Monday, March 30, 2009

Genre Magazine 'Suspends' Publication

Gay men's glossy Genre Magazine has 'suspended' publication, according to a statement by CEO David Unger, blaming the magazine's failure on the recession. Call it what you want, fold or suspend. It is not no more.

"We thank all of our readers, advertisers and editorial staff for their support throughout our more than 16-year history and hope that we can re-establish our relationship when times are better."

It is wishful thinking. The times won't allow for it. But Unger noted emphatically that the decision to suspend Genre will not have any impact on other publications produced by HX Media, Window Media or Unite Media, which include the Washington Blade, Southern Voice, South Florida Blade, New York Blade and HX magazine. Let's hope so. They are the heart and soul of the gay national media, reaching into diversified local communities. I am happy to say one of their most successful ventures, the South Florida Blade, formerly the Express Gay News, was my own creation, which I sold to them in 2003. Times were a lot better than for all of us.

Window Media, the parent company of Genre and a half-dozen gay publications, including the Washington Blade, is in federal receivership because of capital shortages which compromised their legal obligations under SBA loan provisions. Hopefully, their lawyers can work out new loan terms and they can work their way out of this involuntary receivership.

I chatted with Dave Unger last month. I wanted him to buck the tide and find the finances to underwrite a national gay newsweekly. On one hand, given the economic climate, he had to think I was crazy. On the other, there is a little voice inside me- and yearning to him, telling him he knows I am right.

The gay community has become straight. By that, I mean mainstream. And they are entitled to a national weekly newspaper which can be picked up at your local news stand every Sunday. Hundreds of thousands would. Just do not expect it soon.

Sadly, nor should you expect the imminent return of ‘Genre,’ or its suspended publication. Just not happening. It never experienced the ‘record growth’ that they advertised under editor Neal Boulton. It experienced instead the economic disaster 2008 in America will be remembered for.

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