My former employer, Regent Media or Here Media (as they are now called), was in my opinion the most insulting, horrible, deceitful place to work.
Now these bullies want to sue me for speaking my mind. To my friends on Facebook, of all places. Geesh.
I didn’t set out to work for these cretins—I ended up there because of a corporate takeover.
In 2008, Regent/Here Media acquired historic gay brands like Out Magazine, The Advocate and the magazines I edited—Unzipped, Men, and Freshmen (now closed)—as well as Advocate.com and, later on, Gay.com
The company presidents are Paul Colichman and Stephen Jarchow, but they are apparently aided and abetted by a small clique which includes: Advocate editorial director Jon Barrett, Out editorial director Aaron Hicklin, and Vice President Stephen Macias.
I used to believe in these guys. I really looked up to them. I even defended them against a threatened libel suit from Rockstar Energy Drinks last year.
Ironically, they are now threatening to sue me for speaking out and expressing my opinion that I think they are a bunch of creeps—complete hypocrites who publicly defend the gay community but privately pull bullshit moves like sending the letter above.
You can draw your own conclusions.
Queerty, a gay news web site, alleged in an article entitled “Is Paul Colichman’s Regent/Here Media One Big Ponzi Scheme?” that:
“Having closed up Unzipped, you’d think the seas would be a bit calmer at Paul Colichman’s Regent/Here Media. Well they would, if they didn’t owe freelancers so much money that one is comparing the whole operation to a Ponzi scheme. It would be funny, if it wasn’t affecting people’s livelihoods.”
Gawker, the most highly regarded publishing industry web site, has opined:
“Screwing freelance writers is just wrong. We’re doing our part to expose those who don’t pay up. Today: complaints that Regent/ Here Media, owner of Out and The Advocate, is ripping their freelancers off.”
The point of my Facebook opinions was this:
With all this reporting going on about Regent/Here Media’s allegedly deceitful patterns of behavior, and apparently no one from the company—not so-called gay leaders like Jon Barrett and Aaron Hicklin nor any of the other editors and writers signing their names to Regent/Here’s products—stepping forward to refute these accusations, it’s my opinion that all these guys have become accessories to Regent/Here’s tactics, strategies and behaviors.
You can draw your own conclusions, but I’m tired of our community being controlled (in this case raped) by tools like these losers. From what I observe these apparent predators are still publishing freelance articles in their publications. When will this seemingly transparent deception end?
It’s not cool to take advantage of people, especially people from our own small gay and lesbian media community.
But if you speak out against Regent/Here or any of their goon squad—this desperate posse of con artists (just my personal opinion)—you will be threatened by their lawyers.
I feel that someone has to say “Enough is enough—this is wrong.” And name names. Isn’t that why The Advocate was started in the first place?
So I will continue expressing my opinions.