Gay Magazines Face Closures, Hard Times In Toronto, Australia

fab magazineAfter 19 years, Fab, Toronto’s guide to all thing LGBT, is calling it quits. Pink Triangle Press, which has produced the magazine since 2004,  announced it wants to focus on Xtra!, the brand’s flagship title.

“It’s with a very heavy, but hopeful, heart that I announce Fab magazine will cease publication this spring,” wrote editor Phil Villeneuve on the Fab website.

Pink Triangle Press publisher Brandon Matheson explained that “like other media companies we’re facing challenges and we have to do more with less,” but promises the kind of content Fab covered will live on on the Xtra! website and print editions.

It was always a risky gambit having one company publish two magazines with similar beats in the same town. With Xtra! also published in Ottawa and Vancouver, the writing was on the wall.

The last issue of Fab will be published on April 24.

Another gay mecca has seen an even bigger LGBT media implosion: Evolution Publishing, which puts out numerous glossy titles Down Under, is allegedly facing insolvency, with the country’s internal revenue service threatening to take over the company.

According to Crikey, Evolution is also fighting claims of unfair dismissal, delinquent payment and shortages in staff retirement funds:

sxCrikey can reveal the Australian Tax Office has issued an application to wind up Evolution Publishing?—?which produces glossy magazines SX in Sydney, MCV (Melbourne), Queensland Pride (Brisbane) and Blaze (Adelaide)?—?following a series of complaints about unpaid superannuation from former employees.

Crikey has spoken to four former staffers who complained to the ATO after discovering they had not been paid superannuation—?in some cases for over a year.

Freelance contributors also allege they were routinely paid months late and are owed significant amounts in back pay.

Representatives from the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance have written to Evolution Publishing this morning demanding the company pay superannuation to its staff.

One former employee told Crikey: “I’ve never come across an operator like Evolution Publishing… They’ve treated people appallingly. It’s no great surprise everything is falling apart around them.”

SX’s former news editor Serkan Ozturk is also claiming he was wrongfully sacked earlier this month, just days after addressing the company’s financial issues during a staff meeting. “I spoke up about what was going wrong in the organization,” he said. “They’ve been taking the GLBTQI community on a ride for years.”

In a written statement,  Evolution Publishing director Mark Anthony told Crikey:

“Evolution Publishing acknowledges that there are outstanding superannuation contributions and has notified the Australian Taxation Office accordingly. Evolution Publishing has reconciled these entitlements and is now undertaking to settle all outstanding superannuation contributions to former and current employees.

Evolution Publishing is now putting systems in place to ensure it fulfils its future superannuation payments on a timely basis.”

Anthony says Evolution Publishing will continue with business as usual regardless of the Federal Court’s decision regarding insolvency, expected on March 20.


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