PlanetOut Inc’s finally addressing its financial woes. In a piece over at The Advocate – one of PlanetOut’s many fag rags – sappho-journo Kerry Eleveld informs us that while things are looking grim – falling stock prices, the albatross called RSVP cruises – the company may bounce back. If it can secure $7 million, of course.
PlanetOut Inc.’s first major hurdle in its uphill climb toward fiscal solvency is just days away. After posting a $6.9 million loss the first quarter of this year, the company’s lender set June 30 as the date by which it must raise at least $7 million–with another $8 million to come by August 31.
As a means toward this life-saving end, the once might media giant’s shedding its “adult-entertainment” division, SpecPub. The sale, of course, will help wrangle in some of the more pornphobic advertisers, like Lexus, which will soon be returning to the company’s pink pages.
While some in the gay community would love to piss on PlanetOut Inc’s grave, gay marketing Bob Witeck of Witeck-Combs Communications insists the gay media market’s gaining speed. PlanetOut – which acquired Out, The Advocate and other titles back in 2005 – simply hit a speed bump.
Witeck believes PlanetOut got squeezed for cash before it was able to capitalize on the collective power of its media brands, especially since the acquisition of LPI in 2005. “I presumed that there was going to be a brand integration in terms of building brand affinity across properties,” he said, “but I guess there was not enough time to do that.”
Despite the company’s current financial state, Witeck thinks LPI’s major titles are still buoyed by their legacy to the community. “The bedrock properties–The Advocate , for example–I think are solid,” he said, noting that amid the incessant flow of news, gay media brands highlight issues of importance to gay people.
“Every year elections matter more than the year before,” said Witeck, using one example. “It’s gay media content that’s going to clarify for gay voters what’s going on.”
And those gay folk would never, ever turn to the internet. Speaking of, Eleveld’s article’s available online.
In addition to selling SpecPub, PlanetOut recently hired Jay Adams to oversee Out (for whom our editor has written) and give The Advocate a helping hand. Executives also took on Luke Hayman, who helped revamp Time and New York.