whoever you are calling me a hack- go fuck yourself and come out of the closet with your name . you wanna get a hold of me go to my website michaeldavisphoto.com, then call me if you have something to say.

      Mar 11, 2009 at 12:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mister C
      Mister C

      Personally, I don’t read them they are not diversified at all. So if it tanks…

      WHATEVA!

      Mar 11, 2009 at 1:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • echelon
      echelon

      Well, if you never tried to publish your own magazine, you have no idea what it takes. If we lose Window Media, we lose a part of our history and need to respect the efforts. Genre went through a terrific change after being acquired by Windows, has been around for many years and I do not take their demise lightly. By the way, Kapfer really is a great guy and if you don’t know him, don’t slam him.
      http://www.echelonmagazine.com

      Mar 11, 2009 at 12:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Former Gay Media A.E.
      Former Gay Media A.E.

      The national gay media properties are run by a bunch of idiots. I was shocked when I worked for one of the national magazines in NYC at the shady business dealings, below average intelligence, and lack of vision and professionalism. I got out FAST.

      Mar 11, 2009 at 3:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Redsonja
      Redsonja

      If you can’t pay your employees, you shouldn’t be in business.

      Mar 11, 2009 at 3:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gay Rights Adv
      Gay Rights Adv

      Ditto, Echelon! Kapfer has been an important advocate for many of us.

      Mar 11, 2009 at 4:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gurlene
      Gurlene

      I don’t give a gosh darn heck how it is window dressed (lack of funds, we’re short this week whatever) having people work for you knowing you have no money to pay them amounts to stealing.

      I am a commercial driver by trade and by the second week of excuses to make up a short check I walk. Case closed. Discussion over.

      Mar 11, 2009 at 5:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shaniqua Ubangi
      Shaniqua Ubangi

      @Gurlene – That scenario may work for you but for many which may include those as any of those publications, it may not be something they can do at this time.

      Mar 11, 2009 at 6:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Qjersey
      Qjersey [Different person #1 using similar name]

      A commercial driver has flexibility – they can just drive away.

      Mar 11, 2009 at 10:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bayareaboy
      Bayareaboy

      It seems like the Michael Davis dude is pissed at the world. now kissing any ass that is still standing. what a whore. we california press boys do not want you. Go home.

      Mar 11, 2009 at 10:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • michael davis
      michael davis

      @Bayareaboy: what in my response made you feel like I am pissed at the world you ignorant sad soul.

      I am pissed at the guy that talked shit about me and the team I worked with at Genre 7years ago. Of course the coward never called me or sent me an email to let me know who they were.

      That is because the post about me was from some idiot like you bayareaboy.

      You are nothing more then a bitter.jealous queen , so call me , I am easy to find, and I never kiss ass because I do not need to and never have.

      My name was brought into this because I told Unger and Kapfer that they would be sued by the photographers they owed money to The economy is only one reason the magazine is dying,, it was a very very poorly edited.. They could not close ad deals because no one trusted their numbers. The art and graphics were good but the stories? what stories!

      Do me a favor- if anyone wants to say shit about me or anyone else for that matter- then get behind your lame ass fake comment names and use real ones.

      Such cowards,.

      Mar 12, 2009 at 4:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • STUD
      STUD

      Ouch! Someone has some demons to deal with.

      Mar 12, 2009 at 8:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • joe123
      joe123

      move on. all companies are having a crap time right now. it’s called a depression.

      Mar 12, 2009 at 9:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheUsualSuspects
      TheUsualSuspects

      As a former employee, I can tell you first hand that some of these folks are only getting their due. It’s a good thing that Kapfer told all the staff in his memo all the wonderful things he did while there because, believe me, you’d sure never know it otherwise. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving person. Unger is a businessman and my guess is that his is only a crime of bad judgment – keeping Kapfer as long as he did and in a position to bring in other key staff members at their other publications who do not have a clue how to run a newspaper.

      Mar 12, 2009 at 10:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheUsualSuspects
      TheUsualSuspects

      @True story: You must be joking…or else you never met Kapfer – he’s one that they should have checked references twice and questioned every line of his resume’.

      Mar 12, 2009 at 10:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheUsualSuspects
      TheUsualSuspects

      “The trio”

      Mar 12, 2009 at 10:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • STUD
      STUD

      It seems like the guys or girls with all the anger (not Unger) must think that this gay media group was not part of the larger media climate that sucks right now. Holding individual responsible for the economy is beginning to sound like a grudge, not criticism. This really has become a bore.

      Mar 12, 2009 at 11:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheUsualSuspect
      TheUsualSuspect

      As Unger’s BF I am offended by all those accusations.

      Mar 12, 2009 at 11:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Bokeh
      Bokeh

      For a little more on this apparently enduring story visit
      planethomo.com

      Mar 12, 2009 at 1:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Virginia Slim
      Virginia Slim

      If this is the ongoing corporate culture at these papers, well, it predates the recession, see below. Thanks guys!

      http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/display.php?id=23570

      Mar 12, 2009 at 2:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GOV
      GOV

      Virginia: I don’t live in DC, but is the City Paper a competitor of the Blade?

      Mar 12, 2009 at 3:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Virginia Slim
      Virginia Slim

      Nope. City Paper is DC’s alt weekly (main stock in trade has been covering city gov’t, city goings on, movies/concerts, and advertising the rock shows), while Blade is the gay paper. And the author of that story is one respected scribbler, Google him, knows his stuff.

      Mar 12, 2009 at 3:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Been There
      Been There

      I was working at WM when Bill was hired. On his resume he misspelled Liza Minnelli. He spelled it Lisa… What gay man applying for a gay marketing job doesn’t know how to spell Liza??? Especially after bragging about working with her. She even sang a freaking song about it. Guess they should have know then…

      Mar 12, 2009 at 4:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JAKE
      JAKE

      I have heard silly comments but a comment about seeing someone’s resume. That tops them all. Been There – you are so sad LOL

      Mar 12, 2009 at 4:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Chris C
      Chris C

      That is not nice to make fun of Been There, Steve G. was a terrific publisher. He came to the table with a lot more brains than the investors. The sales staff looked up to him and he really drove sales across the entire company.

      Mar 12, 2009 at 5:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jason Bell
      Jason Bell

      After everyone is done bitching at each other, look further back at the real cause of the collapse of WM…go back before Avalon, years before any recession/depression. Look at the SBA loans back then. Look at why William Waybegone and Chris Cain are no longer there. Look at each purchase of each publication and the follow-up of the financial structure of each purchase. Look at the new corporations created when the old ones were maxed out with SBA loans. With that type of structure you can only continue in business until someone catches on. I believe someone caught on two years ago and this has nothing to do with any recession/depression, and all fingers point straight to the top, well past Genre.

      Mar 12, 2009 at 5:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Virginia Slim
      Virginia Slim

      “Pocketbook considerations may have played a role in the desertion. Former photo editor Clint Steib and others point to a litany of problems: a period when health-care benefits were suspended, significant lag times for checks to be paid, and anti-union activities. (Crain denies that there have been financial problems and says the union issue was settled amicably.)

      “The large number of resignations since the sale is typical, says Crain. ‘It’s not uncommon for there to be significant turnover when a paper is bought and sold,’ he says.”

      From day one, folks, from day one they pulled this stuff:

      http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/display.php?id=23570

      Mar 12, 2009 at 5:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheUsualSuspect
      TheUsualSuspect

      Good point, Jason B. You have the most grounded look at this non-sense. You go!!!!

      To think that one guy liked David U. could have caused everything does not make sense. I liked when Steven Guerrini came – when I worked for him he was the best boss. He was a great sales executive and always gave us time off for personal and sports commitments. He got the short end of the stick.

      Mar 12, 2009 at 5:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Writer
      Writer

      Did you know that the Washington City Paper story was from 2002?

      Why are people commenting on a 7 year old story?

      Mar 12, 2009 at 5:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jason Bell
      Jason Bell

      To: TheUsualSuspect – Guerrini was just another “front-man” who walked into my office one day, shortly after being hired by WM. I do not have the same opinion about him that you have.

      Mar 12, 2009 at 6:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Funnyboy
      Funnyboy

      Good call, Jason. I hear ya! You had a great reputation. Front men are overrated!

      Mar 12, 2009 at 6:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Virginia Slim
      Virginia Slim

      @Writer: Yes, that Washington City Paper story is from 2002, and that’s exactly the point! These questionable financial situations were standard operating procedure, lol, throughout the company’s life, and not just during the current severe recession.

      Mar 12, 2009 at 6:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DEEPTHROAT
      DEEPTHROAT

      You all can rant and rave about whether or not Window Media will fold or not; whether Kapfer is fabulous lipsyncing as Liza or Lisa; whether David Undger is the next Bernie Madoff. I COULD CARE LESS. As a current WM employee, I continue to LOVE my work, collect and CASH my paycheck, and at over 50 years old, am titilated by the fact that I can work for an incredible gay press, which when I was coming out 30 years ago, was afraid to read, let alone work for. Let’s all just relax and put this in perspective shall we! It’s a tough business, especially today when print media become more and more irrelavant. Hell, I haven’t renewed a print subscription in over a year with my online options. To blame all this on management/ownership is a bit over the top. From my vantage point, we should be celebrating the publications and working to prop them up, not wish them failure, and blame it all on whomever. It is the Blades of this world that gave a political and legitimate face to the “homosexual” community. This thread makes me want to puke. Get over yourselves. In the end, should these magazines fail, it will be a huge loss for us all. Unger, et al, have obviously desired these publications to succeed in some fashion. No matter how good or bad the management is/was, the end result was that several gay publications have been on the street for years, and still are! I’ll work it for as long as the publications allow me the priviledge.

      Mar 12, 2009 at 10:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Touche
      Touche

      Point taken. You are right. Thread over!

      Mar 12, 2009 at 11:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DEEPTHROAT
      DEEPTHROAT

      My guess is that one of you fagalahs will tag me for spelling Unger with a “d”. Hey, it’s tough to break away from my underwear fetish. The typo was automatic. No doubt, this will be my undoing. TMI. I’ll be outed for sure now.

      Mar 12, 2009 at 11:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jezabel
      Jezabel

      Did you see this commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1t8UuzUqqI

      Mar 13, 2009 at 12:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Virginia Slim
      Virginia Slim

      @Deepthroat: I’m glad you enjoy working for a gay media company, and I’m also glad as hell we have gay media. But the survival of The Washington Blade and other gay newspapers would not be in as serious doubt today if they were still independent, truly local papers. As for Genre, please, our lgbt rights aren’t exactly threatened by the demise of an inflight magazine.

      David Unger, and William Wayourn, and Chris Crain, put their egos before the needs of the community and its valued media, just like Wall Street traders put their own needs before those of their investors.

      And the sooner the Blade and other papers are split off, and pulled out from under the crushing and irrational debt load that put the flimsy ego ship together, the better. You don’t see Gay City News or other truly independent lgbt newspapers withering, do you?

      You also fail to mention the gay papers that these geniuses already closed, or which became emaciated beyond shame, under their management.

      Gay press, hell yes. Ego driven debt ridden messes? No thanks. And speaking the truth about all this is important to the survival, if it is still possible, of the gay papers.

      Mar 13, 2009 at 1:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Virginia Slim
      Virginia Slim

      Loved that commercial. Illustrates what Genre and its managers were all about.

      “You’ve got a full life: the outfits…from clubs to cars.”

      Yeah, that’s what constitutes a full life alright. Kind of like how a full life includes throwing a big Manhattan party while you aren’t shipping issues to subscribers.

      And Genre was purchased while they closed a gay newspaper. ‘Cause, you know, you have to set priorities in a full life.

      Where’s our gay Jon Stewart when you need him? Time for a major co-rrec-tion.

      Mar 13, 2009 at 1:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DEEPTHROAT
      DEEPTHROAT

      @Virginia Slim: Splitting off the individual publications is not out of the question, and would be great if it happens.
      Over the years, there have been numerous pubs that have imploded in many cities, good economy or bad. Both newsy papers and bar guides. Buzz Magazine and The Independant in Florida struggled and died in that over-printed market.
      InNewsWeekly was struggling to begin with against Bay Windows. Making it the New England Blade operated from NY didn’t work. And the ownership of these entities were arms length at best from Avalon’s view. WM obviously did a half-hearted attempt at best- to your point.
      And I’m not so certain that discussion is to the benefit of the publications. It creates a negative buzz on the street that feeds on itself.
      If the WM publications survive a sell-off; great. Another scenario will be their extinction if financial corrections are not provided. And in this electronic climate, filling the void in print may not happen.
      I may be a part of antiquity in 2009, but I cling to the right and ability to read about the issues. A local paper helps create and energize a local community. Without it, we’ll just Twitter away.

      Mar 14, 2009 at 9:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David Anger
      David Anger

      I am such a pig. I forgot to tell everyone.

      Apr 7, 2009 at 11:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheUsualSuspects
      TheUsualSuspects

      Bottom line – Kapfer’s gone, Genre folded. Do the math. The other publications he oversaw seem destined for the same unless some serious leadership changes are made.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 5:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TheUsualSuspects
      TheUsualSuspects [Different person #1 using similar name]

      Do the math. A phrase all my closest friends and colleagues know I use. Have you figured it out?

      Apr 20, 2009 at 9:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jason Bell
      Jason Bell

      I received the following email today.

      Dear Staff,

      It is with a heavy heart that I announce I’m leaving Window Media to join Dynamix Unified Solutions as Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Mike Kitchens will step in to my role in Florida. Steve Myers will do the same in Atlanta.

      I have been truly blessed with meeting so many amazing people and hold dear to my heart the fond memories of the last ten years. I look forward to reading the publications and supporting their advertisers for years to come.

      My last day with Window Media will be Wednesday, April 29th.

      Sincerely,

      KEVIN HOPPER

      Apr 20, 2009 at 11:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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