LGBTQ Media: The New Out Magazine + Them

Change is afoot in the LGBTQ+ media landscape with Phillip Picardi‘s vision for Out magazine taking physical shape as the new editor-in-chief and them announcing new leadership. With the staff and vision of the outlets evolving, brands need to speak to the broader LGBTQ+ community with their initiatives and content –  and not just the L or the G – especially as awareness and conversation around gender identity increases. Implementing programs that innovate and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, instead of updating and appealing to it, is more important than ever to garner the attention and hearts of queer outlets.

From a public relations perspective, it’s more important than ever to develop attention-grabbing yet intelligent story angles that represent the represent the broader LGBTQ+ community or fill a gap in storytelling. Media outlets are looking to differentiate themselves as much as possible against the competition, which includes a continued move away from click-baity lifestyle news for unique stories.

Highlights from The Business of Fashion: “Culture Trumps Politics at Phillip Picardi’s Out Magazine

  • The Outlets Focus
    • One of the first national magazines for gay men and women to cross into mainstream success, Out was founded in 1992 with a focus on fashion, entertainment and pop culture, later evolving to cater specifically to gay men.
    • Picardi’s larger goal is to step away from Out’s identity as focused only on gay men, a strategy that at one time drew more advertisers amid a wider cultural focus on marriage equality.
    • The website won’t be a place for chasing the news cycle, though. “News happens that affects the community that we are going to need to cover; to me, it’s — how are we going to cover it in a way that’s intelligent?” said Picardi. “[It’s about] cementing authority rather than regurgitating.”
  • The Staff
    • He wants to differentiate the magazine with its slate of editors and contributors — people who reflect the wide diversity of the queer community. They also bring their own following to the publication from their past experience and other projects.
      • Executive editor Raquel Willis, for example, is a former organiser for the Transgender Law Center; columnist Ira Madison III is a critic and host of a Crooked Media pop culture podcast.
    • Now that Pride Media has also hired Zach Stafford as the new editor-in-chief for The Advocate, Picardi expects the two sister publications can share some senior editorial positions as they grow. Once rivals in the market, The Advocate is more focused on news and long-form journalism, while Out is more about culture.
  • The Path Ahead
    • Picardi will also bring on special guests for future issues, which will include theme editions focused on Pride month as well as fashion, beauty and art. Activist Janet Mock is already working on the March issue as guest editor.
    • [Pride Media CEO Nathan Coyle] also wants Out to integrate e-commerce affiliate links that take a cut from sales driven by readers on the site.
    • A redesign of is in the works, and in December it registered 1.42 million unique visitors, according to the publisher.

Highlights from Adweek: “Condé Nast Names New Executive Editor for LGBTQ+ Brand, Them

  • Condé Nast has named Whembley Sewell as its new executive editor for its LGBTQ+ brand, called them. Sewell will take over the reins after serving as channel manager at Teen Vogue.
  • “them has grown tremendously since we launched the platform in 2017 and Whembley’s distinct voice and passionate take on issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community make her a natural fit to lead the brand forward,” said Anna Wintour, artistic director of Condé Nast and editor in chief of Vogue, in a statement. “Her positive energy and warmth will be instrumental in growing them’s audience while championing the diverse voices that make the platform so extraordinary.”
  • Since launching, the brand has produced a short film series called Queeroes, and has worked to diversify the kinds of voices elevated by the platform.
  • “I am so excited to join the amazing team at them and help share important stories that impact the LGBTQ+ community,” Sewell said in a statement. “There are so many untapped points of view that aren’t represented in media and them’s mission to give a platform to these voices is more important than ever.”

I hope you enjoyed this post! Be bold and comment or interact with me on Twitter (@ATouchofBold) or Instagram (@ATouchofBold).

What are you thinking?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: