Making great TV together
After a two-year courtship and months of negotiations, LPI Media, pioneering publisher of The Advocate, Out, and The Out Traveler, the country’s leading magazines for gay men and lesbians, and Logo, MTV Networks’ new channel for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) viewers, have partnered to create cobranded television specials and a headline news service online.“I am very proud to partner with LPI Media not only because of its dominant role but because the company is a true pioneer in the LGBT marketplace and the larger media landscape,” says Brian Graden, president of Logo and the brains behind so many of MTV’s great success stories. “They are continual proof that gay media is a real and viable business. Creatively, this deal has the potential to move our brands beyond television and the Web and onto new and emerging platforms wherever it makes sense.”The partnership between Logo and LPI Media includes both companies collaboratively developing and producing at least five programs a year, with the first special to air in late 2005. “Four of the specials will be cobranded Advocate shows based on original content from The Advocate. "They will most likely follow a 60 Minutes type of TV magazine format,” says Judy Wieder, senior vice president and editorial director of LPI.“Being the gay and lesbian community’s newsmagazine of record, it just seems so obvious that The Advocate can be an endless source of fascinating investigative segments and interviews for the show. It’s a logical extension of the brand,” she continues. The deal also includes the creation of Advocate.com and Logo cobranded headline news service, which will feature a daily online news service that will be found on Logo’s Web site, LogoOnline.com. Additionally, there will be a cobranded Advocate radio news program and a headline news crawl on the lower portion of Logo’s TV programming featuring content that will come directly from the esteemed editorial staff of The Advocate, beginning fourth quarter 2005.Out, LPI’s superstar brand that celebrates gay culture through fashion, style, trends, and the arts, will have at least one (and potentially more) specials a year. In 2005, Logo will create an entire show based on Out’s prestigious annual issue The Out 100. “Already some of the producers being discussed for the making of The Out 100 are exciting beyond words,” says Wieder. “Logo obviously intends to honor the true spirit of this 11-year-old tradition.”In addition to its own special, Out will have a short style and fashion segment within the cobranded Advocate show. Since style is an important part of the arts, why would The Advocate turn to any other source than its own talented younger sister magazine for the hottest coverage? Wieder asks. It wouldn’t and didn’t.The Out Traveler, the nation’s only magazine presenting the entire travel experience from a gay perspective, could probably have its pick of producers, she adds. “Eileen Opatut, Logo’s programming director, is a very savvy and sensitive woman. She gets that each of our magazines are very different from the other, so the same will be true of the shows.”Since there are so many travel shows on television, The Out Traveler’s cobranded Logo show must be unique and unexpected—that's why all the big brains are thinking on it, Wieder notes: “The challenge is to surprise you, just the way the magazine strives to do."“This is a wonderful opportunity for LPI Media to work with Logo to help create this exciting new multimedia LGBT venture,” said James Franklin, president of LPI Media. “We are thrilled that Logo has emerged as a new television option for the gay and lesbian community and look forward to working with them on developing content that serves our large and important universe.”Debuting June 30, Logo will provide a mix of original and acquired entertainment programming that is authentic, smart, inclusive, and open-minded. Logo joins Viacom’s roster of popular and highly targeted cable networks, which includes MTV, Comedy Central, BET, and Spike TV.