New Publisher, Slant For Fag Rags

PlanetOut Advocates Changes For ‘Out’, ‘Advocate’

It’s no secret PlanetOut Inc’s been having some trouble.

Not only did the gay media company’s stock take a tumble earlier this year, but ad pages have fallen in its primary titles, The Advocate and Out, a trend no doubt perpetuated by publisher Joe Landry’s departure for BlackBook.

Now, in an attempt to turn things around, PlanetOut’s publishing division, LPI Media, and a new publisher are hoping to take the titles in new direction: up.

Not only has The Advocate been dabbling in more wry – dare we say entertaining? – reporting, but plans to unveil a more seamless look:

With the September anniversary issue, The Advocate will roll out a more vivid, sophisticated look under the direction of Luke Hayman, who recently redesigned Time and New York. It will feature a modern sans-serif logo and typeface, uncoated cover stock and bright, color-coded departments. “We feel now that we’ve got a design that reflects a mission to curate the news,” [editor Anne] Stockwell said.

PlanetOut’s print division, LPI Media, also hopes that adverts from Cadillac, Lexus and perhaps a few booze hounds will help save the sinking ship.

Meanwhile, Out magazine plans on making a few changes of its own. Media Week explains:

[Out] will continue to increase its focus on fashion and grooming, as editor Aaron Hicklin has done throughout 2006. At the same time, he has shifted events listings and relationship advice online and eliminated horoscopes altogether. With the September issue, Hicklin will introduce “Wish List,” a photo-rich fashion service section and increase the pages devoted to grooming to six from one. The October issue will bring a new home and industrial design section.

No doubt a new group publisher will help things along.

Today, LPI announces Jay Adams’ installation as LPI Media’s group publisher. While he’ll spend most of his time on Out, Adams will also give The Advocate a little workout. He’ll also spend some time reworking The Advocate. Good news, yes, but maybe not considering Adams’ professional history: he once worked as the ad director for FHM (For Him Magazine). The lad-mag’s American edition folded and now exists online only. Although, to be fair, FHM didn’t fold until March. Adams, meanwhile, left the magazine for Popular Science in February.