Monday, June 15, 2020

Pressing Questions: Lavender Magazine of Minneapolis

Interview with President and CEO Stephen Rocheford
by Joe Siegel

Year founded: June 1995

Staff size: 5 in editorial, 6 in sales, 3 designers, 3 administrators and 17 writers

Average page count: 62

Physical dimensions: 8.375” x 10.875”

Readership: 38,500 per issue

Print run: 17,500

Media age of reader: 28

Gender profile of readers: 55.1% male, 44.9% female

Education of readers: 24.9% with advanced degrees, 46.3% with bachelors degrees; 9.1% with some college; 7.8% with high school diploma, 6% with less than high school diploma


Stephen Rocheford
PPQ: What challenges has Lavender had to overcome over the years?

President and CEO Stephen Rocheford: Lavender was the 13th LGBTQ publication in Minneapolis/St. Paul history. The first 10 were out of business before Lavender started; numbers 11 and 12 owned the market when Lavender started and within 3 years they were out of business. Since then [others] have started and failed. We expect challenges.

PPQ: How has Lavender changed since its inception?

Rocheford: Lavender has been full glossy since April 1, 2005.

PPQ: What has been the biggest news story Lavender has covered?

Rocheford: Lavender has made national wire services several times. We were named the Magazine of the Year in 2016 by the Minnesota Magazine and Publication Association.

PPQ: What advice would you give to anyone wishing to start their own LGBTQ publication?

Rocheford: If you wish to start a publication, purchase an extant one, as it is considerably cheaper than trying to compete with one that controls a market. You should know business; if you don’t, you should be willing to burn a great deal of money for no purpose. If you are wealthy, you don’t have to worry about it. Each market is different, and I know mine. I know how much it would cost for a competitor to start and put me out of business. It is significantly cheaper to buy a company out.

Volume 22
Issue 3

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