By Erin Rook, PQ Monthly
UPDATED Feb. 26, 12 p.m.
Just Out, the glossy LGBTQ magazine that launched in Portland last June, is shutting its doors, according to an email sent out to advertisers and confirmed Tuesday by a status update on its Facebook page. Blogger Byron Beck first broke news of the rumor Monday afternoon.
In the message to advertisers, owners and publishers Eddie Glenn & Jonathan Kipp explain the reason for the magazine’s closure and promise to refund advertisers who had paid through march (or later):
When we purchased Just Out last year, we believed that by switching it to a monthly magazine format we could turn it into a viable business and continue the 30 year tradition of the title. After 9 issues, ad sales did not reach the level that we needed them to be at, and because the publication is purely advertising supported, it does not make business sense to continue publishing the title.
In the statement posted online, Just Out’s publishers thank their readers and staff:
As you may have heard by now, sadly Just Out is no longer in publication. We had an amazing 9-month run.
We want to thank the community for welcoming a reinvented Just Out last June, thousands of readers who have shared their comments of support with us over the months, and the advertisers who made it all possible. But mostly we want to share our sincere gratitude to our staff and many contributors — anyone who ever had a hand in helping create an issue of Just Out — for their work, their great attitude, their belief in the project AND their kindness. This is a quality group of human beings who have worked tirelessly to bring you this magazine and only wanted it to become better and better.
We all knew it was a tall order to bring Just Out back after its abrupt closure in 2011, but we all believed it was possible and important. When we took over Just Out, we wanted to approach the publication in a new way, to tell the stories of the amazing people in our LGBTQ community, to rise above negativity and pettiness. We believe we did that. In the process, we made good on advertising commitments that went unfulfilled when the old Just Out stopped publishing.
We especially want to thank our Editor-in-Chief Alley Hector and Art Director Horace Long. Without them, we would not have been able to re-launch Just Out.Even though it is sad to say goodbye to you — our readers, followers and fans — we are proud and grateful that we had a chance to participate in the near 30 year legacy of Just Out.
Editor-in-Chief Alley Hector declined to comment at this time and referred all questions to Kipp, who has not responded to a phone call or email.
Glenn-Kipp Publishing, Inc. (former publishers of Portland Bride and Groom) purchased Just Out’s name and other assets in February 2012 from Marty Davis (no relation to PQ Monthly publisher Melanie Davis), who closed the doors at the once-bimonthly newspaper the previous December. Marty Davis purchased the newspaper from co-founder Renée LaChance in 1996.
(Full disclosure: I worked for Just Out from March 2010 until it closed in December 2011, as an associate editor and freelance writer.)
Marty Davis says she has no official comment on the closure, in a public status post on her Facebook page. When Just Out closed in 2011, she wrote the following note on the publication’s website:
It is with great sadness that I have to announce today that Just Out newspaper, having put up a helluva fight against this dammed “Great Recession,” will be unable to continue publishing. Our 12/9 issue was/is our last publication. Thank you for being our “Friends’ and for reading Just Out, these past 29 years.
Originally founded by LaChance and the late Jay Brown in 1983, Just Out was the area’s longest running LGBTQ publication until Davis closed the business. She told PQ’s publisher that she had declared bankruptcy.
The news that Just Out is going to stop publishing again made me very sad. It is a loss to the community and a blow to everyone who ever worked on the paper. Nearly 30 years is a pretty good run for a queer news publication. Maybe it is time to let it rest in peace and be grateful for the role it played in growing and nurturing Oregon and Southwest Washington’s queer community over the decades.
I respect what Jonathan Kipp and Eddie Glenn tried to do with Just Out. It is never easy starting a business, even an established one. Even harder keeping it afloat. I know, I’ve started and floated plenty of businesses in my career as a serial entrepreneur. I appreciate the effort Marty Davis made to keep Just Out publishing after I sold her the paper in 1996. We want to cast blame when something we love dies, but I will not fault anyone who puts their own money at risk to serve a community. Kipp, Glenn and Davis did their jobs the best they could, I am sure. No one should have to go bankrupt providing a service to a community.
My co-founder, Jay Brown used to say, when the Oregonian starts printing our news there won’t be a need for Just Out. More and more I see our stories in the mainstream press. While I believe we need to tell our stories our way, there are plenty of avenues for that without Just Out these days. Tonight, I will raise a toast to the loss of an institution in our community.
It should be noted that PQ Monthly picked up the torch last year when Just Out stopped publishing and ran with it. I admire Melanie Davis, Gabriella Kandziora and their staff for doing that and congratulate them on their one-year anniversary and will raise a toast to them tonight that they have many many more.
PQ will continue to update this story as there is more to report.