GENERALIZING THE JOURNAL: Cultural reporting might be on the wane at many of the nation’s newspapers, but it may yet have its day at the Wall Street Journal. At a lunch for prospective advertisers in the newspaper’s first-ever glossy magazine, WSJ., Journal managing editor Marcus Brauchli told WWD he’s excited about the possibility of a culture section — prototypes have been overseen by former House & Garden editor in chief Dominique Browning — but that he’s still waiting to discuss it with News Corp. brass, who, judging by recent headlines about a possible Yahoo deal, clearly have a lot on their plates at the moment.
Earlier, Brauchli, Dow Jones chief revenue officer Michael Rooney and the magazine’s editor, Tina Gaudoin, had given brief presentations on the magazine, set to make it debut in September and go monthly next year, complete with page mock-ups enlarged on a video screen. Rooney introduced Brauchli as “the conscience of our content — and I mean that,” to which Brauchli responded: “I’m not sure what that means.”
— Irin Carmon
NEW OWNER IN AT OUT: Out magazine likely will be marking its 15th anniversary, in its September fashion issue, under new ownership: here Networks has entered into a binding letter of intent to buy the title from its owner, PlanetOut Inc. Also being scooped up in the deal, which is expected to close by April 31, are PlanetOut’s additional magazine and publishing entities, among them The Advocate, OutTraveler, HIV+ and Alyson books, and their associated Web sites. The San Francisco Business Times reported that the purchase price was $6 million, with only $500,000 in cash and the remainder the assumption of debt.
“We will protect and expand these iconic brands with integrity, passion and commitment,” here Networks co-founders Stephen Jarchow and Paul Colichman said.
PlanetOut Inc., which has been shopped by investment bank Allen & Co. since January, is continuing “to explore strategic alternatives” with the bank for its primary online businesses, Gay.com and planetout.com, Karen Magee, PlanetOut’s chief executive officer, said.
Out’s guaranteed rate base stands at 185,000 readers, representing a 20 percent increase in circulation over the past three years, according to editor in chief Aaron Hicklin, who joined Out in April 2006. That’s up from 175,000 a year ago and 130,000 in mid-2006, based on figures from its publisher, LPI Media.
Newsstand sales account for about 10 percent of circulation, Hicklin said.
For 2007, the most recent data available from the Publishers Information Bureau, Out’s ad pages declined 17.6 percent to 576 from 699. The May issue, themed “Power 50: The Most Influential Gay Men & Women in America,” and the April issue, themed “Transgender,” each ran to 98 total pages.
— Valerie Seckler