PlanetOut moves to integrate online and print businesses

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Restructuring continues at one of America’s most prominent gay media companies, with the departure of Bob Allen, chief of magazine titles Out and The Advocate.

PlanetOut CEO Karen Magee announced his exit from the company as part of a plan to return the company to financial stability and profitability.

Last month a company that invests the wealth of Microsoft founder Bill Gates purchased a major stake in PlanetOut, rescuing them from bankruptcy.

Cascade Investments LLC joined with a number of other private equity vehicles including Special Situations Funds, SF Capital Partners, PAR Investment Partners LP and Allen Company LLC to fund a rescue buyout of PlanetOut stock.

The new investors including Mr Gates will collectively own a majority of the shares in PlanetOut.

In an internal memo published on gossip website, Ms Magee lays out her strategy for the company.

“We must increase the level of integration between our online and print businesses. This is especially important in the areas of advertising sales, where we must significantly increase our revenue, and in editorial content where we need to maximise our resources and talent across platforms.”

Karen Magee told Dow Jones in July that it would take at least 12 to 24 months to turn PlanetOut around and that the company may sell its adult businesses.

PlanetOut owns The Advocate,Out magazine,,,,, and, as well as localised versions of the site in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.

PlanetOut posted its second quarter results for 2007 last week. The figures show a fall in advertising revenue, down from $7.3m (£3.7m) in the second quarter of 2006 to $6.7m in 2007.

Total revenue for the second quarter of 2007 was $18.5m, an increase of 14% compared to $16.3 million for the same period one year ago.

Last month PlanetOut announced that 273 staff will be made redundant.

The company is based in San Francisco with additional offices in New York, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis.

Both offices outside the US, London and Buenos Aires, have been closed.