Out, The Advocate and others are about to get some new competition from a major media player, Conde Nast. According to BOF Conde Nast is launching a new LGBTQ media brand called ‘Them’ a multi-platform (obviously) publication cooked up by Teen Vogue’s Phillip Picardi who will serve as Them’s chief content officer. The new brand will kick off at the end of October with an online launch. Them’s development has some of Conde’s top shelf muscle behind it as well. Artistic director Anna Wintour, Pamela Drucker Mann, Condé Nast’s chief marketing and now revenue officer officer chief digital officer Fred Santarpia and general manager of digital Matt Starker all played a role in the development of Them. Them will encourage its readers to submit content as it won’t be chasing news across the web to post daily. But will cover news and politics with what they call an activist stance on behalf of the LGBTQ community. As far as revenue, Ms. Drucker Mann is taking a the non traditional approach by building the brand and going to market simultaneously. Phillip Picardi who currently serves as digital editorial director for both Teen Vogue and Allure is not expected to leave those roles while he works on Them.
Them also plans to align its editorial calendar around one video-led, multimedia feature per week. “I really didn’t want to do the whole pivot-to-video thing of only focusing on video,” he says. “We’re trying to figure out how we can weave multiple multimedia experiences into these video moments.” Podcasts and data graphics are also part of that plan, as is social media content. Images will be big and uncluttered. There is also a membership component, i.e. physical experiences: Them will partner with queer designers to produce merchandise capsules, a portion of the sales of which benefit charities, and also host events such as book clubs or a presence at Pride parades.
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