The Other McCain

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‘We’re Here! We’re Queer! And Now, Unfortunately, We’re Unemployed!’

Posted on | April 18, 2012 | 18 Comments

Bend over and take it, influential gay journalists!

The editorial staff of the influential gay lifestyle magazine Out is being laid off with one month’s severance as of Friday, Capital has learned.
But according to Out editor-in-chief Aaron Hicklin, it’s more complicated than that.
Hicklin said he will hire back an unspecified number of editors on a contract basis into a new company he is founding called Grand Editorial. It will operate the magazine as a contractor for Here Media, sister company of Regent Entertainment Inc., which acquired Out in 2008.
Hicklin told Capital there will be no reduction in the frequency of the magazine or other major changes to the content.
“This was not a cost-cutting measure,” he said.

Not a cost-cutting measure”? Could it be — just throwing this out there as a possibility — that Hicklin’s “complicated” scheme to replace a salaried staff with freelance contractors is an attempt to avoid providing health insurance coverage and other benefits?

Would I be correct in guessing that Out‘s offices are located in New York City, a jurisdiction notorious for its onerous regulations? Would I also be correct in guessing that Out has a lot of middle-aged staffers whose existing health problems and potential future risk for such problems have made the cost of insurance coverage extremely expensive?

Just askin’ questions . . .


18 Responses to “‘We’re Here! We’re Queer! And Now, Unfortunately, We’re Unemployed!’”

  1. Christy Waters
    April 18th, 2012 @ 5:25 pm

    At least we know that the steaming turd that is Obama’s economic recovery doesn’t discriminate. It’s an equal opportunity unemployer.

  2. jwallin
    April 18th, 2012 @ 5:26 pm

    Especially since it would be logical to assume that many of their “contributors” are gay?

    I’ve always thought that the big push for gay marriage was more about health care and legalism than about “love” and “commitment” by gays.

    Those $1,ooo a pop hiv drugs don’t pay for themselves.

  3. Adobe_Walls
    April 18th, 2012 @ 5:29 pm

    Even if they are given contracts equal to the salaries they drew previously if they’re not all hired back it’ll save money. Is a magazine being run by someone else as a contractor a common practice?

  4. Bob Belvedere
    April 18th, 2012 @ 5:35 pm

    If they hire them back as independent contractors and pay them the same salary, they’ll save money because they won’t have to pay any benes.

  5. Adobe_Walls
    April 18th, 2012 @ 5:44 pm

    My point was that even if they got the benes or the equivalent in salary if all aren’t hired back it’s a cost cutting measure.

  6. AnonymousDrivel
    April 18th, 2012 @ 6:11 pm

    “Just askin’ questions . . .”

    And some fine questions indeed. I figure Cass Sunstein would be the best contact for this nudging.

  7. Chuck
    April 18th, 2012 @ 6:17 pm

     Fabulously logical. Flaming logic.

  8. ThePaganTemple
    April 18th, 2012 @ 6:32 pm

    Out’s editorial staff is probably really upset about this, but I guess they’re just going to have to suck it up.

  9. JeffS
    April 18th, 2012 @ 7:28 pm

     Oh, come now!  They just took it in the……oh, wait.  Never mind.

  10. jwallin
    April 18th, 2012 @ 8:21 pm

    Shorts. The word you’re looking for is shorts.

    Or not.

  11. Adjoran
    April 18th, 2012 @ 10:30 pm

    The timing argues against it being a City problem, as they’ve been operating there all along and there are not any new City rules that would force this.

    More likely, they want to cover themselves against the potentially huge costs of ObamaCare if it isn’t overturned.  Turning their employees into contractors might prevent them from having to provide coverage – although labor laws have often been used to prevent such maneuvers:  in cases where a contractor is being called a contractor to avoid the employer’s responsibility under labor laws, they are still treated as employers for purposes of law. 

    I remember when we used a lot of (legitimate) contractors in the newspaper biz, Personnel (before they gave themselves a raise and promotion to Human Resources) was always on managers about how much contractors were allowed to work and what we could ask them to do.  If we typically worked them over 30 hours a week or if they were expected to do as we directed, without narrow limits, they would be considered “employees” for all sorts of purposes which the company didn’t want.

  12. ThePaganTemple
    April 18th, 2012 @ 10:40 pm

     Or they might be wanting to protect themselves from the huge costs of their own medical insurance if Obamacare IS overturned. I’m not really sure, but if Obamacare is upheld, there might be limits on how much insurance companies can charge for AIDS coverage. Of course the rest of us would make up the balance, but they might still be paying no more than the rest of us who ordinarily wouldn’t be considered at risk.

  13. Adobe_Walls
    April 18th, 2012 @ 10:53 pm

    The promotion from “personnel” to human resources is damaging many industries and leads to many truly bizarre discussions.

  14. Steve in TN
    April 19th, 2012 @ 1:37 am

    Probably has nothing to do with Obamacare.  The media industry, most notably the print portion, has been shedding jobs since 2006.

  15. Adjoran
    April 19th, 2012 @ 2:56 am

     But if it weren’t for “Human Resources,” we’d have never had the Consultants – the old “efficiency expert” fad having run its course long before.

    A world that never had Anderson Consulting would just have made too much sense, the universe would have destroyed it.

  16. Bob Belvedere
    April 19th, 2012 @ 7:52 am

    I don’t know about you all, but Team Building Exercises saved my life!

  17. Adobe_Walls
    April 19th, 2012 @ 10:47 am

    Pray tell how.

  18. More proof the gay community runs on fiscal conservatism — Cynthia Yockey, A Conservative Lesbian
    April 19th, 2012 @ 4:04 pm

    […] == "undefined"){ addthis_share = [];}Dear Stacy gloats about the supposed Leftist hypocrisy of Out magazine firing all its staffers and hiring back a select few to work as freelancers willing to work without health insurance, […]