Out Magazine Outsourced

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Out Magazine Outsourced

This is a plan that only Here Media could hatch: Fire your entire editorial staff, let your editor-in-cheif set up another company using the same staff only this time as free-lancers, save magazine (for a while) cut overhead in the process.

Out Magazine, whose parent company Here Media (owned by Regent Entertainment) is still unwinding from legal trouble, appears to have gone along with an idea designed by Aaron Hicklin its current editor-in-chief to save the magazine. Hicklin who ran Out for the last six years and Here Media have agreed to spin off their editorial staff into a "shell" staff, otherwise known as free-lancers, to be hired by Hicklin in his new venture called Grand Editorial. Grand Editorial will be a content provider cooking up "unique" editorial to publications and corporations (i.e. mini magazines, inserts, advertorials). Their first and only client so far, Out/Here.

Hicklin's Grand Scheme Editorial press-release reads:

I’m thrilled that Here Media, Out’s parent company, sees the value in this exciting new initiative. I’m profoundly committed to Out’s ongoing evolution, and beyond happy to be able to continue doing what I love best while also having the opportunity to explore new ways of thinking about the relationship between editorial and publishing.

I got a few questions pertaining to this story:

1) If the Out editorial staff wasn't spun off into a new company, would Out mag have folded?
2) Was Aaron Hicklin canned, but managed to swing a contract out of Here to keep the magazine and his job going?
3) Here is already notorious for (not) paying free-lancers, what are the chances this relationship survives?

What's that saying about lip-stick on a pig?


Comments [5]

SMBrown's picture

There really aren't enough

There really aren't enough swear words in the English language for me to fully comment on the smarminess of this.

Grace Moon's picture

... i can't imagine it

... i can't imagine it working, but then again, there are lots of writers out there who would like to be paid for work and zero postitions available.


tweet tweet @gracemoon

SMBrown's picture

Yeah, tell me about it!  But

Yeah, tell me about it!  But this move doesn't create any new positions, just keeps the same writers hanging on by a toe.  I suppose they could claim they're 'preserving' jobs, but first I'd like to see what the CEO of Here, and all the corporate mucky-mucks, are pulling down in salary before they claim that Out wasn't 'profitable.'

Robin Rigby's picture

If he's using these people to

If he's using these people to work for him like employees but paying them as freelancers, that's illegal. A company doesn't have to pay Social Security taxes for freelancers but they do for employees so it's a way to avoid taxes. It doesn't stop lots of companies from trying it. I wouldn't be surprised if this maneuver had something to do with that.

Marcie Bianco's picture

As I've said before, this

As I've said before, this is crazy and infuriating and bespeaks how writing is no longer perceived as an art form but as a hobbyist pastime/filler. In the past, only certain types of people could afford to freelance. Now with the economy and due to corporate greed, it's how we're all supposed to make a living