Bruno Gmünder, the German publishing house known for its homoerotic coffee table books and the Spartacus International Gay Guide, has filed for bankruptcy.
The Berlin-based company filed for insolvency on March 15, a week after announcing its German-language magazine Männer would no longer have a print edition and only exist online. Bruno Gmünder first declared bankruptcy in 2014, but found an investor in Frank Zahn, who bought up all the partnership shares and sought to make the company profitable.
Gay Star News reports that, after Zahn took control, the company opened a new store in central Berlin and streamlined its publishing branch. But Zahn died unexpectedly in February, leading Bruno Gmünder to spiral into another financial crisis. Former Männer editor in chief Kriss Rudolph reported that, before his death, Zahn continually reached into his personal coffers to keep the company afloat. Rudolph also indicated he and other employees were still owed money.
Bruno Gmünder was founded in 1981 by Bruno Gmünder and Christian von Maltzahn, and specialized in LGBT fiction and non-fiction books in English and German. Now known formally as Bruno Gmünder Verlag, it also owns five bookstores—in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, and Cologne—but their future is unclear.
“We are doing our utmost to secure the company’s future in the long term,” the company said in a statement.
It’s been a volatile time for gay media: In the U.S., Next magazine and Frontiers both ceased publication, and the New York Post reports the Advocate and Out are up for sale. In the UK. Millivres Prowler Ltd , which publishes Gay Times magazine, also declared bankruptcy.