“Fugues” magazine celebrates 35 years of adaptation

Like the community that has covered it for 35 years this year, the LGBTQ+ magazine runaways continues to transform. Without avoiding the pirouettes demanded by the media crisis, the publication must also adjust the journalistic content.

As the Montreal Pride celebrations kick off in the metropolis on Thursday, the magazine writes runaways, partner of the event, takes the moment to publicly blow out its 35 candles. Founded in April 1984 by Martin Hamel when the village was born and AIDS was the main concern, runaways can’t talk about the same topics anymore as the community has made a lot of profit in recent years.

“Once the issue of the recognition of rights was largely resolved – for example in relation to marriage or adoption – the claims became more specialized and less in relation to the community at large,” illustrates Yves Lafontaine, director and editor-chief of runaways since 1994.

Once the issue of the recognition of rights was largely resolved – for example in relation to marriage or adoption – the claims became more specialized and less with regard to the community in general.

The topics covered in the publication are therefore no longer the same and are now “more specialized”, emphasizes Mr. Lafontaine.

“When I arrived, there were no employees already trans, and we didn’t talk much about it. It was even a bit of a taboo within the community, the editor explains. Now it is a much more visible reality, even within society as a whole. in ‘s house runawayswe’ve done five covers in the last ten years with trans† †

The tone of the publication is therefore less in the claim, which in any case has not always been the case, remembers Yves Lafontaine. “When it started, it wasn’t an activist magazine, it was a consumer, entertainment, nighttime magazine. When you open the magazine 1984, it was mostly bars, restaurants or saunas where you can meet people. †

web and paper

runaways has about ten employees, of which two permanent employees in the editorial and six in advertising. But Mr. Lafontaine can count on the work of 22 permanent freelancers. The publication also has agreements with news agencies.

If the paper size persists and draws — runaways is one of the newest to hit the shelves – the LGBTQ+ publication has been online since 1995 and creates a lot of content for the web. A tour of their site and their social networks quickly proves it.

“We publish an article every two hours between 7 am and 9 pm” on Facebook, explains Mr Lafontaine, also pointing out that runaways publishes two newsletters per week. In total, there are between 100,000 and 120,000 readers on the magazine’s site each month.

On the digital wave, the publication was also added to the Apple News service a few months ago, where it publishes up to five articles a day. “We reach between 7,000 and 12,000 people a week, which is probably an audience we wouldn’t reach otherwise. The business model is interesting, you just have to wait to see more traffic”, analyzes Yves Lafontaine.

As for the paper, runaways is printed 13 times a year, with about 42,000 copies in the busiest months. In total, the magazine claims to reach 200,000 readers per month, not to mention 100,000 downloads of the magazine’s free digital version, particularly in PDF.

“As long as there are readers and it’s possible to print without being too expensive, we’ll do it,” explains the 54-year-old editor-in-chief. In a generation it may be different, but a lot of people of my generation and those before me expect to have a paper magazine. †

The corollary of maintaining paper remains the vitality of advertising, and that is no small task for runaways

“A lot of inquiries are made at companies, one by one, explains Yves Lafontaine. In the minds of many marketers there is now advertising on the internet. We need to make it clear to them that there’s an amalgam of paper that’s interesting, especially since our magazines aren’t there at the end of the month’ in the displays.

The sequel is very difficult to predict for runaways, says Yves Lafontaine. “Ten years ago I could project myself two or three years ahead, but now it’s hard.” We bet diversity will continue to be in the spotlight, including in the business model.

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