The New York Post is reporting Out magazine and the Advocate have been put up for sale.
The Post’s Media Ink column writes Here Media, owners of both publications, is shopping the magazines and their digital sites, and has hired investment firm Houlihan Lokey to find the right buyer.
While the magazines are said to barely break even, their gay and lesbian-themed web sites are money makers, bringing a profit of about $3 million for the combined print and digital operation on revenue of about $15 million.
The titles since 2009 have been owned by Los Angeles-based Here, which operates it through Regent Entertainment Media.For the past decade, Here Media has outsourced production of the magazines to Aaron Hicklin’s Brooklyn-based Grand Editorial.
Hicklin and Here Media CEO Paul Colichman did not return Media Ink’s requests for comment.
On the other side of the pond, Millivres Prowler Group, publisher of Gay Times magazine, has gone into bankruptcy. The publication, rebranded in 2007 as GT, will continue with new owners.
Gay Times began publican in 1984, when glossy gay publications were a rarity both in the U.S and the U.K., and quickly was absorbed into British pop culture, appearing in Little Britain and the film Beautiful Thing. A September 2004 cover used in London Underground advertisements garnered complaints because it featured a gay kiss (a first for the legendary transportation system).
But in recent years, Gay Star News reports, MPG has been beleaguered by rising London rents and the increase in people shopping online. (MPG sold off its women’s magazine, Diva, in 2014.)
The magazine and the gaytimes.co.uk site will continue under the leadership of entrepreneur James Frost, who was already a majority shareholder.
“In a year during which we celebrate 50 years since the partial decriminalization of male homosexuality in England and Wales, it’s more important than ever to see the LGBT community standing on its own two feet and claiming its place in the world,” Frost said in a statement. Editor Darren Scott added that reclaiming the Gay Times name reflects “it’s important that we continue to speak our name loudly and proudly.”
It’s not clear what will happen to other parts of the MPG empire, including the brick-and-mortar Prowler stores in Soho and Brighton.