Media

HX Chief Matthew Bank Wishes Staff All the Worst From Argentina

matthewbankbf

While gay print media flounders, HX Media CEO is sending his regards from Argentina! Matthew Bank, who some argue is leading HX and the New York Blade into the ground, wanted his Facebook friends to know of his good tidings, updating his status with, “2009. Buenos Aires was overwhelmed with mourners marking the death of former president of Argentina Raul Alfonsin. Oh, and we were there. Coincidence?” (And because nepotism is a bitch, we’re sure boyfriend Peter Hemmel is having a grand time, too.) Not for nothing, we could fill an inbox with current and former HX and Blade staffers who wish it were a certain publisher’s own funeral.

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42 Comments

  • Lance Rockland

    I would love to unleash a string of gutter profanities right now, but I will be more tactful.

    Matthew Bank, you DESTROYED a wonderful and well-respected Boston GLBT publication, IN Newsweekly.

    You, sir, are an absolute DISGRACE to journalism.

    Matthew Bank, you have no conscience, no heart, or any self-awareness which would allow you to realize your overwhelming ineptitude.

    And you want to know what’s really sad? It’s that there are talented hard-working people who are standing on the unemployment lines while this boob lives the good life in another country!

    Do us all a favor, Matthew. Stay in Argentina!

  • hardmannyc

    I heard the editor John Russell just got the ax.

  • ggreen

    Lay off the Carb loading girls.

  • Chelsea

    We hope your trip is going well. HX’s Expo devision is allegedly going to shut-down—of course the staff who have not been paid in weeks have not been told. Allegedly the deposit checks on the venues are bouncing because Matthew and his HX creative director BF Peter — did not leave any money for the staff to pay bills. The staff has the last laugh, as they are spreading their stuff out in Peter’s stark white office, leaving their “marks.”

  • GG

    It is going around that Kevin Hopper from HX’s sister-company Window Media has resigned as publisher of 411?

  • Gauchotrucho

    We don’t want him here (Argentina), we already haver enough with the crappy politicians who are ruining one of the wealthiest countries (in natural resources), that we don’t need your lousy CEO’s!

  • TR downtown

    Wow — is it a little bitter in here?

    I think a lot of people don’t want to face the fact that media is changing, and unfortunately, people across the sector are losing jobs. Sneering over a perfectly normal vacation photo is pretty desperate, folks, and ultimately nothing more than a cheap shot. I’m sure Matthew is aware of the tough market his business faces… allow them to enjoy their vacation!

  • Shaniqua Ubangi

    People. They are already back from their vacation. Old news. Once again Queerty is behind the times.

    Moving on…

  • hardmannyc

    Peter looks adorable in that photo, just the same.

  • HotBear

    Peter and Matthew are such hot guys. We should all embrace their love.
    I think a lot of people don’t want to face the fact that media is changing, and unfortunately, people across the sector are losing jobs. Sneering over a perfectly normal vacation photo is pretty desperate, folks, and ultimately nothing more than a cheap shot. I’m sure Matthew is aware of the tough market his business faces… allow them to enjoy their vacation!

  • Dan

    TR – If my media empire was collapsing, I think I’d cancel the Argentina trip. What do you think would happen if the chief of GM was suddenly pictured sunning in St Barts?

    This man doesn’t have an ounce of responsibility in his (corpulent) body.

  • ANON

    @hardmannyc: Not to mention that he’s a good fuck!! Thank heavens those two have an open relationship. We should all just embrace their love by sharing in it.

  • Dan

    Deflection seems to be their strategy.

    Then again, they seems to be using the same kind of ham-fisted strategy that’s killed their magazines.

    Have fun in Argentina, boys, because the reception’s gonna be a little cold once you get back to NYC.

  • Shaniqua Ubangi

    @Dan: Seems like you didn’t read my comment. They are already back. Have been for a while.

  • TR downtown

    @Dan — Interesting. Maybe they should be a little quieter about their sun-kissed escapades, but I think comparing Matthew to the GM chief is a bit of a stretch.

    @Erick — Wow, I dare to offer another viewpoint on this thing and get accused of being the subject of the post! I’m neither of them, I assure you.

  • Dan

    I think the main point stands, Shaniqua.

    I’d get worked up over this blatant irresponsibility… but HX has been irrelevant for quite some time now. Whatever.

    Would be nice to see the journalists get paid, tho.

  • Dave

    Leave Matthew alone. He is only following in the corpulent (good word DAN) feet of his business partner, and also vacation-taker during the collapse of his Window Media empire, David Unger. These two are birds of a feather. I am glad I do not fly in their flock.

  • Sexandthecity

    @Dave – if you fly with those flightless DODO birds (emphasis that DODO are extinct and flightless) you might get shit on.

  • Gregoire

    Um, why is any of this interesting? So fucking what, some guys you happen to not like took a vacation.

    This post has exposed some rather spectularly trite commentators however. Culminating in

    “If my media empire was collapsing, I think I’d cancel the Argentina trip. What do you think would happen if the chief of GM was suddenly pictured sunning in St Barts?”

    Am I correct in stating that Barack Obama will be distributing a bailout to HX Magzine? That’s an unusual usage of tax payer’s dollars.

    By the way, Dan, how is your media empire doing?

  • Dan

    Greg, honey, wake up. If there was any chance HX would qualify for federal bailout funds, you know these two would be all over it. Even the feds aren’t that stupid, tho.

    I don’t care how big your organization is, but when you decide to take on the responsibility of running an organization that employs more people than yours truly, that requires stepping up to the plate occasionally. Instead these two jackasses are running off to Argentina and bragging about it on facebook (while most of their staff and suppliers are getting bounced checks).

    Perhaps you used to work for Lehman or Bear Stearns… would certainly explain your cluelessness here.

  • Dan

    And my firm? We’ve just had our best year in nearly a decade. But then again, we’re a labor and employment lawfirm… and all these layoffs are keeping us busy. Not exactly something to celebrate.

  • HeaveyChick

    The Mythology of Obesity tells us that sex with a fat partner is either fruitless or impossible. It’s a prejudice that crosses all boundaries of race, class, sexuality, education, and physique: Bank and his BF have a great sex life and have many partners together an on their own in dark rooms and such. Leave them alone.

  • Shake

    The fat one on the right is cute.

  • StaffINFECTION

    Matthew’s BF is the creative director at HX. He was suppose to be there temporarily when he lost his job suddenly at Glamour. Queerty, you hit the nail on the head. Great job:

    http://www.queerty.com/hx-staffer-sacked-replaced-by-founders-bf-20080723/

    There’s some hiring, firing drama over at New York fag rag HX. And this time there’s a tinge of nepotism.

    A staffer informs us that mag founder Matthew Bank today sacked designer John Agnesini, the man who’s suing Subway for that whole knife-in-sandwich scandal.
    While it’s not unusual for HX to off staffers, the Agnesini firing smells fishier than the rest. You see, rather than hiring a run of the mill designer, Bank instead chose his boyfriend, Peter Hemmel, who recently got sacked in a major way OUCH! at his design director gig over at Glamour.

    Himmel, however, will allegedly only occupy the slot for a month.
    Disclosure: our editor once worked for HX. And, no, he wasn’t fired.

  • crazydrama

    Whatever haters.

    I know both Pete & Mathew and they’re both good people just trying to succeed in this economy.

    The success of HX speaks for itself.

    As for the personal comments about the weight, looks, appearance, and sex lives of each of them… get a life.

  • Danny

    I agree Crazydrama: It is a tough time for everyone and we all need to let up on these guys who are just trying to make a living investing their lives in something that gives entertainment to the gay community. At least they are still going, when so many magazines are having to layoff their entire staffs and close up shop. You go HX!!! Congrats…

    As for the “success of HX” speaking for itself, I am afraid that my friend worked at HX and he had a very terrible time, from money issues and paychecks being held, to no supplies, postage, working phones, and such. The company is about to go bankrupt because of government actions beyond their control and because of bad investment choices and business partner Bank chose to do business with — but he understood that those issues were also a reflection of the economy and Bank’s business decisions, not HX itself. HX is continuing to get out to the public, and that is awesome. As a bar owner I agree that it is a stronger magazines than NEXT and that makes the NEXT people angry, and probably unnecessarily nasty on these blogs.

    Lastly, personal comments have nothing to do with anything and I agree that they should not be included on these sorts of forums. As a guy of a certain size, I would take offense if what I looked like was brought into the mix to suggest it “weighed-in” on any of the poor business decisions I made.

  • QueerNation

    I just read this, did I miss something:

    Gay media owner placed into receivership by SBA
    Gay City News, Posted: 2/9/2009, 1:01 PM
    The investment fund that owns HX, NY Blade, Washington Blade, the Southern Voice, Genre magazine, and other gay publications has been forced into receivership by the federal Small Business Administration (SBA), which will sell the fund’s assets and distribute the proceeds to investors. “As a consequence of defendant’s continuing violation… SBA is entitled to the injunctive relief… including the appointment of SBA as receiver of [the Avalon Equity Fund],” the SBA wrote in an August 2008 court filing, which was only recently found by Gay City News. Avalon, which owns a stake in the company that publishes the New York Blade and HX, was licensed by the SBA as a small business investment company (SBIC) in 2000. Through 2007, it borrowed just over $38 million from the federal agency to invest in gay media properties and a range of other ventures.

  • JJ Monroe

    @QueerNation:

    I must say I look at these blogs from time to time just to see what is going on in the world of people like myself. Of course after reading this juvenile and spiteful post (which falls not only under the extremely loose headings of media but travel as well) followed by equally bitchy and what appear to be non-fact based comments (the majority of which violate this blogs own “rules” regarding commenting) spewed from the mouths of anonymous sources, I am prepared to cut my ties and hand in my gay card.

    I was excited of course to come across what appears to be some statement of fact in QueerNation’s post. The article you mentioned sounded interesting so I looked it up only to discover your “editing” of it made it a much more interesting read, even down to the title.

    The actual article title is: Gay Media in Receivership

    and here are some of the passages you were referring to:

    The investment fund that owns the Washington Blade, the Southern Voice, Genre magazine, and other gay publications has been forced into receivership by the federal Small Business Administration (SBA), which will sell the fund’s assets and distribute the proceeds to investors.

    Avalon, which owns a stake in the company that publishes the New York Blade and HX, was licensed by the SBA as a small business investment company (SBIC) in 2000. Through 2007, it borrowed just over $38 million from the federal agency to invest in gay media properties and a range of other ventures.

    And of course the passages you missed:

    Through its Unite Media business unit, Avalon owns a “non-majority” share in HX Media which publishes the New York Blade, HX, a weekly magazine, and produces expos, according to Matthew Bank, CEO of HX Media.

    “I don’t really think there are any,” Bank said when asked what the consequences of the receivership would be for HX. “Our partner is Unite Media. Unite Media owns a non-majority share of our company.”

    Referring to Window Media, Bank said “I am not a part of that corporation, so I don’t know what their deal is.”

    In case you missed anything else, here is the link to the article:

    http://gaycitynews.com/site/index.cfm?newsid=20257094&BRD=2729&PAG=461&dept_id=568864&rfi=8

    So a company that has a non-majority investment in this Bank guy’s company fell on hard times and is now dealing with the Small Business Association. Basically meaning they will have to sell their stake, whatever that may be, in the company. I guess this would be similar to any minority stockholder of any company selling their stocks. There is actually an entire market for things like that. It is located down on Wall Street and is having some hard times of its own.

    Of course it may all seem to sound better when you imply wrong doing, ill intentions or scandalous behavior but all it reads as is plain and simple malicious spin. Hopefully one day we might move past these easy labels of being written off as stupid bitchy queens. Unfortunately today is not the day.

  • Mister C

    Whatever, But Miss Anon…you tired queen.
    YOU NEVER KISS AND TELL! Open relationship, or Not!

  • JJRome

    @jjmonroe go back to bed with your loser BF. Non-majority or whatever you say – HX has loser investors who are taking them down. Everyone in the industry knows the facts. Even the other investors know the facts. Deal with it and go back to you hourly-wage job and enjoy your freeloading lifestyle. Life is tough and we all need to embrace our strengths.

    Living in a time when feminist views are so prevalent, many may fear being called a traitor for wanting to be a kept guy. But this is what is the facts, the idea that being a kept man can be a career choice and produce a life style superior to many others.
    So what is a kept man. It might be the partner of a wealthy man, but what is partnership beside a non committal agreement, so why not a lover. It could also be a sponsorship arrangement or some other type of relationship.

    The modern man is expected to have a job, commute, and juggle time, so that he can try to please everyone, but why choose this route if you can be kept by another person. What is being a man, but if your sexuality was different it could be a man, in the same way as this site is written for men but most could be equally applied to a man if he so chose.

  • Kitten

    Lets all be friends and not be mean to each other. Some people cannot help the way they are and we need to embrace all people:)

  • Jake

    I just heard that they closed HX. The doors are locked and the magazine has been abandoned. Can anyone confirm?

  • NewYorkness

    Hey Matthew….inquiring minds want to know… what’s NEXT!?!

    Now take that to the Bank … unless it’s, of course, another struggling BANK!!

  • Shaniqua Ubangi

    @Jake: Sorry Jake. They are still open. Called my friend who works there and he answered the phone. All is good.

  • Jake

    Thanks for your time, Shaniqua – I guess it was wishful thinking, HX has hurt so many of their staff, have not paid hard working employees, vendors and contractors. I am not sure how long they will be able to be open.

  • Shaniqua Ubangi

    Why wishful thinking? Why would wish people to be out of work becuase you don’t like the owner of the company? I know he’s not the most popular person but closing down HX hurts more than just Matthew Bank.

  • Mike Barton

    ‘Tis true. Their publisher, also publisher of South Florida Blade, David and Southern Voice, has resigned. This Wednesday will be his last day. All I can say is that after all the trouble they have had meeting payroll, their recent move, the receivership, etc., this does not sound good. If I were an advertiser with any Window Media company I would be weary. They’ll be more than happy to take your money for ad, but don’t be surprised if they stiff you. I wouldn’t pay for an ad with them until after it has appeared in print.

  • Mike Barton

    I was referring to Window Media, specifically 411, by the way.

  • showmeindc

    @Mike Barton: 411 and the South Florida Blade have freelancers that are owed back pay for as much as six months (I’m one of them). The funny thing is that when Kevin Hopper made his announcement, co-president Mike Kitchens was on vacation in the Keys or somewhere (eerily reminiscent of the HX story above). Now, why wouldn’t advertisers be nervous if the co-president is off on vacation when a big announcement like this is made? Doesn’t sound very reassuring to me. Word on the street in Fort Lauderdale is that Kevin is abandoning a sinking ship. All the co-presidents can say is, “Hang on for a few more weeks.” Yeah, right….

  • DEEPTHROAT

    @showmeindc: That’s your problem Mike. You are relying on street gossip; of which there is a lot. You have worked for 6 months without getting paid? Congratulations. You’re a winner! You obviously must enjoy the work or you wouldn’t be doing it. Sometimes monetary gratification isn’t everything, I guess. We all appreciate your contribution, whatever that is.
    Kevin’s decision is known. There is no deep story. His decision is personal, and he is sharing with those who ask.
    Employees are being paid, and advertisers are getting ads. And results. Few advertisrs pay more than an ad ahead, and most pay after printing, so there is no need to be “nervous”. Most of the advertisers are well aware of the status and are perfectly content, and rightly so, to advertise in 411 and SF Blade because it does work for them.
    All staff were and are in constant communication, it bein’ the 21st century and all, ya know.
    Business is tough all over, and print media is challenged everywhere.
    @Shaniqua Ubangi: Thank you, Shaniqua.

  • Helga Von Ornstein

    I feel sorry for anyone losing their job in this economy. Not even Wendys is hiring for the summer.

Comments are closed.