September 29, 2017 | Sex & Society

Owner of High Times takes over Advocate and Out

Out and The Advocate -- as well as Pride, Plus, Out Traveler and LGBT.com -- have a new owner after investment firm Oreva Capital acquired Here Publishing.
 
Oreva Capital is headed by Adam Levin, the CEO of High Times, and it entered into the arrangement with several managers from Here Publishing who have taken an equity stake in the deal.
 
“There is no better bet in media or advertising these days than on passionate, connected communities,” said Levin. “We are excited and feel extremely honored to have the opportunity to work with brands such as The Advocate, Out and Pride and realize their next phase of growth.”
 
This is Levin's second big acquisition this year. Oreva was part of a similar consortium acquisition of High Times magazine and the related Cannabis Cup annual event. It cost over $42 million to finalize.
 
The plan is to use the best practices from Here to modernize High Times, and to use the successful Cannabis Cup as a blueprint to expand Here Publishing’s events business.
 
"We are looking for brands that have strong emotional ties with a community," Levin replied, when asked about buying into both a marijuana-focused and a LGBT-centered business. "We think there is a unique opportunity in niche media brands that are undervalued and have further ways to monetize the intellectual property."
 
At a time when media properties are struggling against free content, fighting for ad revenue, and trying to keep people interested, Here Publishing has been doing quite well. It said that the beginning of 2017 saw an increase in revenue by 17 percent (with Pride month boasting an impressive 86 percent compared to the same month last year). 
 
“It shows real interest in the LGBT market and media,” said Todd Evans, owner of Rivendell Media and publisher of Press Pass Q.  “Many in LGBT media have been under financed, and that has limited its growth. That is the case with Here Media, which had a number of problems, including a large lawsuit they had to settle. Now that all that is behind them, this should mark some real growth in national LGBT media.
 
"Plus, while local titles have their niche of local news and community events, national LGBT media has seemed lost. This kind of investment should lead to increased circulations and stronger content.”
 
The Advocate was actually founded back in 1967 and is the oldest and largest LGBT publication in the United States and the only surviving one of its kind that was founded before the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City. Hopefully this new deal will keep it, and its sister publications, going for a long time. (And maybe they'll include a joint with each issue.)

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