Thursday, September 29, 2016

Publisher of Next and Frontiers Shut Down; CEO Promises to Fight On

In financially sounder times ...

Like the convoluted Here Media/Regent Entertainment/Alyson Books/PlanetOut Inc. debacle before it, this is not an easy-to-follow story. But the short version seems to be that Multimedia Platforms, which now includes Next Magazine in New York (which had already bought longtime competitor HX), Frontiers in Los Angeles and Florida Agenda (as well Guy magazine, which has been rebranded Next South Florida), has laid off all of its employees and ceased production.

According to South Florida Gay News:
CEO Bobby Blair put out a press release indicating that a court order had been issued seizing the assets of his company, and a restraining order “has been issued prohibiting the company from distributing any cash or any other assets of the company.” Lenders in the State of Massachusetts apparently filed the action.

In an effort to explain the company’s present difficulties, Blair told SFGN “for the record, I was re-appointed CEO last week as I became informed all this was happening by management. The last 4 months I have not been involved or included in any day-to-day business or involved in this now disputed credit facility.”

Blair indicated in private emails to colleagues, which are being circulated in social media, that he has retained counsel to “fight” the seizure but has refused, as of this time, to name the lawyers or the court where the action is proceeding. His representation to one party was that “new management signed a horrible deal that I have now to fix.”

But for now all local and national operations have been shut down. There will be no papers or magazines this week.
I hope it works out for him. No matter the outcome, though, it's clear that print media is in dire straights -- and LGBT outlets have been particularly hurt by the shift to online information. I reached out to Bobby for comment but have not heard back from him.

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