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    June 16, 2009

    LGBT goes missing

    Posted by: Chris

    Update at the end of this post:

    Planetoutregentmedia Tongues are wagging about the apparent delisting of Planet Out, Inc. -- which trades under the symbol LGBT -- from the Nasdaq stock exchange. A post today on Queerty speculates that Planet Out's stock was yanked because the company failed to comply with a 15-day warning from Nasdaq about maintaining a minimum of $10 million in capitalization. I wonder if that's really the reason, or if something less sinister is afoot.

    Obviously there've been quite a bit more than 15 days since the March warning from Nasdaq, which makes that the unlikely trigger. Today's date does figure prominently, however, in a June 4 filing by Planet Out with the SEC. In that document, the company's management reveals an amendment to the merger agreement inked between Planet Out and Regent Entertainment Media -- which owns here! TV as well as the Advocate and Out magazines, formerly published by Planet Out.

    Under the terms of an amendment to the plan filed back in April, either party could pull out by the end of May if the other party had not been able to complete the merger. The June 4 filing extended that pull-out deadline until yesterday, June 15. So was Planet Out delisted because the merger fell through or because it finally went through?

    So far no word from either Regent or Planet Out; the latter's corporate site hasn't been updated and PlanetOut.com itself is carrying "breaking news" about "Bruno" and "how gay is too gay."

    Stay tuned...


    We now have our answer, courtesy of a press release announcing that the PlanetOut merger with Regent Media/Here Networks was successfully completed.  That's great news for gay media, considering survival at this point is an accomplishment in the current economic environment and the steep decline of media business fortunes:

    Here Networks LLC and Its Publishing Affiliate Complete Merger Deal With PlanetOut Inc.
    New company will operate under name Here Media Inc.

    June 16, 2009 (LOS ANGELES, CA and SAN FRANCISCO, CA) – Here Networks LLC  announced today the completion of the business combination of Here Networks LLC and its publishing affiliate, which includes the LGBT publications The Advocate and Out, with PlanetOut Inc. (formerly-traded under the ticker symbol, LGBT). The new public company resulting from this business combination will be named Here Media Inc. with Stephen P. Jarchow serving as Chairman and Paul Colichman serving as CEO.
    On Wednesday, June 10, 2009, the holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of PlanetOut Inc. common stock voted to approve the proposed business combination.
    “The close of this deal represents an exciting moment for LGBT consumers across the globe,” said Stephen P. Jarchow and Paul Colichman. “We look forward to bringing new features that will enhance the user experience and keep our customers engaged.”
    Here Media now becomes the premier global company for providing news and entertainment to the LGBT community. The company is also uniquely positioned to provide advertisers opportunities to reach its niche audience across platforms including television, online, print publishing, and filmed entertainment. Here Media’s unmatched reach positions the company as a leader in creating an interactive relationship with consumers across all its iconic brands.
    Jarchow and Colichman, along with current PlanetOut Inc. Chairman Phil Kleweno, will serve as the initial board of directors of Here Media.
    About Here Media
    Here Media, Inc. produces and distributes niche content across all platforms worldwide. Here Media’s iconic brands distribute gay media and world cinema programming with universal, humanistic appeal. Its distribution platforms include theaters, television, VOD, broadband, online, print and mobile.  It earns subscription, advertising and licensing revenue from its award-winning content.
    Here Media owns and operates a variety of media assets including:
    Here Studios, a full service motion picture studio. Here Films, a motion picture distribution company. here! Networks, a premium television network featuring programming that appeals to a gay and lesbian audience airing in 96 of the top 100 US markets, including every top 10 market. Iconic print brands including Out, Advocate and HIV Plus, as well as Alyson Books. Online properties including Gay.com, Planetout.com, Advocate.com, Out.com and SheWired.com which provide broadband video and social networking.
    Paul Colichman is Chief Executive Officer of Here Media and Stephen P. Jarchow is Chairman.  Together, they have produced and/or distributed over 200 motion pictures including Academy Award® winners “Gods and Monsters” and “Departures."



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    1. forgetmenot on Jun 17, 2009 3:19:06 PM:

      The sale, er, merger with Regent closed last Friday, and the stock ceased to exist, as did PlanetOut, come sun up Monday. There is some minor gossip out there about what else is happening inside Regent, from their own financial problems to management shake-ups and so on. But its only gossip. If one pays attention, one notices that Regent has a tiny technology effort. A few developers cum IT cum webmasters cum producers. So don't expect much in the way of an improved gay.com or planetout.com. That takes money and know-how that Regent doesn't possess. But I never count them out, either. They seem to have lasted in the non-blog 'legit' gay media space, while everyone else sadly didn't.

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