The biweekly gay men's magazine will release its last issue on April 25.
Fab, a free, biweekly magazine aimed at Toronto’s gay men, will be releasing its last issue on April 25, after almost 19 years of continuous publication. Representatives of its parent company, Pink Triangle Press, say the move came about out of financial necessity, but that it was also a result of a strategic decision to consolidate increasingly scarce resources.
The shuttering of Fab is part of a larger reorganization at Pink Triangle that resulted in the loss of ten jobs, including one contract position, from the company’s Toronto office—which had 60 employees. (The company expects to add five new staff members in the near future to offset some of this.) Pink Triangle is also trying to sell off its stake in HARDtv, a pay-per-view gay porn channel, but doing so will require CRTC approval.
“None of our products have been immune from the changing media landscape and the [industry-wide] downturn in advertising,” said Brandon Matheson, who is publisher and editor-in-chief of Fab, as well as Pink Triangle’s flagship gay and lesbian biweekly, Xtra.
According to Matheson, the main precipitating factor in Fab‘s demise is Daily Xtra, a new website Pink Triangle plans to launch at some point during the middle of 2013. The site is expected to be a significant revamp of Xtra‘s aging web presence. It will be Pink Triangle’s new flagship product. Some of Fab‘s resources—including its editor, Phil Villeneuve, of YouTube fame—will be redirected to Daily Xtra. Pink Triangle will also be launching a new, twice-yearly lifestyle magazine, to be called Xtra Living.
According to Matheson, Fab was always a challenging fit for Pink Triangle, which purchased the magazine in 2008. “Back when we bought Fab,” he said, “we bought our competitor.” In other words, the magazine covered a lot of the same thematic territory as Xtra, putting it in contention for the same shrinking pool of advertisers.
The closure of the magazine is already causing dismay among some who see its disappearance as a net loss for journalism on gay topics in Toronto.
Villeneuve, the editor of Fab, learned the news two weeks ago (it was only announced today). He had to abandon plans for future issues stretching all the way to Pride Week.
“What we’ll be doing for the final issue on April 25 is sort of a celebratory look back,” he said.
“We want to just really celebrate it while we can, and not make it a sad whisper of a goodbye.”
This post originally said, incorrectly, that Xtra is a weekly publication. In fact, it’s biweekly.