This week saw another shakeup in the world of LGBTQ media, this time overseas in Europe. It was recently announced that as of tomorrow, Sept. 1, German media brands Spartacus International Gay Guide, print magazine Spartacus Traveler and the digital magazine m-maenner.de — formerly of the now-insolvent publishing company Bruno Gmünder — will be under the control of blu media.
Bruno Gmünder was perhaps best known as a publisher of homoerotic coffee table books. The company had previously declared bankruptcy in 2014, after which investor Frank Zahn sought to make Bruno Gmünder profitable again. Zahn passed away earlier this year, leading the company to once more declare bankruptcy in March of this year.
The German company blu media is currently an umbrella brand for five magazines in Berlin, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Munich and Cologne, plus the lifestyle magazine Mate. The company also does work as an event agency for brands looking to reach the LGBTQ community — at Pride celebrations and such — and has developed the first cruise concept for German-speakers, called mCruise.
“We are very proud to have the opportunity to take care of a trusted brand with such a long tradition,” blu media publisher Olaf Alp tells us. “Our team will do its best to work on a successful digital concept and extend the brand, for example into our cruise business.”
Following blu media’s acquiring of these new brands, Spartacus Traveler will continue to be printed and distributed; the Spartacus International Gay Guide, however, will move to become a digital product, available as an iOS app, after nearly 50 years of being printed.
In addition to blu’s taking over of these Bruno Gmünder properties, it was announced that the company will be collaborating with streaming television network OUTtv, expanding its presence in the video realm. Available currently in seven countries and reaching more than 5 million households, OUTtv has been around for nearly a decade. It will reportedly begin to broadcast in Germany, Austria and Switzerland within the coming months. Its programming ranges from movies to TV shows, including the internationally loved reality series RuPaul’s Drag Race. We previously reported that OUTtv will soon be including the Boulet Brothers’ second season of Dragula — another drag-based reality competition series — in its programming slate as well.
This is merely the latest shakeup in the world of queer media, as the last year has seen a cease in publishing for longtime gay brands Next and Frontiers magazines, in New York and Los Angeles, respectively. The 17-year-old brand Metrosource was recently sold to Davler Media, while across the pond in the U.K., Gay Times magazine also declared bankruptcy and has since been reborn. In March, the New York Post reported that L.A.-based Here Media, which owns OUT and The Advocate, was looking to sell off those titles, though the company shrugged it off as mere rumor.
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