Equal Entertainment acquires Pride Media, rebranding as Equal Pride – The Hollywood Reporter

Pride Media, home of Out Magazine, The lawyer and Pride.com, was acquired by Equal Entertainment and rebranded as Equal Pride.

The acquisition covers all existing assets, including digital weapons Outside and The lawyer, Out Traveler Magazine and plus a magazine, and returns the largest LGBTQ media, digital, television and entertainment company in the country to majority ownership of LGBTQ +.

Mark Beryhill will serve as CEO of Equal Pride, and Michael Kelly, chairman and president of global growth and development, will report to Berryhill. Diane Anderson-Minchel, the first female CEO of Pride Media, is committed to retaining her responsibilities at C-suite as global chief executive and development director, focusing on editorial brands and expanding international audiences. Joe Lovejoy has been appointed Chief Financial Officer and Stuart Brockington has been promoted to Vice President of Sales and Partnerships, which will take effect immediately.

Kelly and Berihil are life and business partners with a history in the media industry. Prior to Equal Entertainment, which specializes in daily television, celebrity documentaries and branded content production, Kelly comes from PwC, where she leads the entertainment practice that built Hulu and AT&T’s advertising offerings in the early days. Berihil served as Meredith’s vice president of news and marketing before becoming vice president of programming and creative affairs.

The acquisition comes four years after Adam Levine, chief executive of Los Angeles-based investment firm Orevea, acquired Pride Media in 2017 through a management-sponsored buyout of Here Publishing. in 2018 Pride Media marked the beginning of a new era in which then-Chief Executive Officer Nathan Coyle hired Philippe Picardy – known for launching Conde Nast’s They – such as Outside Editor-in-Chief and Zach Stafford, Strange cycle co-producer, former Grindr CCO and editor-in-chief of the app’s digital magazine IN – as editor-in-chief The lawyer.

Until December 2019, Coyle, Picardy and Stafford – who also went down in history as The lawyer “the first black editor-in-chief – had resigned or was leaving, along with a series of staff cuts and additional resignations of CEOs, as reported at the time New York Times. This was preceded by 42 freelancers who published an open letter asking Pride Media to compensate them for their work. (In the same year, an overall reduction in pay and payment tensions was introduced in Pride Media offices, reportedly leading to work stoppages.)

Noil published a promising response, while shifting the blame to the company’s complex corporate ownership network. At the same time, the company faced a public backlash over Levine’s political donations, finding that the joint-stock company’s CEO had donated anti-LGBTK Republican politicians after promising to stop doing so, according to LGBTQ nation.

Despite the magazine’s recent volatile history, Kelly and Berihil see the acquisition of Pride Media as a significant move to expand the brand, strengthen its current readership and attract new audiences.

“Now we have not just an incredible American history, but the history of LGBTQ and 55 years of media tracking the rise of equality from Stonewall to the present day. “You can imagine the rich stories we have,” Kelly said THR. “We are excited to have managed to bring these leading voices to the LGBTQ + community into our portfolio, and we can really start growing and focusing on the most important moment, perhaps, in the history of our country.

The plans are to expand existing ventures, with continued commitment to the press, returning the 55-year-old Lawyer the brand “to the roots of news, politics and entertainment, told through the prism of equality,” Kelly said. in the meantime, Outside there will be a lifestyle-oriented focus, both on the experience of gay men and on a larger audience of women and people of color. Kelly said the first marketing campaigns for the legacy brands were to encourage subscribers to donate reading books to local youth centers, LGBTQ centers, affirming churches and host schools.

As for Pride.com, which Kelly says is “probably the most valuable URL in all LGBTQ media,” Equal Pride will take a “close look” by focusing on groups with the LGBTQ community and advertisers to find out what want. Early interest shows a focus on Pride festivals, pride stories, exit stories, music festivals with queer artists and performers, and an NFT queer artist forum, “so weird artists can sell their work anywhere, both virtually and physically.” .

In addition, the company seeks to expand significantly into branded content with video and social media. “We looked at how to also take a brand that someone might not have heard of and present them? It’s just very clear that we have a great way right now to do this through video and social media – to take care of our users who have been with us, and then to introduce a whole new generation to the queer media. “

According to Kelly, Equal Pride is not currently looking to expand into original script content, superb. But he confirmed that in addition to its expansion Pride today video show beyond its current five-minute performance as the team grows, OTT content will be another way to deliver the company’s “progressive media voice” to its inclusive audience of women, people of color and LGBTQ + viewers through up-to-date pop culture, lifestyle and solid news content.

Putting this work on international markets, “especially those where LGBTQ rights are so oppressed and oppressed,” Kelly said, is also on the table. The duo says the company, whose expansion plans aim to serve a wider range of LGBTQ + audiences, already has tidy advertisers such as General Motors, Google Pixel, Gilead, Capital One, Disney / Hulu, TikTok, McDonald’s, Molson Coors, NBCU and J&J, among his 2022 customer list.

At a higher level of staff, the plans are not to cut, but to grow significantly with Kelly’s story. THR Equal Pride has already appointed a new Chief Marketing Officer, a new video manager and a new editor. “We are detaining every single person. In fact, we have a demand, “he said. “We need more strong journalists. We need more people to help us with the brand in marketing. We move on to video. We are creating an entire editorial office and Content Studio for these brands. ”

The chairman of Equal Pride also noted that the company is seeking to create an alumni association that includes employees who have worked with brands since their inception. “We want to keep in touch with those people who shaped these brands, who shaped the stories, because we are the most vulnerable in the workforce and it’s important for us to provide support even after they leave us and keep that story alive. your health is alive. ”

“It will take time. Discipline will be needed, “he added.” It will all take a lot of thinking, but we know we can do it. “

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