Equal Entertainment acquires Pride Media, Rebrands to Equal Pride – The Hollywood Reporter

Pride Media, home of Out Magazine, Apologist and Pride.com, has been acquired by Equal Entertainment and is rebranding as Equal Pride.

The acquisition includes all existing assets, including the digital forks of Outside and Apologist, Out Traveler Magazine and Plus Magazine, and returned the country’s largest LGBTQ-owned media, digital, television and entertainment company to LGBTQ+ majority ownership.

Mark Berryhill will be the chief executive officer of Equal Pride, with Michael Kelley, president and director of global growth and development, reporting to Berryhill. Diane Anderson-Minshall, Pride Media’s first female CEO, is set to retain C-suite responsibilities as head of global and development, with her work focused on brands editorial brand and an expanding international audience. Joe Lovejoy was named chief financial officer, with Stuart Brockington upgraded to EVP on sales and partnerships, effective immediately.

Kelley and Berryhill are business and life partners with a long history in the media industry. Before joining Equal Entertainment, which produces daily TV shows, popular documentaries, and branded content, Kelley was from PwC, where he ran the entertainment operation that built Hulu and in those days First, AT&T’s advertising services. Berryhill used to be Meredith’s vp of news and marketing before becoming a vp for programming and creative issues.

The acquisition comes four years after Adam Levine, CEO of Los Angeles-based investment firm Orevea, acquired Pride Media in 2017 through the board-backed purchase of Here Publishing. manage. In 2018, Pride Media kicked off a new era that saw then-CEO Nathan Coyle hire Phillip Picardi – known for launching Conde Nast’s Surname – like Outside editor-in-chief and Zach Stafford, A strange loop co-producer, former Grindr CCO and editor-in-chief of the app’s digital magazine In – as editor-in-chief Apologist.

By December 2019, Coyle, Picardi and Stafford – who also made history as Apologist’First Black editor-in-chief – resigned or was about to leave, along with a round of staff layoffs and additional executives leaving, as later reported New York Times. This came before 42 freelancers published an open letter asking Pride Media to compensate them for their work. (That same year, widespread pay cuts were implemented, and tensions around payments in Pride Media offices resulted in layoffs.)

Noyle published a response promising payment while pointing out an error at the company’s complicated website about corporate ownership. At the same time, the company is facing public backlash over Levine’s political donations, with the holding company CEO found to have donated to the following anti-LGBTQ Republican politicians. when committing to stop doing so, according to LGBTQ Country.

Despite the magazine’s recent difficult history, Kelley and Berryhill see the Pride Media acquisition as an important move to expand the brand, assert an existing readership, and attract new audiences.

“We now have not only incredible American history, but LGBTQ history and 55 years of media coverage of the rise of equality from Stonewall to this day. You can imagine the rich stories we have,” said Kelley CHEAP. “We are delighted to have been able to bring the leading voices of the LGBTQ+ community into our portfolio and to really begin to grow and focus them on the moment that matters most, so to speak. is in the history of our country.”

The plans are to expand existing business ventures that, with a continued dedication to the printing sector, make the 55-year-old man again Advocate Kelley says the brand is “rooted in news, politics and entertainment told through an equal lens. Meanwhile, Outside will have a lifestyle that focuses on both the gay experience and a larger audience of women and people of color. The first marketing campaigns for legacy brands, says Kelley, were to encourage subscribers to donate read-out publications to local youth centers, LGBTQ centers, church affirmations, and schools. learn to accept.

For Pride.com, which Kelley says is “arguably the most valuable URL in all of LGBTQ media,” Equal Pride will be “under scrutiny,” conducting focus groups with the LGBTQ community. and advertisers to find out what they want. Early interest shows a focus on Pride festival, pride stories, coming out stories, music festivals with gay and performing artists, and the NFT gay artist forum.” so that gay artists from everywhere can sell their work physically and practically.”

Additionally, the company is looking to expand aggressively into branded content with video and social media. “We looked at how do we also have a brand that someone might not have heard of and recommend them? It’s clear that at the moment we have a great way to do that through video and social media – to take care of the consumers who have been with us and then introduce a whole new generation of people. new for synchronous media. “

According to Kelley, Equal Pride currently doesn’t want to expand to original content written more on top of it. But he confirmed that in addition to expanding Today’s pride In addition to the current 5-minute video program as the team grows, OTT content will be another way to deliver the company’s “progressive media voice” to an audience that includes women, people of color, and people of color. View LGBTQ+ through popular culture, lifestyle and hard news angled content.

Promoting the work in international markets, “especially markets where LGBTQ rights are oppressed and suppressed,” said Mr. Kelley. The duo said the company plans to expand to serve a wider LGBTQ+ audience, already having advertisers lined up, with General Motors, Google Pixel, Gilead, Capital One, Disney/Hulu, TikTok, McDonald’s, Molson Coors, NBCU and J&J, on the 2022 client list.

At a larger HR level, the plans are not to downsize but to grow dramatically with Kelley said CHEAP Equal Pride has brought in a new chief marketing officer, a new video lead and a new editor. “We are keeping each one. In fact, we have a need,” he said. “We need more powerful journalists. We need more people to help us with the brand in marketing. We are moving to video. We’re creating entire editorial offices and Content Studio for these brands. ”

The Equal Pride president also noted that the company is looking to form an alumni association that includes employees who have worked with the brand since its inception. “We want to stay in touch with the people who have shaped these brands, the people who have shaped the stories because we are the most vulnerable in the workforce and it is important that We must provide support even after they have left us and keep that history alive, stay healthy. ”

“It will take time. It will take discipline,” he added. “It will all take some big thinking but we know we can do it.”

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