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Magazine That Promoted Celebrity ‘Outing’ Ceases Publication

June 28, 1991

NEW YORK (AP) _ Outweek, the gay and lesbian magazine known for ″outing″ public figures, has closed after two years because of financial troubles.

A notice signed by president Kendall Morrison was tacked to the locked door of the office in Manhattan on Thursday night informing the 27 staff members that the magazine had ceased publication.

It listed an office phone number for information on how to get back pay when the money becomes available. A man who answered the office phone said he had no comment.

The magazine was founded by Morrison and Gabriel Rotello, who became editor in chief. Infighting by its principals was one of the main reasons the magazine folded.

Outweek quickly drew attention by exposing the homosexuality of well-known people - a practice called outing. The names of celebrities, politicians, socialites and media people were listed, without explanation, in a column called ″Peekaboo.″

In a shakeup at the magazine in December, Steven Polakoff, a Florida realtor who is listed as publisher, took over daily control from Morrison. Polakoff then fired Rotello at the staff’s insistence.

Morrison told The New York Times that the magazine’s circulation before its closure was 30,000 to 40,000.

Joe Di Sabato, president of Rivendell Marketing Co., a firm that represents 175 gay publications to advertisers, said Outweek’s controversial policies made it difficult for the magazine to generate sufficient revenue.

″Gay papers in general are probably making more money than ever, despite the recession,″ he said. ″Outweek, however, had the effect of shaking up a lot of gay publications out of their complacency.″

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