Thursday, June 05, 2008

Boston's Gay Pride guide war

Boston-based Bay Windows is fuming after HX Media's revamped IN Newsweekly--now called the New England Blade--published what they called "the official guide to Boston pride."

Not quite.

It seems that Boston Pride planners didn't give the renegade gay pub the green light to include "official" in their title.

Bay Windows' new editor, Laura Kiritsy, wrote a scathing editorial today slamming the rival paper's move.

"For those of you who care about good business practice and like to support businesses that support the LGBT community, just know that 'official' affiliation with Boston Pride is based on a contractual agreement between the Pride Committee and whoever they’re doing business with, in this case the publishers of Bay Windows, Jeff Coakley and Sue O’Connell," writes Kiritsy.

The editor continues, "Coakley and O’Connell earned 'official' Boston Pride sponsorship status by agreeing to share revenue from advertising sales to the guide with the Committee. And the revenue the committee gets goes to make Boston Pride fun and fabulous for you. Any other guide claiming to be 'official' is basically ripping off the Pride Committee and in effect, ripping you off."

My thoughts? As someone who worked for an alt-weekly that consistently had to compete with the town's Gannett-owned daily, this battle to use "official" is familiar turf for me.

New England Blade could have easily dropped the "official" from their issue title. They knew what they were doing. Once again, the Blade is intentionally trying to ruffle feathers and justifiably deserves the smackdown.

Click here for the lowdown. Also, here's discussion on the issue in the Boston Globe.


Michael said...

Just so it is clear where everyone is coming from, what are the connections between EDGE & Bay Windows? And EDGE & The Blade?

Nothing makes what The Blade has done any less dishonest, but transparency is important.

Sam Baltrusis said...

I personally have no connections to Bay Windows or New England Blade.

EDGE and Bay Windows are separate media groups. However, EDGE does occassionally post Bay Windows content on its site (similar to the Globe posting content from the AP or New York Time wire).

The dishonesty comes with the word "official." When the New England Blade used "official," it's basically saying they worked in conjunction with the Boston Pride committee.

The Blade could have easily used "Unofficial," which gives full disclosure and has a similar impact.

Anonymous said...

Jeff Coakly owns (or co-owns) Bay Windows, Out Magazine and Edge. Edge is the online corporation affiliated with Bay Windows.

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