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BREAKING: Out Magazine Lays Off Staff, But May Reform As New Startup

The entire editorial staff of Out magazine was laid off this week, reports Captial New York—but that might not be the end of the influential queer glossy.

Out editor-in-chief Aaron Hicklin says he will be hiring back most of the editors as contractors for a new content firm he’s founding, Grand Editorial. His company would then provide editorial to Out on a contract basis, with staffers paid per project, not on a regular salary.

Hicklin denies it was a cost-cutting move, and says readers won’t see any change in the frequency of the publication or other aspects of the magazine:

“I felt I was at a place where I had enough experience and relationships to parlay that into an agency that would provide a sort of editorial consultancy and content for other titles and corporate clients…

With any startup, there are always risks. But for lots of publications, midsize publications especially, I think it makes sense to be a little more innovative in thinking about how they find ways to continue creating high quality content while being mindful of the huge transition the media is going through.”

Out‘s parent company, Here Media (a subsidiary of Regent Entertainment), has faced financial hardships in the past, with freelancers claiming invoices had gone unpaid and a fraud lawsuit against Regent still outstanding.

Photos: Here Media

On:           Apr 18, 2012
Tagged: , , , , ,
    • Ester Goldberg

      pity… Guess Colichman is short on the Belair mansion mortgage payments

      Apr 18, 2012 at 2:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • cam

      Just a way for them to get the same work out of staff without having to abide by work laws or pay them benefits.

      Apr 18, 2012 at 3:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Let's be honest

      OUT magazine has been a total joke for as long as it’s been published.

      Apr 18, 2012 at 3:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • RedAssault

      A horrible magazine. I tried very hard to like it. I really did.

      After seeing nothing but straight men or straight women on the cover, articles about Britney Spears and Adele and straight guys with gay friends… I felt like I was being pandered to… not really being given anything worth reading.

      Apr 18, 2012 at 4:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles Reagan

      @cam: At least they are contracting out, giving the illusion of pay. I bet the “interns” that have been slaving away for years are just SOL.

      Apr 18, 2012 at 5:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Seaguy

      Out is stupid, filled with total fluff that is not useful to most of us that are not rich and do not have to work.

      Apr 18, 2012 at 6:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Japhy Grant

      As someone who wrote for Out and the Advocate and covered LGBT issues for years (on this very web blog, in fact), this is infuriating news.

      I’ve admired Aaron’s work since his Blackbook days and I think his editorial direction with OUT has been on the mark. You can’t change the fact however, that he’s been a fig leaf for Regent and Here Media’s wholesale destruction of both The Advocate and Out.

      Under Hicklin’s tenure as editorial director of both publications, The Advocate became a monthly insert included in OUT — transforming the national publication of record on LGBT issue into a flyer stuffed into a fashion magazine. And now this– dismantling the staff of OUT and offering them the thrilling opportunity to work as freelancers for an editorial chop shop for corporate clients. It’s a sorry record.

      I understand that the publishing industry is a difficult one, but when I think about the core public service and mission that The Advocate and OUT were founded on — namely to report on the political and cultural life of the LGBT community — and the fact that mission is now going to be carried on by a editorial agency “aimed at creating new efficiencies in the editorial process by providing customized content for a range of consumer titles and corporate clients”, I’m pretty disgusted.

      Apr 18, 2012 at 6:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • arlo


      Apr 18, 2012 at 7:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason

      If I was running a “gay” men’s magazine, I would dispense with celebrity notions. I would have articles pointing to the danger that women and transgenders pose to the gay rights movement. I would be completely politically incorrect.

      You won’t see me sucking up to the Gay Inc brand of gay rights.

      Apr 18, 2012 at 7:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charlie

      @jason: You could call your new mag “Part of the Problem.”

      Apr 18, 2012 at 8:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason


      No, I would simply call my magazine “The Truth”. I’ve maintained for a while now that women and male-to-female transgenders do not have the best interests of gay and bisexual men at heart. They are jealous of our existence because we compete with them for the attention of men.

      Women and some gay men have attempted to downplay this competitiveness notion because they know it risks damaging the coalition that exists between them. There’s thus this false “getting along” notion that is constantly pushed by women and gay men.

      Keep in mind this very basic truth as to why gay segregation is so beloved of women. Women WANT us to be segregated so that we do not compete with them for men outside of the very small, defined pool that we are segregated into. Women FEAR the mainstreaming of male-male sexuality. This explains why women oppose male bisexuality so much and it also explains why their gay male buddies also oppose male bisexuality so much.

      Apr 18, 2012 at 8:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charlie

      @jason: Seek help.

      Apr 18, 2012 at 8:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Keppler

      @Jason: LMFAO.

      Apr 18, 2012 at 9:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Timmmeeeyyy

      Yes, Jason. We get it, from these and other comments. You hate women.

      Apr 18, 2012 at 9:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Danny

      Call the cheeky magazine C*cks*cker Club and aim it at gay/bi men and bi/straight women. That would be a really large market to target for entertainment, etc. and straight men wouldn’t complain because they wouldn’t want to tell bi/straight women they don’t like receiving oral sex.

      Apr 18, 2012 at 10:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • FunMe

      Sign of the times … blame it on the internet and Kendall.

      His new model is going back to being a start-up. Interesting. Does this mean workers will get paid less AND have no benefits?

      Apr 18, 2012 at 10:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • samo

      Jason has a point. Women are scared to death of male-male relations if it means competing with other men for male attention. But they will gladly act like fake “lesbians” if it means getting the guys attention because men think its hot. And effeminate gay men and women are both detrimental to gay rights as thwy equate being gay with feminity when thw opposite is true in that being a gay or bi male could be very masculine in that its the ultimate expression of male bonding.

      Apr 18, 2012 at 10:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MikeSF

      I agree Samo. I have noticed that straight women are OK with femme gay men but they’re NOT ok with very masculine bisexual and gay men, and most of them are NOT ok with dating or having a relationship, or even marriage with a very masculine bisexual man.

      Apr 19, 2012 at 1:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason


      Very true. Women are the ultimate hypocrites.

      As I said above, I think women are ultimately damaging to the gay rights cause. Perhaps not the butch women who have rejected the appearance encouraged by straight guys and their female enablers, but certainly most other women.

      Apr 19, 2012 at 8:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • concerned

      Wow – its rough how many people easily make statements about “women” that are aligned with their own small experiences, while women make up the majority of the world’s population. Being reductive seems destructive here.

      To beleaguer that point — its reductive to assume that an editorial staff will have the incentive and ability to produce the same or even similar quality of product when placed on a per-project, freelance basis. Seems like it would end up looking a lot like blogs similar to this one. Will it continue to justify the expense of print?

      Apr 19, 2012 at 5:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Vadren

      A lot of women are very sexist and homophobic, I think that is the real problem; they want to stuff all male people into a restrictive, narrow gender role. I don’t see the competition argument as relevant, unless you think that it’s women’s fault that straight guys don’t date you?

      Apr 19, 2012 at 11:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hotlanta

      @arlo: Totally agreed.

      Apr 20, 2012 at 1:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Erik

      Out has been on the decline for years. That is why I now read Zeus

      Apr 21, 2012 at 3:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • trevor

      It’s been a lousy magazine ever since the lepers at Advocate got involved.

      Apr 21, 2012 at 6:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TiredoftheBS

      So everyone got fired except for the editor, Aaron? And now he’s hiring only freelancers? Wow, rotten all around.

      Apr 25, 2012 at 10:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason

      What a shit show and embarassment to the community.

      Apr 28, 2012 at 9:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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