It took a couple days, but Here/Regent Media chief Paul Colichman is out today with a public letter to readers. It’s his way of saying: All is not doomed! Despite what this website says!
Reacting to our report that The Advocate was gutted with major layoffs and a plan to take the magazine off the newsstand and begin shipping it with Out, Colichman explains, after pointing out the crappy economic situation:
The recent closures of Gourmet, Portfolio, Genre, and other magazines have shown the weaknesses of the print publication model. The rising costs of paper, printing, and postage have become a major problem. Therefore, we plan to greatly reduce these costs by jointly marketing The Advocate and Out magazines. We will fulfill Advocate subscriptions via joint delivery with Out. Advocate subscribers will continue to receive their monthly magazine along with a copy of Out at no extra charge. This move will also allow us to continue to offer Out at affordable subscription prices, either as a stand-alone title or with the choice to receive The Advocate as well. The strategy preserves our ability to deliver the same high-quality print magazines while allocating additional resources to editorial content.
But there might be room to boast!
During an economically troubled 2009, which saw the death of many important print publications, both The Advocate and Out fared significantly better advertising-wise than the industry as a whole. Together the brands will show a small profit.
Note that word “together.” As in, The Advocate bled cash, but when paired with Out‘s profit margins, Regent can say the brands made money. Which is, actually, great. A media company’s brands often do subsidize their other money-losing moving parts (hello, Conde Nast and AOL/Time Warner). So it’s refreshing to hear Out is doing so well, with Aaron Hicklin’s glossy fashion spreads and power ranking lists, that it can fund the costly editorial and reporting inside The Advocate.
Full letter here.
UPDATE: Regent SVP Stephen Macias talks to XM host Michelangelo Signorile, who writes for The Advocate, about all the gossip surrounding the magazine. (Audio via PHB)