In October, Queerty exclusively reported that The Advocate as we knew it was folding, and would stay alive as a mere insert inside its sister, Out. The Advocate, then, would no longer be available on newsstands. The magzines’ publisher, Regent/Here Media, immediately pounced on our report and claimed it to be inaccurate. This, despite our numerous accurate prior reports about Regent’s corporate dealings, and this item’s dead-on information about massive layoffs, advertising revenue and cash flow problems, and, of course, the axing of Advocate as a standalone magazine. Regent’s biggest problem, it appears, was our use of the term “gutted,” which anyone who works (worked?) at The Advocate would tell you is exactly what happened. But most gay blogs and media — including Advocate columnist and Sirius/XM host Michelangelo Signorile — ran Regent’s version of events as the true version of things, and dismissed Queerty‘s report. Funny, then, that now that Out has begun shipping, with The Advocate tucked neatly inside, the polybagged thing that subscribers are receiving is exactly what we described it would be.
Kenneth Walsh at Kenneth in the 212, who receives the magazines by mail, reports on a spelling and grammar error-riddled letter that accompanied the latest issue of the magazine, owned by Regent’s Paul Colichman and Stephen Jarchow (pictured).
And Walsh notes the obvious: we were right.
Nearly two weeks after getting a press e-mail with information about the February 2010 issue of The Advocate, I finally received what I believed was my copy of the mag in the mail today — only it was actually a copy of Out, with a slender version of The Advocate tucked inside the plastic bag from Here Media.
Along with the magazine(s) was this letter, explaining that The Advocate was no longer available as a “stand-alone print subscription” (my hyphen), so I would now be receiving the “Out Advocate Edition” instead. (I was not a subscriber of Out.) The masthead on the mini-Advocate shows that Jon Barrett is still editor in chief, but many positions have been eliminated, including the managing editor, the associate art director, the associate photo editor, the research editor, the editorial operations coordinator and one of the mag’s copy editors — as demonstrated in red, above (I freelance, guys!) [Ed: Exactly as Queerty detailed.].
Print media is hurting and publishers are doing what they have to do to survive. We all get it. But isn’t this pretty much exactly what Queerty reported in October? And didn’t The Advocate immediately turn around and tell me that Queerty “doesn’t know what they’re talking about,” followed by an official statement from Stephen Macias, Here/Regent Media’s senior vice president, clearing up the blog’s “inaccuracies”? I’ve met Stephen and think he’s terrific. And Jon and I have dozens of mutual friends and he’s always been friendly and helpful when I’ve e-mailed him. So I can’t help but wonder what it was about Queerty’s report that bothered them so much that they felt it was necessary to lash out against it — and in the process draw more attention to it — knowing that it was essentially correct? Are they upset that a blog is filling a role in the gay world that was once their primary responsibility? That current or former employees are talking to bloggers? Or was it just the snarky tone that rubbed them the wrong way? Curiously, a source tells me they were particularly bent out of shape about Queerty referring to the new incarnation of The Advocate as an “insert.” Perhaps it’s true that no one at Here Media was willing to sit back and allow some bitchy blogger to call the country’s oldest and most important gay magazine an “insert” when, in fact, it’s actually nothing of the sort. As the cover clearly states, it’s now a supplement.
We’re captioning this snapshot, which Walsh uploaded: “Indeed.”
And we needn’t remind you: Regent also insisted it didn’t “gut” its workforce. This, after firing a quarter of its staff.
(Elsewhere, the boss man David Hauslaib this week spoke to Ben and Dave’s Six Pack about Regent. Listen to the interview here.)