May 11, 2007

News: Specialty Publications Up for Sale

Specialty Publications, the Los Angeles–based producer of Unzipped, Men, Freshmen and [2] magazines, is being put on the block by its owner. PlanetOut Inc. announced today that it is considering putting the adult division up for sale. In a statement to investors, executives from PlanetOut, which also owns mainstream gay publications Out and The Advocate, said that the possible sale was due to the fact that Specialty’s titles did not fit the ad-revenue-driven model of the other PlanetOut businesses. But they also stressed that the division was a “highly separable business and an excellent acquisition opportunity.” For more information on the publisher, visit

In a related story, the San Francisco Chronicle is reporting that PlanetOut Inc. is now fighting for survival. The San Francisco owner of the media company disclosed this week that it will run out of money before the end of the year without a major infusion of cash. The dire situation is a consequence of PlanetOut’s declining subscriptions for personal ads, a shortfall in advertising revenue and trouble booking passengers on its gay-oriented cruises. A dismal first-quarter earnings report on Wednesday hammered home the reality.

“This is deeply disappointing and concerning to me and the rest of the management team,” Karen Magee, PlanetOut’s chief executive officer, said in a conference call with analysts Wednesday. “We’ve got major work to do at PlanetOut to generate the healthy revenue growth and solid earnings performance that I believe this company is capable of producing.”

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