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While the gay press still faces hurdles with advertisers, gay print media are showing stronger growth than either mainstream or other minority publications.

Revenues for gay and lesbian publications were up 16.2% to $61.6 million for the 12 months through April 1995 from $53 million, according to a study of 128 newspapers and magazines from Mulryan/Nash, New York.

That growth rate exceeds Hispanic media's 6%, cited in Hispanic Business, and the African-American print market's 3%, as reported by Target Market News. Mainstream newspapers experienced a 6.8% increase in advertising over the past year, according to the Newspaper Association of America; Publishers Information Bureau reported a 13.3% rise in magazine ad revenues.

"This is incremental growth," said Dave Mulryan, agency president. "These were tough sells and not a result of major ad efforts. It proves the strength of the local and regional markets."

As with mainstream newspapers, local advertisers comprise the bulk of revenue. Bars and clubs, at 15.7% of ads, rank first, with phone services and classifieds following at 14.2% and 11.8%, respectively. Retail ties with gay events for fourth place at 6.9% each.

Auto dealers from nearly every major car maker have advertised in local gay papers, comprising 1.3%, while Saab Cars USA has a regular schedule in national gay and lesbian magazines.

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