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Is Next Magazine Buying What’s Left of HX?

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Though fag rag HX announced its sale, it hasn’t announced its buyer. But insiders tell Queerty that competing NYC gay weekly Next is the suspected acquirer — even though these two magazines are no strangers to feuding.

The sale — not yet confirmed — would make sense in one respect. In the declining print advertising market, consolidation is perhaps the only true hope for survival. There’s always been a tense relationship between Next (edited by Brian Moylan and published by David Moyal) and HX: They both served the same type of reader, and they both went after the same advertisers. And both struggled to convince advertisers they should spend with their title, since most gays in New York can be spotted reading both of these weekly glossies. But as we’ve seen with this week’s closure the New York Blade (and last year’s New England Blade), nobody is immune.

If you’re in the business of publishing a gay niche title, you’re facing a nightmarish scenario. See: Genre.

But it’s sort of startling to think the publisher of one of these magazines thinks they can profitably publish two of them. If Next picks up HX for pennies on the dollar, it could prevent another buyer coming in to the market and threatening Next‘s market. By buying HX, Next effectively crushes the competition, and scores a monopoly on … gay bar listings. But running two extremely similar titles? Not a recipe for success.

Meanwhile, we’re told HX Media’s Matthew Bank continues to look for a buyer for HX’s Expo division, which is said to be looking at shallow revenues and debt issues — often not the best things to have on the books when looking for a buyer.

Also not helping things? Unconfirmed rumors flying around that Bank and boyfriend Peter Hemmel — not exactly friends of their staffers — paid themselves lavishly out of HX’s coffers amidst reports that staffers had trouble receiving their paychecks, going days and weeks without pay, with payroll dates continually being pushed off. Publisher Gary Lacinski reportedly used cash out of his own pocket to satisfy an angry batch of staffers. Of course, stories of employee turmoil and revolt at HX are nothing new.

By:           jd
On:           Jul 2, 2009
Tagged: , , , ,
  • 34 Comments
    • Jason Bell
      Jason Bell

      History has shown that advertisers don’t like a monopoly and don’t like giving all their money to one person, regardless of how you want to cross promote both even if one is up-scale and one is trashy.

      Further more, it would be less expensive to just start another magazine, since there always has to be at least two.

      Jul 2, 2009 at 3:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Furonda Brown
      Furonda Brown

      What also hasnt been mentioned is that Next owns the printers that HX was printed on. Next is part of the 1-800 POSTCARDS business and is not reliant solely on advertisers to survive as it has other printing services that it offers. Therefore if Next is assuming HX then it stands to reason that HX is basically writing off a large part of it’s debt to them as word on the street is that they were owed THOUSANDS in back invoices from HX.

      Jul 2, 2009 at 3:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lance Rockland
      Lance Rockland

      I want someone from the IRS to do an audit of Matthew Bank’s books. This guy has a lot to hide.

      Jul 2, 2009 at 5:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • HellsKitchen
      HellsKitchen

      David Unger is probably very pleased that he has once again destroyed a piece of media history that has been important to our community. HX was doing fine until his fat butt had to get involved. Thanks Unger for being such a no-publishing-talent that you destroy everything you touch. Washington Blade will be next.

      Jul 2, 2009 at 6:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John Agnesini
      John Agnesini

      I can’t imagine why anyone but Next would want that shit show. When I was there, we owed buckets of cash to Next and this is probably the best way of settling the debt. I have no sympathy for my former employer, they burned enough of us through the years. Next was ALWAYS much better than us, they actually care just as much for the design as they do their advertising dollar.

      Jul 2, 2009 at 8:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • lynnethedynne
      lynnethedynne

      just because David Unger from Avalon Equity wanted to make an honest living from investing in media is no reason to beat him up. It is not fair that you harass David, his boyfriend Ettore Toppie or Matthew Bank. Leave them alone.

      Jul 3, 2009 at 12:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Its About Time
      Its About Time

      @lynnethedynne WHY they screwed everyone that ever worked for them.
      learn your facts b4 you defend the idiots

      Jul 3, 2009 at 9:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RogueBlueJay
      RogueBlueJay

      At least you should not bring Ettore Toppie Unger’s BF into this, he has been an innocent victim. As for Bank’s BF Peter Hemmel, he added to all the bad stuff that happened in the company, in the office and in the lives of the staff.

      Jul 3, 2009 at 9:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DrewScarey
      DrewScarey

      @RogueBlueJay: I agree. Ettore was not involved in this mess unlike that pretentiouos, snotty, holier-than-thou-my-shit-don’t-stink Peter who made more than a few people miserable. There’s a reason why he was fired from Glamour – no one liked working with him and his work wasn’t that great.

      Jul 3, 2009 at 11:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mia Misery
      Mia Misery

      @John Agnesini: John you were a pain in the ass to work with and were fired for being a total fucktard who would not do what was asked of him. You were hated by the staff. Your lovely posts on Craigslists about having free beer or free office furniture at the HX offices were illegal and if not for those who just wanted you to go away, charges wuld have been pressed against you.

      Jul 3, 2009 at 11:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John Agnesini
      John Agnesini

      I take that as a compliment. You have to be a bitch in this business or else people like Bank will walk all over you. And bitch, please…Who besides Bank and Voss hated me? What’s wrong? Can’t post your REAL name when you slam me? Fucktard, that’s a real mature word to use, I thought I graduated high school years ago. If anyone hated me there, it’s because I refused to take any shit from “upper management”

      Jul 3, 2009 at 12:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CherishHope
      CherishHope

      John: You did great work.

      Did you see the NYT’s coverage of the New York Blade selling?

      Matthew is quoted as saying that the minority piece (which is more like 50%) had little to do with decision to sell. Boy, he and David Unger sure are full of it.

      New York Gay Newspaper Suspends Publication
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      By JENNIFER 8. LEE
      Published: July 1, 2009
      The New York Blade, one of the two major gay and lesbian newspapers in New York City, has laid off its editor in chief and suspended publication, the chief executive of its publishing company said on Wednesday.

      “Everyone was let go, but the people on The Blade know that they may come back if The Blade is coming back,” said the executive, Matthew Bank, of HX Media, which was formed in 2005 by the merger of The Blade and HX Magazine.

      The moves came on Tuesday after HX was sold to undisclosed buyers. The Blade, a biweekly paper with a free circulation of 22,000, was left with an uncertain future.

      “It doesn’t have an issue scheduled until a week from Friday.” Mr. Bank said. “There are a lot of things that can happen between now and then.”

      The decision to suspend publication comes at a particularly active period for journalism concerned with gay issues: the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots and the gay pride parade on Sunday, the proposed same-sex marriage bill in the State Senate and discontent over the Obama administration’s performance on gay-rights issues.

      “It is an incredibly exciting time for gay journalism,” said Kat Long, who had been editor in chief of The Blade since February. “It’s important that gay papers are around to document it.”

      Paul Schindler, editor in chief of Gay City News, the rival New York City gay newspaper, said The Blade had “made good contributions over the years.”

      While a minority owner in HX Media has gone into receivership, Mr. Bank said that had little to do with the decision to sell the magazine.
      Instead, he pointed to the advertising climate: “The economy and the future of print media being more difficult was definitely weighing on us.”

      The Blade’s recent gay pride issue had been a relatively slim 28 pages.

      “Gay pride is to gay publications what Christmas is to retail,” Mr. Schindler said. “When I pick up The Blade and it’s in 28 pages, then this is a business that is in serious problems.”

      Jul 3, 2009 at 3:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Watching You
      Watching You

      @John Agnesini:
      The language is upsetting.

      Jul 3, 2009 at 7:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Gayle
      Gayle

      John: I hear you. Just because Matthew Bank and David Unger screwed up gay media is no reason for people to be so negative. David Unger might have been a nasty, creepy, selfish, a-hole, but Matthew Bank was stuck when he traded 1/2 of NY Blade for HX to help the company out financially. Matthew Bank was truly the victim when the arrogant, self-serving David Unger approached him.

      Jul 4, 2009 at 1:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Its About Time
      Its About Time

      @Gayle Matt Banks is just a big an A-Hole he screwed more people over. I wish people would stop defending him. You go and get a job to work, NOT get abused, made to work your ass off and then get screwed out of your paychecks. there are 100’s of free lancers going back years that have not been paid from these jerk-offs.
      It was all about using people till they where fired or quit.
      From NYC to Phillie, to Boston and beyond. The 2 idiots are the most hated in the entire GLBT gay media world. Good people are still hurting from there job loses while these to go away on trips.
      Learn your facts before you defend people.
      and for the record, HX screwed 2 printers over the years, and paid pennies on the dollar after one went belly up. look back here on queerty 2-3 years ago and find the story. Screwing NEXT is nothing new for Banks and Unger.

      Jul 4, 2009 at 7:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Carlos
      Carlos

      @Its About Time: Wow, you sound like a nightmare employee. You don’t even work for me and I want to fire you.

      Jul 4, 2009 at 10:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Watching You
      Watching You

      @Carlos: What’s the real story?

      Jul 4, 2009 at 11:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Watching You
      Watching You

      @penisenlargement: That’s not the story.

      Jul 4, 2009 at 12:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Carlos
      Carlos

      @Watching You: Sounds like a disgruntled ex-employee of theirs to me. In my experience, that kind of lashing out and name calling comes from the young and inexperienced, who seem to think that business owners are somehow morally bound to keep them employed, must invest all their money and time back into their business, and that being laid off or fired is some sort of betrayal or injustice. It’s very naive.

      People are employed at will, not forced at gunpoint to accept or hold jobs. Think you’re underpaid, or over-worked, or not treated well? Get another job! Inexperienced, useless degree, maxed out credit cards, limited skills or options, clock watcher, think work interferes with your partying, workout, or personal grooming schedules? *Too bad*

      It sucks being an adult sometimes. Put up or shut up.

      Jul 4, 2009 at 1:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Watching You
      Watching You

      @Carlos:
      Amen.

      Jul 4, 2009 at 1:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Beefer
      Beefer

      @Carlos: I think I love you. Well said… I think that pretty much sums it up.

      All the best to the HX employees and employers who stuck it out and earned their keep. Live life and prosper!

      Jul 4, 2009 at 5:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mia Misery
      Mia Misery [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @John Agnesini: You make me laugh. You sure are one to talk about signing under real name considering you posted as “MaryPoppins” under the Queerty article where you were fired.

      Jul 4, 2009 at 11:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MIDTOWN
      MIDTOWN

      Beefer: Exactly! Although Matthew Bank, Peter Hemmel and David Unger screwed the entire staff and gay community. We need to stay positive and cool!

      Jul 5, 2009 at 12:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Its About Time
      Its About Time

      @Carlos Well sounds like you must be from same boat they are in FIRE people, for the record, never worked for the idiots.
      just know so many that did, that got fired after hitting there goals, quitting because they where screwed out of there paychecks.
      and others that have never been paid, or paid months late.
      Is that the way you run your business??? I cannot believe, you say you own a business and you agree with the way they treated there staff. OH well tells you what kind a person you really are.
      YES time to move on, as they are finally out of business, no need to dwell on them anymore:)

      Jul 5, 2009 at 2:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Watching You
      Watching You

      @Its About Time:

      Use their instead of there

      Jul 5, 2009 at 5:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Carlos
      Carlos

      @Its About Time: I’m the freelance contractor that built out the technology for the relaunch of hx.com this past November and then theblade.net in January, so I know firsthand what it’s like to work for Matthew and HX and how frustrating it can be to get paid. Doesn’t make them evil.

      People who “hit their goals” are meeting the minimum requirement to be considered to be doing their job properly. That may be enough in a government job, but not in the private sector for small business. For a chance at longevity, especially in this job market, you have to do a GREAT job, and far exceed goals. If you can’t bring yourself to do that, then you’re going to get creamed.

      As far as the kind of person I am? You don’t know anything about me. You say you haven’t even worked for HX? So your vitriolic screed is based on hearsay, gossip, and innuendo? What kind of person does that make you?

      Jul 5, 2009 at 6:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Watching You
      Watching You

      @Carlos: A person who uses there instead of their

      Jul 5, 2009 at 7:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MIDTOWN
      MIDTOWN

      Carlos is obviously looking for another job and trying to dis his pathetic previous employers Matthew Bank and the freak David Unger

      Jul 6, 2009 at 9:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Furonda Brown
      Furonda Brown

      Am I the only one who finds it funny that the former art director says that his competition had a better dsign when he was the one in charge of it?

      Jul 6, 2009 at 3:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Its About Time
      Its About Time

      How can you defend the idiots and then agree you had to chase your $$$ ???? there are many that never got paid and or still waiting.

      What kind of person does that make you????

      Hearsay??? NOT at all
      it’s common knowledge they don’t pay that’s not hearsay, I think
      that it is just people saying the truth!!!

      HOW can you even come close to defending them???

      Jul 7, 2009 at 1:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Beefer
      Beefer

      @Its About Time: @Its About Time: It is hearsay when it comes from an indirect source or when the claim is unsubstantiated. You state that you only ‘know’ people this has happened to, that YOU did not work for HX, therefore, you are an indirect source. Your claims are also unsubstantiated since you provide no proof that what you say has actually happened. Either way, you are guilty of hearsay. If you are directly involved, then, by all means, complain about YOUR experience all you want… and while you’re at it, substantiate your claims by stating who you are. If you can’t do that, then you should probably shut up.

      Jul 7, 2009 at 3:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • come on Guys/Gals
      come on Guys/Gals

      Is everyone stupid? NYBlade is closed and so too is HX…both are gone and probably by now forgotten, especially the forever inaccurate NY Blade.

      If you do just a little work online you will find out that 1-800-POSTCARDS is the owner of HX.com….that is NEXT magazine owns the domain name HX.com.

      It would be really a miracle that a sale of the print magazine could happen without the online version….one buyer for print and another buyer for online stuff makes not an iota of sense.

      HX MEDIA, or what is left of it, remains the listed ‘owner’ of NYBlade.com domain names (they also published as theblade.net)…the last posted article was in June and no new articles have been published.

      To sum this up…NEXT took HX’s domain name and that implies they own HX. If NEXT now owns HX it will, logically, no longer be published. The Blade has no new owner and HX Media said they will not be publishing it any longer.

      End of story.

      Jul 9, 2009 at 12:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • rjp3
      rjp3

      carlos, watching you, beefer —you are twisted and self serving
      do not think the entire world views you as anything more
      everything wrong come from attitudes like you project

      Sep 29, 2009 at 11:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Karter Louis
      Karter Louis

      For Immediate Release
      Independent recording artist Karter readies the release of a new dance single SAFESEX.
      New York, November 10, 2009 – Legendary gay entertainer, Karter Louis recently ended a 2-year hiatus and hit the studio to record a new song with an important message… SAFESEX.
      “Its clear that the younger generation is engaging in risky activity. The latest stats indicate a rise in Teen Pregnancy, HIV infections and other STD’s. I’ve often teased that habits are often formed on the dance floor. Hopefully this track will serve as a subliminal reminder to many young people.”
      Known for his outspoken and up front approach, Karter continues down the path he started out on more than 20 years ago.
      “I’ve always pressed buttons and said things no one dared to, so this is not new for me. I’m fed up! I don’t see enough advocating of Safer Sex practices particularly to young people. My generation got it because we watched people die. Perhaps people have become complacent because of the strides made in terms of treatment. The CDC seems to be less focused on prevention and educators are not allowed to talk about sex in schools, so hopefully I can inspire the dance community to take up the cause. I find it really sad that our society is all about promoting sex however not the responsibilities of sex. Don’t get me wrong all of the attention directed towards getting tested and treatment is great, but obviously we are missing something because the rising statistics says it all.”
      SAFESEX will debut on December 1, 2009, which is also World AIDS Day. Karter is currently considering the idea of a “SAFESEX Tour” early next year but nothing has been confirmed at this time.
      For more information contact:
      Wendy Lin
      K world Entertainment
      info@getKarter.com
      646.288.3532
      http://www.getKarter..com

      Nov 11, 2009 at 11:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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