Gay nightlife glossy SBI drops its print edition

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imageAfter just 10 issues in a resurgent market for LGBT print publications, the publisher of SBI Magazine announced Wednesday that he’s pulling the plug on the gay glossy.

The publication was the latest entrant into a crowded field of print publications that started earlier this year in the wake of the collapse of Window Media, the former publisher of Southern Voice and David. The magazine hoped to take the nightlife promotions experience of its publisher, Jason Snead, and turn that into a weekly publication with a nightlife and entertainment focus.

But instead, the 24-page July 7 edition will be the last one printed, until a special issue for Pride, Snead says in a press release.

“Although readership and advertising response was encouraging, we have concluded that this economic market will not support our business expectations,” Snead says. “We will continue the online version of the magazine and revamp the site to support more online features.”

The glossy shared a taste for readers similar to the ones who pick up the weekly David, now published by Gaydar, and the every-other-week Fenuxe. SBI–an acronym for stylish, bold, informative — debuted on April 28 with a 32-page issue and cover that focused on “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” though the page count dropped to 24 in the last two issues. The magazine skipped its June 16 issue and didn’t print.

“I had all of these contacts from back when I was doing promotions in Atlanta. We came up with the idea before there were five other publications coming out,” Snead told Project Q Atlanta when the magazine first hit the streets. “There are so many people within the LGBT community and a lot of them are not always represented in print media. We want to help expand and cover them – Latin things, the Bulldogs crowd. What I hope we accomplish is to be very broad in our community and reaching out.”

The full statement from SBI:

SBI Magazine will discontinue publishing a weekly print version of the magazine for now. Although readership and advertising response was encouraging, we have concluded that this economic market will not support our business expectations. We will continue the online version of the magazine and revamp the site to support more online features. SBI Magazine published its debut issue on April 28, 2010 and joined the chaotic LGBT publication climate in Atlanta at the time. It has been publishing weekly and growing weekly in readership and online views. The magazine is published by Jason Snead and provides an alternative yet resourceful guide for gay Atlantans and to highlight popular and under the radar happenings and personalities. SBI Magazine will publish a special Pride edition in print of the magazine to be released in only 12 weeks from now in October 2010.

Here’s where SBI fit into the mix of LGBT publications in Atlanta: SBI surfaces on April 28, Fenuxe launches on April 22, Gaydar’s Southern Voice on April 16, the GA Voice on March 19 and Gaydar’s David magazine on March 10. Gaydar launched the Atlanta Free Press in December, but the weekly newspaper folded a few weeks later.

All of that was made possible by the Nov. 16 collapse of Window Media, which meant the shuttering of SoVo, David and a handful of other LGBT publications in other cities.

Also in the media mix: The monthly Pocket Rocket and the informal monthly Don’t Label it!

Though SBI is the first of the new publications to stop printing, it’s not the only one that’s experiencing troubles. Southern Voice, billed as a weekly publication, published just twice in May and then didn’t publish three editions until it returned on June 25 with a 48-page paper. The publication has since published two more weekly editions, though the July 9 issue dropped to 32 pages.


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