Relaunched title is in the pink

By Katie Coyne

A change to tabloid format has turned around
the fortunes of ailing gay title the Pink Paper, which switched from A4
magazine to fortnightly tabloid a year ago.

The freesheet, which
is about to launch a digital edition on the back of its newfound
success, was dumped by its previous owners, Chronos Publishing, in
October 2004 after reported losses of around £400,000 a year.

Within
a fortnight the title was snapped up by gay publisher the Millivres
Prowler Group (MPG), which relaunched the title in its new format in
early 2005.

According to the magazine, the relaunch was so successful that the title had repaid its purchase cost within six months.

Tris
Reid-Smith, editor since 2001, said: “The situation has turned around
completely, and the day that it turned around was when we went from
magazine format to tabloid.

“We were just about keeping our heads above water when we first joined MPG.

“Now we have gone from being a loss-making title to being a key player in Europe’s biggest gay multi-media company.”

MPG
also owns paid-for glossy monthlies Gay Times and lesbian magazine
Diva, which have both also undergone recent revamps, as well as the
Prowler merchandising stores.

The title is also relaunching its website in a bid to compete with the increasing number of online news sites in the sector.

Former
teenage dot.com millionaire Benjamin Cohen recently entered the fray
with his unveiling of www.PinkNews.co.uk, and new online lesbian
magazine www.wide-open.co.uk is expected to launch print editions early
this year.

The Pink Paper, founded in 1987 in newspaper format,
has been traditionally distributed through gay venues. The new website
will allow readers to download PDF versions of the entire edition.

Reid-Smith
said she hoped to relaunch the print edition of the Pink Paper as a
weekly within the next 12 months. Circulation currently stands at
40,000 and is growing.

Content on the new-look Pink Paper website
– created by Pink Paper editorial designer Fernando Safont, who is also
part of the tabloid re-design team – will include news stories,
interviews, features, letters, recruitment advertising and reader’s
ballots.

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