Monday, November 16, 2009


Another wing of the gay media world has died, mostly due to the ambitious greed for a mini-empire.

Am I surprised? No.

When an Australian media group did the same thing, I had just bailed from PlanetOut before it had a binge and purge session around 2000-2001. Here's what I said in the San Francisco Chronicle (in an article that no longer exists online, except in cache form):

One backdrop to the PlanetOut debate is the debacle of Australia's Satellite Group, a gay media and real estate company that went public last year, only to end up in receivership with seven gay publications shuttered.
To someone like Jim Provenzano of San Francisco, a freelance writer and former PlanetOut staffer, the lesson of Satellite is that one company should not control so many publications.
"The collapse of Australia's gay media may serve as a harbinger of the media blackout that could happen if financial truths are belatedly faced by the U.S. version," Provenzano said.
To [then-CEO Megan] Smith at PlanetOut, however, Satellite's failure proves just the opposite: "We have no desire to go the way of Satellite media in Australia. We want to make a strong, profitable company."

But ya did, Blanche. Ya did. Not profitable, but profit-losing, and a cheap sale, and now a nearly worthless entity, the shadow of a once-grand media empire.

And now the east wing has also fallen.
This decade has become a minefield of things we ought to have done.
There's a lotta oughttas out there.

The latest is Window Media, which owns, er, owned, pretty much every major LGBT newspaper on the East Coast, except a few independents. And it's now dead.

Among the affected titles are the weekly newspapers Washington Blade, Southern Voice, South Florida Blade and the bar guides David Magazine and 411 Magazine. (Earlier this year, Window Media ceased publishing Genre Magazine.) Window Media's primary investor, the Avalon Equity Fund, has been in receivership over a loan from the Small Business Administration.

And they're out of work.

Once upon a time, the same doofs that just killed half the gay media world made overtures to other publications. Any that avoided being subsumed by Window Media should thank their lucky stars.

Meanwhile, The Advocate, one of the oldest recurring gay magazines on earth, has been compacted into a fold-in for subscribers of Out, and available online only. They got bought up by Regent Media after PlanetOutOfIt tried to own them, and failed.

There's a lotta oughttas out there.
A lotta shouldas.

But not much print media any more. Nope, the sad news is sent via blogs that critiqued this doomed merger from the beginning.

Read an expansive story about the rise and fall of Window Media at

Buh-bye. Epic fail, folks. Epic.

See the staff at the Washington Blade haul their stuff out while vowing to start a new publication, at WashingtonCityPaper's blog.

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