Advocate to Go Monthly

AdvocateAccording to The Bay Area Reporter, The Advocate will go monthly beginning in January.

The Advocate‘s new editor-in-chief Jon Barrett broke the news at a luncheon at the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association’s LGBT Media Summit in Washington, D.C. today. Said Barrett: “I don’t think there is a need for a biweekly magazine anymore with the Web. We will have more room for bigger stories and we’re going to get better writers. You will see more news in the magazine.”

He said other changes include a move away from entertainers on the cover and said they’ll stop asking straight actors “what it’s like to kiss a man.” Of course, that may not stop them from volunteering such information.

The Advocate and OUT were purchased from PlanetOut by Regent Entertainment last spring.

Comments

  1. Paul R says

    This seems contradictory. They’ll be providing more “news” is a monthly magazine? Isn’t that what the Web provides?

    Also, who will be on the cover if not entertainers? That’s what sells magazines.

    I’m all for not asking straight actors the same tired litany of questions, but otherwise the concept here seems a bit dubious.

  2. the queen says

    blogs is the way to go my dears for news… the gay mags are outdated except maybe for porn mags…

  3. Jimmyboyo says

    NIX the paper mag and go totaly computer weekly.

    All print media has seen a huge drop off in subscriptions yet those that are doing web based mags have seen an 8.4% increase this year alone in subscribers and hits = kaching on ad revenue besides cutting print costs

  4. Joseph says

    I had the same immediate thought as Paul: why concentrate on news if the news will already be a month old?

    The Atlantic Monthly idea is interesting, but without a celebrity on the cover, it’ll still tank.

  5. Paul R says

    James, if they actually managed to get writers and address topics on the level of the Atlantic Monthly, they could do quite well. More serious, hard-hitting gay journalism would be welcome to at least a certain segment of the community.

    So many gay publications seem to feel the need to constantly be frivolous and sophomoric (I say this as someone who used to write for Instinct and had to stop because it was just embarrassing), and it would be nice to see another approach succeed.

  6. Steve says

    While print media is certainly in trouble, it’s also a major source of material for many blogs. This blog and many others routinely quote interviews from print magazines and show pictures from magazine photo shoots. If there were no magazines, a lot of blogs would have less content. Maybe they would just report what’s in other blogs.

  7. 24play says

    Atlantic Monthly circulation: 425,000.

    So, likely circ for a gay Atlantic monthly < 42,500. That’s about a third of The Advocate’s current (and extremely padded with discount and free subscriptions, etc., not to mention all the masses who want to know what Katy Perry thinks about all her gay fans) circ. Not nearly enough to pull in major national advertisers, who generally won’t look at something with less than 100K or 200K (and many draw the line at 500K). Besides the Atlantic is a rich man’s plaything. It’s been losing millions a year for decades. Not a winning proposition for The Advocate, unless Tim Gill decides to buy them. They need to radically upgrade the content (as Barrett obviously realizes) AND move everything to the Web. But if they failed to execute a successful Web play during the near-decade when they were owned by a Web portal, what are the chances of that happening now, when they don’t have a whole army of programmers, developers and Web designers at their disposal?

  8. ex-writer says

    So funny they mention writers with that publication. I know a few people who have written for them and waited months to get paid. No writer is going to write for them if they have to fight to get paid. I did an article for them and finally after 15 phone calls and a threat from a lawyer I got a check.

  9. ken says

    Smart move, about time, what took you so long to get your heads out of yours asses, “straight” actors who play gay on the cover, give me a break, where’s your editor, oh, by the way, I’ve stopped reading your magazine, your two years behind the times. Period. THE END.

  10. Sami says

    Steve, nobody is saying get rid of magazines. Jimmyboyo suggested–and I agree–that perhaps, magazines should be getting rid of their dead-tree editions and go completely digital.

  11. Las Vegas says

    How stupidly arrogant to assume every person is going to carry some sort of digital method to read magazines with them all the time. I and many other people who travel a lot read magazines and news papers all the time…The kindle hasn’t proven itself to be worth the money they charge yet.

    Of course what can you expect from elitist snobs who think everyone can afford some sort of digital delivery system to save some tree.

  12. 24play says

    Actually, LV, we were making a reality-based argument that the market (subscriptions, advertising, competitive environment) simply will no longer support newsmagazines, especially those focused on niche communities, and therefore they will all fail.

    It was a capitalist critique, a conservative one based on supply, demand, and innovation.

  13. PinkPerv says

    I totally support The Advocate’s new direction. I’m sure that when Barrett says there’ll be a “focus on news” it won’t be daily breaking news–yes, that belongs on the web site–instead, it will be larger think pieces, articles that connect dots for us and explore the meanings and trends behind the daily headlines.

    We desperately need that in our community.

    I, too, have written for The Advocate and its web site a few times. I have nothing but praise: smart editors and punctual paychecks.

    All in all, Barrett’s announcements singal exciting and promising changes. Can’t wait to see the new product.

  14. PinkPerv says

    I totally support The Advocate’s new direction. I’m sure that when Barrett says there’ll be a “focus on news” it won’t be daily breaking news–yes, that belongs on the web site–instead, it will be larger think pieces, articles that connect dots for us and explore the meanings and trends behind the daily headlines.

    We desperately need that in our community.

    I, too, have written for The Advocate and its web site a few times. I have nothing but praise: smart editors and punctual paychecks.

    All in all, Barrett’s announcements singal exciting and promising changes. Can’t wait to see the new product.

  15. Dback says

    More power to ’em–I think this is a smart move. They can still do the up-to-the-minute stuff on the web, but the magazine can do in-depth articles on various subjects. I really like it when the Advocate does serious reporting on topics like being gay in the 3rd world, investing for couples, the state of gay cinema/publishing, etc. However, I also have to admit that I’m about a year and a half behind in my back issues (and OUT as well), so this’ll give me a chance to catch up.

  16. Jimmyboyo says

    Sami :-)

    24 play :-)

    LV

    Who said anything about amazon’s kindle?

    I was talking PCs and lap tops

    From a capitalist perspective like 24play said= print media has seen 10% + drop in subscriptions this past year while web based media has seen an 8.4% increase in subscriptions which equals more advertising revenue that can be generated. Print shops and delivery people and GAS!!!! can be cut making a much better bottom line

    If one can’t afford a PC in america then any local library offers FREE web surfing to any local citizen.

    If an extremly impoverished gay youth can’t get to a local library to read the advocate (it isn’t a youth oriented mag and gay youths are not reading it anyway) then one wouldn’t be able to buy the advocate off of the rack due to other more pressing issues.

    A Week is more than enough time in this day and age to do an in depth article (thus my weekly web mag suggestion). In this day and age one get anywhere quickly via modern transportation, do in depth interviews, cross reference research via the web instantly, upload and send whatever pics from an instant take with a camera phone, etc.

  17. mhk says

    I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time. It has been so embarassing to read interviews where the person is always asked if he has ever had a gay experience or other such nonsense. How can we be taken seriously journalistically or otherwise if the emphasis is on such a base level and not on the topic at hand.

  18. TomJ says

    My perception is that they have also raised the price for subscriptions — quite a lot. I just received an invoice asking me to renew for $39.97 per year. Didn’t a subscription used to cost about $20? I don’t think I’ll be renewing for one half the number of issues for twice the price. I may be gay, but I do understand math.

  19. Just watch says

    The only financials they (the new owners) have seen to date are from the seller of LPI. So they haven’t seen their own money flushed dtt yet. When they do, the game will change, and the print publication will go away. Sad.

  20. magazine reader says

    This move is intriguing and exciting to me.

    The Atlantic concept is very appealing to me. I am most often embarrassed by gay media’s focus on celebrities and soft-porn. When substantive issues are discussed, they are done in such a light manner that it is annoying to read.

    Without getting into the “digital is better than dead trees” argument, more magazines are taking the approach of providing their content both online and in traditional format, and I think that is the logical path.

    Essentially all non-academic periodicals – magazines and newspapers alike – are supported by advertising, not subscriptions. To this end, circulation numbers and/or traffic stats matter alot. Subscription fees barely cover postage. For the Advocate to be successful in either format, they need readers.

  21. owen says

    How ’bout you all just pick one up each month after it goes monthly, then you can decide.

  22. says

    Luckily, the Washington Blade will still put out a weekly paper. The world isn’t quite ready yet for web-exclusive news and moving to monthly will be a huge mess for those guys, I fear. It’s really easy to forget about those who don’t play the game.

  23. dan cullinane says

    “hurray” to jon, and the staff for making this move. i think jon’s direction is spot on. the magazine can now do the types of stories they haven’t been able to do in the past due to time constraints. combined with the reporting on advocate.com they can continue to be a “voice of record” for a gay audience, while providing perspective and analysis in a monthly magazine devoted to exploring news, societal, and cultural events from a different angle. the discussion of taking the advocate to a monthly has been going on for years, not based on circ and advertising, but based on what is the best approach for the magazine to take in this new environment for print. i think the atlantic monthly comparison is apt, and another exciting magazine to look at as a possible model is bust, which is consistenly fresh and topical. i agree with owen, lets pick up a few copies of the new monthly before weighing in on why it won’t work.

  24. blah says

    who the hell reads advocate anyways – such a crap publication….people only get it b/c some actual waste their money on a gay.com subscription and receive it by default…

  25. queendru says

    No celebrities on the cover so I guess that means it’ll be the latest Democrat.

    It’ll be like JFK Jr’s failed magazine George but without the charm or pedigree.

    I fully agree “connect the dots” in depth pieces don’t happen much in the gay world. It tends to do only fluff and soft-porn and often not very well.

    If it tries to tackle an issue, it’s always the latest hot politician or liberal interest group’s “facts” instead of independently gathered work. It’s embarrassing.

  26. mike says

    Well, it is about time! I’ve been reading The Advocate for a long time. It’s gone through a lot of changes–sometimes for the good; sometimes for the bad. A monthly makes sense. Maybe they can devote more time to really good reporting and, even, stop ghetto-izing themselves. If they change one thing, please let it be those celebrity interviews where it’s just gay gay gay gay gay upon gay questions that really aren’t relevant to the celebrity they’re interviewing. It’s embarrassing sometimes, painfully so, to read those interviews.

  27. mike says

    Well, it is about time! I’ve been reading The Advocate for a long time. It’s gone through a lot of changes–sometimes for the good; sometimes for the bad. A monthly makes sense. Maybe they can devote more time to really good reporting and, even, stop ghetto-izing themselves. If they change one thing, please let it be those celebrity interviews where it’s just gay gay gay gay gay upon gay questions that really aren’t relevant to the celebrity they’re interviewing. It’s embarrassing sometimes, painfully so, to read those interviews.