Here Media is laying off Out magazine's editorial staff and outsourcing its production to an editorial and marketing content agency being formed by Aaron Hicklin, the title's editor-in-chief since 2008.
Grand Editorial will produce Out with some of the magazine's 12 former edit staffers, who will work freelance and won't receive benefits. The news was reported earlier by Capital New York.
Here Media will continue to sell ads in Out magazine and retain ownership of the title.
There will be no drop in Out's frequency or page count, or any other major changes, Mr. Hicklin said. "I would just ask readers to judge us on the next few issues -- if anything, I plan to continue increasing the caliber of the magazine's content," he told Ad Age by email. "I wouldn't take this on if I didn't think it could be done: A small company in a reasonable-size office in Brooklyn can be more cost-efficient and nimble than a large company."
The new approach was his idea, Mr. Hicklin said. It's based on the model of custom publishing and gives him the opportunity to develop a broader business, he added.
"Obviously it is more cost-effective, but Here Media took the decision because they value me and wanted to support me in this endeavor," he said.
Here Media said Out magazine is profitable but the media landscape is evolving. "We continue to have complete confidence in Mr. Hicklin and his team, most of whom will continue to work with him on the Out brand as he adds new staffers to grow and evolve the brand," said Joe Landry, Here Media senior VP and group publisher, in a statement.
Mr. Hicklin also denied any financial problems at Out, citing new advertisers that have come onboard in recent months.