Ax Falls As HX Releases Thrifty Black Party Issue

Perpetually troubled New York fag rag HX made some staff changes yesterday. And there are more in the works, according to a reader:

This week, HX Media Creative Director Matt Farris, who just returned to the company last year after a seven year absence, was laid off.

In addition, The New York Blade will be appearing only every other week, so editor in chief Trenton Straube was reduced to half time. The head bookkeeper’s hours were also reduced and ad salespeople were recently told that there base salaries were being taken away, leaving them to exist on commissions.

Spin-off rag HX Phildelphia [sic] will be shuttered shortly. Rumors also have that some staff
members are not being paid consistently.

This tipster also took some time to bash Genre editor Neal Boulton, who’s acting as editorial director for HX.

According to this person, Boulton’s talk about trash talking HX staffers is really just a way for him to leak stories about himself and point the finger. Shocking.

Meanwhile, in other HX news, editor Brandon Voss sent us some pictures from this week’s Black Party issue. Voss included a note, which we’ve included, explaining the issue’s shoot and taking some shots at main competitor, Next Magazine.

From the always inventive Voss:

We really liked what Next Magazine did for their Black Party Fashion issue this year, but for ours—which is traditionally out the week directly before Black Party, so that it’s still available when out-of-town Black Party revelers begin streaming in—we chose to focus on the “youth” aspect of this year’s “Dangerous Black Party for Boys” theme.

Our pictorial, shot exclusively for HX by Wilson Models, is entitled “Bad Boys Club,” and it’s inspired by the idea of an all-gay Fight Club. We tried to keep in mind that the younger attendees this year likely don’t have the budget for the full harness/ball-gag/leash/saddle ensembles that the older crowd typically wears, so we wanted to show how one could easily “blacken” up a pair of jeans or a bare bod with a few key, modestly priced items or leather accessories.


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  • CitizenGeek

    Wow, it’s really not a good time for the gay press in the States, is it? :(

  • Gregg

    I know the “tipster” and he is just bitter that he was one of those taken off the new vamped staff. HX is giving their rag a facelift and there is obviously no room for wrinkles.

  • SexintheCity

    The HX issue is a must. We get it the minute we hit town. If only the attendees looked more like the models! HA HA HA

  • joe

    HX’s financial troubles don’t surprise me one bit. Matthew Bank’s greed and collosal arrogance will be his downfall.

    How many people will HX drag down with them?

  • Mediawhore

    I work with HX and Boulton is hardly acting as editorial director – that is the most stupid thing I’ve read on this site. Why don’t you get your facts straight.

  • Sooobusted

    Why is a publication “troubled” if it is improving by discarding dead-wood? I don’t get it.

  • DcLadyGov

    Cover looks hot, if that is any consolation:)

  • ActUpGuys

    Hair is good – yummy!

  • Neal Boulton

    Andrew (and the other 15 or so people who read Queerty on the planet), I am not the Editorial Director of HX, I am the Editor In Chief of Genre.

  • DrColumbia

    I like to see a dark haired man with a full, dense beard when it is neatly trimmed. Not one that’s all bushy and unkempt or facial topiary, as someone else said in this thread. Excellent term, by the way .

    An awful lot of men can’t grow a full beard, they get patchy, straggly bits in their cheeks, which is probably why such facial topiary came into fashion – can’t grow a full beard? Shave off the straggly bits and look a bit arty!

    I met an Indian guy on an airplane who said he knew an ancient recipe that could re-grow hair and stop it from falling out. He said it increased the circulation to the scalp and also cured dandruff and dry skin. He was a really funny guy and by the end of the trip we were getting along like old friends. Eventually I was able to get him to divulge his secret and I must admit I was shocked at how simple it was. Lots of sex!

    Just joking, Hair loss is a major concern for men and women the world over. Unfortunately, many consumers answer ads for hair replacement products and procedures before getting the facts about hair loss. While some cases of hair loss are inherited, others are caused by disease and poor diet and may also result as the side effects of some medical treatments.

    In some cases, people with hair loss conditions can re-grow hair through correct diagnosis and medical treatment while others may decide to seek alternative hair replacement options. Dermatologists specializing in treating diseases of the hair and skin may evaluate a guy’s hair problems to determine what, if any, treatment may be right for that patient. Before spending hundreds of dollars on products and procedures, it is important to get a professional opinion on whether or not the problem will respond to medical treatment.

    There are numerous types of baldness (or “alopecia”); all types are divided into two categories: “scarring” and “non-scarring” baldness. “Scarring” baldness occurs after any infection, inflammation, or trauma severe enough to destroy hair follicles. Even a bad date. Included in this category are chemically-caused baldness (e.g., baldness due to acid) and physically-caused baldness (e.g., baldness due to burns or x-rays). It is important to remember that since the hair follicles are destroyed in cases such as these, baldness considered to be permanent and incurable.

    The most common form of “non-scarring” baldness is “hereditary” or “male-pattern” baldness, which accounts for as much as 95% of all cases. Screw your father for this one. Its genetic causes are not known, but there is usually a strong history of this type of baldness in the families of men who are affected by it early in life. This type of baldness is evidenced by a gradual loss of hair over a period of years. Usually, the hair loss occurs as a gradually receding hairline which becomes more severe until the front and top of the head are left bald, with hair relatively thick around the sides and back of the head. This hair loss is considered normal with age for men, although it may also occur in older women. The bald areas of the head may not be totally bald, but may contain some of the almost-visible “vellus” hairs. In this type of baldness, the follicles waste away; since the follicles cannot be regenerated, this type of baldness is permanent.

  • analWarts

    Bravo, Dr! There is hair in other bodily orifices. In anatomy, the anus (from Latin ānus “ring (circle)[1][2], anus”) is the external opening of the rectum. Closure is controlled by sphincter muscles. Feces are expelled from the body through the anus during the act of defecation, which is the primary function of the anus. Most animals — from simple worms to elephants and humans — have a tubular gut, with a mouth at one end and an anus at the other. The anus plays a role in sexuality and can be hairy, though attitudes towards anal sex vary and it is even illegal in some countries. The anus is also the site of potential infections and other conditions including cancer. The subject is often considered a taboo part of the body, and is known by a large number of usually vulgar slang terms. The traditional polite synonym for anus was fundament, though this euphemism is rarely heard now that medical terms are widely acceptable. Thanks, Dr!

  • FarrisFerret

    I am not sure the cover is my favorite

  • Leeland Francos

    Mr. Ward has a beard – beards are the new waive – they are back and you better start growing

  • hipBoy

    I like smooth – I had a beard growing out of my anus once and use the trimmer to eat it out and keep it smooth

  • Alan down in Florida

    I still don’t understand – why does anybody care about this arcane bs?

  • qjersey

    Fucking over staff members at HX is not news, it has been the status quo at that rag since day one. Firing salespeople that meet their quotas to earn bonuses? they’ve done that too, now making people just work on comission? So where is all the ad money going? HMMMMMMM

  • rodney

    You go QJersey! You are so right. Running a business and doing what is necessary to keep a business afloat and offer a product to an entire community — not just a couple unhappy chaps, is what is needed. Staff members come and go – get a new job, I say. Bosses have the right to fire, no? If you don’t like a job because it is commission – get an education and get a bloody descent job. Stop being such titty babies. Is it different in Jersey?

  • yougoblackgirl

    When Jersey has his own business he can run it the way he wants – until then, shut your face:0

  • workOutGuy

    I agree with Q – working for da’ man sucks. I wish I had a job where I did not have to be on commission and live in shit housing. I am just as pissed at my bosses and life

  • Chile Grande

    “According to a reader”? – This is where this blog gets their facts?

  • Former HX Staffer

    Look – The honest truth is that HX is a bit of a greed machine (are there gay magazines that aren’t? Hell, are there many magazines that aren’t? Business is business.) and, sure, it is run without much respect or care for people who work for the company. That is, unfortunately, a common approach for companies, gay or straight, so if you take the job of being underpaid, overworked and unappreciated knowingly, it isn’t possible to be disappointed or surprised when you get sacked. No love lost on either side. If you take it because you need to be in an environment that constantly makes your being gay a celebration, you deserve what’s coming to you. As for the whole bar rag and gay media dilemma (Out and other mags are having trouble keeping solid numbers as well), I can’t say I mourn it. It just means that a new generation of men who love men don’t need the 24 hour affirmation of self and are ok being people that love punk, travel everywhere and buy sofas while being in love or lust with men. It’s simply the eventual result of a social acceptance when the young ones don’t need a whole magazine of escort ads and gay cruise stories to get through the month. Thanks to those that got us here, but let’s put the tired gay press to bed once and for all. The 1990s called and they want their Chelsea Boys back.

    Oh, and I had never been to this site before. One of the former HX ad guys works here, right? (looks around for the card)… well, KUDOS :) Happy rising from the dead day to everyone!

  • David Hauslaib, Queerty

    @20: Well-connected readers are often our best sources. And, it probably goes without saying, all of our sources are readers.

  • qjersey

    The point is morons, is that HX “changes the rules” on their staff and fucks them over. Maybe Rodney and Yougoblackgirl are Log Cabin Republican Capitalist Pigs who think you can shit on people just because you “own” the business.

    And Rodney to assume that the people who work at HX have no education is just plain rude.

    And you goblackgirl, I can’t shut my face because your man is sitting on it beggin to be given something you can provide.

    as for how are things in Jersey? They are just fine. I pay lower taxes, I have a 20 minute commute to work in midtown on a clean subway that cost less than the MTA, my groceries are cheaper, my dry cleaner charges less, I don’t have to travel through Brooklyn for an hour to get to an airport or a beach, and I can laugh at simpletons like you who give into jersey bashing because it is the obvious unclever remark to make.

    Unfortunately, the Internet allows people to be Anonymous Assholes :) including myself.

  • Joe

    I do not understand Joe’s comment about Matthew Bank and HX’s problems? They just hired a new editor and art director, both more talented and bringing more resources to the tables. How is replacing old, stale staff with updated, young happening staff?

  • WJersey

    I love Jersey. I am a nice person and have nothing horrible to say and do not hold it against all jersey people

  • JohnnyR

    Hmmm maybe if some of the HX staffers were actually making their quotas they wouldn’t be in that situation.

    It’s not just ad money folks. Thanks to the dropping dollar and the cost of fuel prices (which has more impact than most people think or believe) it costs more today to operate a business, print magazines, and more.

  • Former HX Staffer

    I imagine Bank will put some money into a redesign and restaffing to keep it alive. He always had the money but only spent it when needed (unless it was the house on Fire island, the couple apartments in the city, and so on as I bust into diatribe about selfish gay men with wealth). The big question is whether throwing money into a troubled pit of greed and dated logic can triumph over quality. Former HX Art Director Topher Ellsworth is kicking major tail as Next’s Art Director, from the new logo to the execution of quality original shoots. Just seems like a…well, happier publication with better ideas. Having been in the HX office and seen the number of HX people (qualified and educated) jump ship to Next, quality of culture and respect do play factors in the final product. That’s another reason HX has looked like Sybil for so long. With such poor management and a hostile environment, who could stand to stay at HX more than a few months? Very few have. Myself included.

    As to the guy referencing old, stale staff, apparently you didn’t ralize the staff there (at least for the past year) hasn’t lasted longer than a couple months before several took a vacation and never went back and others just had had enough. A “happening” staff? Let’s face it, gay mags haven’t had ‘happening’ staff in years. All the “happening” staff work for publications in the real world, from New York to WIRED, GQ and so on. Pulling someone from Genre is like pulling someone from Exercise for Men Only: his potato to your po-tah-toe.

  • Greggg

    Dear Former – can someone really “kick major tail” at a local bar rag? Get a clue. As for losing your job, get over it and get a job that appreciates you. As for pulling staff from a national glossy to work local, Wired is pretty young in the magazine world, Obviously you work in retail or food service.

  • Jacob

    Former- I am here with Gregg- and although I have worked for HX years ago, as well and think that Matthew and his ass hole, fat shit face loser boyfriend from Allure who has no talent and who is kept on staff at Conde (and I work with Condé Nast Publications now) because he is cheap, dumb, cookie cut-out labor who hasn’t had a creative thought since his fat loser ass had a three way with my ex-boyfriend and Matthew, I must say that giving the mag a face lift is welcomed and needs to be embraced. And although no-talent staff have only stayed there a short time – because their no-talent was found out by Harvard graduate Matthew—is not reason to discount their efforts. They can screw guys over, they can take a shit on their employees – who cares, it is business, they put out a product and fuck it if the bosses fat fucking loser boyfriend cannot keep his fucking fat prick brain to himself, they are trying to put out a publication that is community focused. Fuck off former and get a fucking life!

  • Frustrated Boston guy

    HX bought Boston’s IN NEWSWEEKLY and turned it into a piece of crap that few pick up. They fired several of their stuff and didn’t pay the staff they had (that was verified by a story in the competing BAY WINDOWS here…
    cut and paste if the link doesnt work)
    and they are trying to extort money out of one of their former employees with a ridiculous lawsuit.
    Yes they sure know how to make friends in the gay community.

  • Matt F.

    While I’m flattered to be part of rumor and speculation, its just that. I was asked back to HX after a numbr of years (not 7) on a consultant basis. I had a To Do list and an 8-month time frame. The To Do list is finished, 8 months have passed and I’ve willingly left HX in the hands of a great staff and art department. End of story.

  • Redsocks

    Sorry for your pain, Boston – maybe you need to go with the old IN NEWSWEEKLY staff who got caught starting their own magazine with stolen resources from their old rag — and in the process, got a court order against them for being criminals and thieves. I believe those are the types of guardians of news you want to look up to. “Verified” you said….by their competitor – the same competitor that was caught reporting the wrong story when the publisher was originally caught stealing and admitted it – hmmmmm, which source sounds like the one we should be looking up to for our source of accurate Boston news . Which do you pick up in Boston?

  • FormerHXStaffer

    By the way, I used the potato to your po-tah-toe reference because I eat lots of potatoes and pasta and am an overweight has-been who has a passion for gay media and cannot make it in mainstream – and rent a studio apartment in the lower east side and have no retirement or savings – and barely my teeth.

  • joe

    Um….excuse me! I really take offense,RedSocks, at being labeled a criminal and a thief. I didn’t steal jack shit.

    I’m one of the former IN Newsweekly staffers you’re talking trash about. Don’t you dare judge me when you don’t even know what happened!

    And by the way, I would place my integrity and morality over Matthew Bank and his band of slugs at HX any day!

  • retrofit71

    thanks Former for the for the kudos! (this is Topher Ellsworth, former Creative Director HX, current creative director at Next). I love my job now and am really proud of the redesign I launched last year and the photo shoots I produce at Next Magazine. I would still be at HX if they had paid me more and offered me the creative freedom I have at my current position. (I have a Bachelors Degree in Design and worked for Fortune 500 companies before this to those one here who say that working at a ‘fag rag’ doesn’t take an education or isn’t a ‘real’ job.)

    But this isn’t saving the world or curing cancer, I know that… I have a good sense of humor about what I do and get to work with some amazing photographers and creative people every day.. One day, I will work at a national magazine and be able to take all that I’ve learned in the crazy ‘fag rag’ business and use it to be a better Creative Director. I mean, if I can turn out a fierce shoot on $100, imagine what I can do with an Esquire or Details budget!

  • hells kitchen guy

    Dr. Columbia: You rock! Great post. Interesting, well written and informative. Totally off point, but who cares when it’s so good!!

  • pria

    Retrofit – you still work for a bar rag. How pathetic that you even take the time to write something on this site with a college education and obviously a creative edge. Both publications are not worthy of your talents. Stop wasting your words on this pathetic site and on behalf of the shit pamphlet – NEXT

  • redsocks

    Joe – read the lawsuit. Ask Bill to share the judgement with you – it is public record. You are a thief – and work for a thief and a criminal who was in prison for child abuse/pornography – you sound like tow peas in a pod!

  • joe

    The hell I am! I was asked to contribute to Bill’s new publication. I didn’t do anything wrong. Everything you say about Bill is a baldfaced lie.

    You must work for Matthew Bank. You HX vermin love to spread lies about other people.

    Oh, and maybe Queerty should look into Matthew Bank’s closet sometime. I bet there are plenty of skeletons rattling around in there.

  • Former HX Staffer

    This is awesome. My anonymity ruined but the exposure of my rotten teeth and job at McBurgerBell! Let’s face it. Aside from the innaccuracies (Bank’s beau works for Glamour not Allure, I left like most people left their jobs (willingly and happily) and WIRED is hardly considered young in the mag world with over a decade under its belt and most mags barely surviving a 2-year run (a quick moment of silence for Blueprint, please)), it is a fair judgment to say that gay industries rarely treat staff well and most people work there for the privilege to be happily gay on a regular basis. That concept gets a bit outdated (all respects to the folk in the Midwest and South that have a few more challenges to their given workdays) and so the need for such space is thankfully dissipating. Why is that so bad?

    As for Greggg and Greggg’s friend (how many G’s are there on this dman thing?), certainly no one expects you to do more than your job and getting the good work never hurts, eh? The comment is more about the relative doldrum that much design is in today. Some notable exceptions are the stellar Garden and Gun (no, really, look it up) plus the obvious fringe fashion forays. HX and Next have the kind of unique space a few other mags share by not relying on newsstand response so some adventurous chances can be taken. HX will never be about those chances (too much attention paid to replicating the staid ‘newstand’ to be interesting – Next risks this too, perhaps?) so here’s to the mags that haven’t yet but can push the envelopes. Bar rags can do it. They just haven’t yet, no? So, there is room to hope for better.

Comments are closed.