Citing financial pressures and declining advertisement revenue, Pink Triangle Press is suspending publication of the popular gay magazine Fab and terminated nine Toronto-based jobs on Tuesday. Tamara Baluja reports. 

By Tamara Baluja

Pink Triangle Press has terminated nine Toronto-based jobs and is closing down Fab, a popular free biweekly 'gay scene' magazine, just shy of its 20th anniversary.

Fab Editor Phil Villeneuve said in a note posted on the magazine’s website that the “realities of the print publication world have finally taken their toll on our free glossy.” 

“Pink Triangle Press has had to make some difficult decisions over the years […]Today, the press simply can't afford to keep the magazine running. Despite the contributors, content and the amazing people that fill its pages, it's time to say farewell. […]The first issue of Toronto’s little gay-party-animal diary came out Pride weekend 1994, and it has been a relentless pop-culture beast ever since. Aimed knowingly and directly at a gay male audience, Fab has been on the streets of this fine city for 19 years, covering everything from politics, to social issues, to underwear trends, to fascinating new lube flavours. It's overseen the evolution of Toronto gay men and covered every type of party, play and festival.” – Villeneuve

Fab will cease publication in the spring after 19 years of publication. The final issue will be released on April 24 and will remain on stands until May 7.

Publisher Brandon Matheson says the decision was "purely financial." The company also owns Fab's main competitor Xtra! which has a higher circulation with 36,000 issues biweekly compared to Fab's 25,000. 

"It's rare for a company to own two publications that have an overlap in readers," he saud. "We are opting to go with Xtra! because we can see that advertisers seemed to lean towards it."

Matheson said some of Fab's online content will migrate to dailyextra.com, a new flagship website that Pink Triangle Press will launch mid-year as part of its new digital strategy. The restructuring only affects Pink Triangle Press' Toronto staff. Xtra! will continue to publish in Ottawa, Vancouver and Toronto. 

Villeneuve says he will stay on with Xtra! although it's not clear in what capacity yet. 

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"It's just so sad and I can't imagine a Toronto without Fab," he told J-Source

Readers of Fab responded with dismay at the news of the publication's impending closure.