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Regent Media Insisted It Didn’t ‘Gut’ Its Workforce. After Firing 24% of the Company

colichmanjarchow

In a public response to this site and while speaking to Michelangelo Signorile, Regent/Here Media’s SVP Stephen Macias refuted our claims that the staff of The Advocate had been “gutted.” Although he didn’t like the word we used, Macias refused to clarify just how many people were let go from the company. Well, now we know: 24 percent of Here Media, or 39 people. Huh. And we only claimed a baker’s dozen!

In addition to cuts at The Advocate, we reported layoffs at HIV Plus, and other bad news (like rising health benefits costs) for employees that remained at Here. Except a public disclosure filed today from Regent/Here chief Paul Colichman and Steve Jarchow (pictured) reveals a much gorier picture.

Namely, that a quarter of all personnel were let go since “restructuring” began in July. Moreover, there was “consolidation of certain facilities” (read: offices closed). All that saved Regent some $786,000!

But they’re not done yet: “The Company expects to be able to complete this restructuring in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009, with certain payments continuing beyond the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009 in accordance with the terms of existing severance and other agreements.”

advocaterain

(Colichman, you’ll recall, was forced to have his company’s stock “LGBT” delisted from NASDAQ, and this public disclosure follows others that reveal Colichman is being handed gobs of his own stock. Also, it’s a reminder that the company, though based conducting most business in Los Angeles, is registered in Delaware, where business taxes are more friendly.)

The company will point to the acquisition of PlanetOut Partners and LPI Media for this “redundancy reduction.” Which might be accurate, to an extent — of course there’s overlap when two media companies merge. But many of those layoffs came within Regent/Here’s editorial department, and those positions will not be replaced.

We don’t bring this up to stomp on anyone who just lost a job, or even to bash Regent/Here’s business tactics. As we highlighted before, Regent/Here is in a tough business climate, and gay publications aren’t the only media feeling the pinch. But these hard facts do point out that the company isn’t exactly forthcoming with the truth about its stability or its finances, and the one person that Regent did agree to an on-the-record interview with — Sirius/XM’s Signorile — has an interest in seeing Regent succeed (he is paid to write a column for The Advocate). As you can tell from the interview, Signorile ate up Macias’ lines without a challenge.

Well, the Securities and Exchange Commission won’t.

By:           editor editor
On:           Nov 12, 2009
Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , ,
  • 17 Comments
    • Mike
      Mike

      Thank God Queerty is here to challenge Regent’s fucktard management on their lies. Why the hell is everyone else giving them a free pass?

      Nov 12, 2009 at 4:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ed Polachowski
      Ed Polachowski

      Queerty wrote: “We don’t bring this up to stomp on anyone who just lost a job, or even to bash Regent/Here’s business tactics…:

      Peter responds, “Ah but when it was HX, Genre, and Window Media you were reporting on, then what was it? I smell a double standard here…”

      Nov 12, 2009 at 4:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Keith Kimmel
      Keith Kimmel

      heh, its not just the TAXES that are more friendly in Delaware. Incorporating in Delaware ensures that you have a leg up in legal battles, too. Since there is an entirely separate COURT SYSTEM if you want to sue a Delaware corporation. Never mind the fact that it makes it nice and easy to screw over your shareholders. Most of the biggest companies today, regardless of where they are actually based, are incorporated in Delaware. I am glad I don’t have stock in this cesspool. I’d be gathering folks up for a shareholders lawsuit. Sounds like the main folks at the table are diluting the stock. One of the best ways to boost investor confidence… not!

      Nov 12, 2009 at 6:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lady Ga-Gasp
      Lady Ga-Gasp

      Whoa, nellie. A few minor corrections: 1) PlanetOut’s delisting was already happening before Regent bought the company. 2) The layoffs in Sf were long expected and not a surprise (unlike the LA ones, of which more will come shortly, I predict) 3) Colichman of course gets loads of stock, along with his partner, as they bought PlanetOut with their money, and currently there aren’t any other substantial shareholders. 4) Could one imagine a more shrill interview than the pairing noted above? Me thinks not.

      Nov 12, 2009 at 6:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles
      Charles

      All of this “restructuring” — 39 employees sacked and the NY offices closed — all for a measly savings of $786,000? That’s all? That equals around $20,000 per employee and doesn’t even consider the savings of shuttering an office. The math is off.

      Additionally, apparently these numbers don’t include SEVERAL high six figure payouts to former employees who sued the company or threatened lawsuits. Hush money, if you will. Regent has been known to pull numbers out of thin air many times before, creating false documents about traffic to its web sites, as well as fabricate emails and coerce its “counsel” into falsifying contracts and memos. It is well known that the company has paid off numerous employees in order to avoid being hit with multimillion dollar harassment and breach of contract lawsuits. And that number far exceeds $786,000 for sure.

      Come on Regent employees, speak up… do Regent’s business practices simply “not add up,” or are they instead bordering on criminal in nature?

      Nov 12, 2009 at 6:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • chris pell
      chris pell

      Welcome to the Real World fellow gays. Those of us who work for big companies in America have been weathering this type of storm for years now.

      Get used to it and stop your whining. I hope they do something to save the Advocate – it was once a great read.

      Nov 12, 2009 at 10:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • J
      J

      Both mainstream media and LGBT niche media have, for years, have largely failed their audiences when it comes to covering LGBT businesses. The mainstream media is afraid of appearing hostile to us as a minority, and LGBT media I suppose has always been too anchored to its activist roots to cover business (same for other categories, such as sports for example).

      Thank you, Queerty, for reporting on this. Not just linking, not just regurgitating, but reporting. While the Dallas Morning News did a puff piece, and LGBT media has largely swerved altogether, you’ve scooped them.

      Nov 12, 2009 at 11:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark Reed
      Mark Reed

      I’ve warned you guys before – watch out for Jarchow. This fellow Dallas businessman has it figured out.

      Instead of denying the obvious truth that Dallas understands the media and the LGBT movement, just get used to it. Dallas is the center of the movement and we are acquiring our tools. The Advocate will change and begin to express the Dallitude that will make the difference for all of you.

      And, by the way – EqualityAcrossAmerica is doing great. It is the future of equal rights efforts. Sign up or Shut up.

      Nov 12, 2009 at 11:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike
      Mike

      Mark, Jarchow is not a Dallas businessman. He lives and works in Los Angeles. He may have roots in Dallas, but he sure as hell isn’t a Texan any more, as his tony Bel Air McMansion will attest.

      I have firsthand experience with the Regent management. They are the shadiest and most ruthless characters you’ll ever run across. There’s so much dirt at that place it’s un-fucking-real. I wish a major news organization would dig into it. They wouldn’t have to dig very deep to start uncovering a lot of skeletons.

      Nov 13, 2009 at 3:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hardmannyc
      hardmannyc

      Charles, who told you the NY offices were closed? They’re still there.

      Nov 13, 2009 at 10:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RG
      RG

      Does anyone know if the two pseudo “shrinks” retained by Colichman to facilitate color-coded communication between Regent managers are still on retainer?

      Nov 13, 2009 at 10:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Marck Reed
      Marck Reed

      Don’t be an idiot Mike. Do your homework.

      Dallas is THE gay capital. Grow up. Don’t fear the Cowboys.

      Join EqaulityAcrossAmerica – we are your future.

      Nov 13, 2009 at 11:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Marck Reed
      Marck Reed

      READ IT MIKE: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/bus/columnists/chall/stories/DN-hall_25bus.ART2.State.Edition1.3cf7a0c.html

      Pinhead. Wake up. While the rest of the country is bitching, Dallas is winning. We are mavericks – real ones. Giddy up.

      Nov 13, 2009 at 11:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Marck Reed
      Marck Reed [Different person #1 using similar name]

      After sobering up a bit, I realize that I’ve acted like a complete asshole. I’m sorry everyone.

      Mike you were right. I’m sorry and I apologize.

      Nov 14, 2009 at 12:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Janine
      Janine

      I’m not sure what this ax to grind is about but what does anyone, except people that work there, care about how they do business? The Schadenfreude here is one of the main problems in the GLBT community. Hide behind your computers and whine yet do nothing to effect any change. Sad. Disheartening.

      Nov 14, 2009 at 1:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Lady Ga-Gasp
      Lady Ga-Gasp

      Janine, take your mask off when you lie like that.

      But keep it up with the Vanity Fair lingo — Schadenfreude. Hee.

      Heeeee.

      That name so should have been the next band name to rise to the level of “Kiss”, or at least a Canadian high school garage band, instead of “The Toronto-ans.” At Least.

      Or even better, “Schadenfreude for Dummies.”

      Oh, and Mark (not the fake Mark) you’re an idiot. Leave us alone before you morph from idiot to just spam (and not the fake spam).

      Nov 14, 2009 at 2:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • J
      J [Different person #1 using similar name]

      Hmm, maybe both the real and fake Mark Reeds should go into the gay media biz. Just like you inflated the numbers for the DC march, from 25K to 200K, you could pump up circ and web traffic numbers. And just like you promised congressional district captains nationwide but can’t name more than a handful, you could claim that slashing a product to the marrow actually helps provide a better product to gay readers. And just as Equality Across America imploded and has no leadership except Cleve and two sycophants, you could slaughter payroll and call it a light trimming like everyone goes through.

      Now that’s Dallitude!

      Nov 15, 2009 at 8:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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