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Two Indy publications sold to New York-based firm

February 13, 2015

Longtime local publisher Ted Fleischaker this week announced the sale of his two print publications—The Word and Up Downtown—to New York-based Gaycation Magazine.

The sale will be completed by April 1. Both publications will remain headquartered in Indianapolis.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. In August, Fleischaker was asking $200,000 for the two publications, which have a combined print circulation of 18,500.

“I’m pleased with the offer and I accepted it within 24 hours,” Fleischaker said.

The Word, which launched in 1991, focuses on the gay community in Indiana and six other states and has an unpaid circulation of 9,000. Up Downtown covers happenings in downtown Indianapolis and Fountain Square and has an unpaid circulation of 9,500.

Both tabloid-sized publications are published monthly, with The Word averaging 64 pages per issue and Up Downtown 32. Both are full color.

Regular advertisers in the publications include English Ivy, Edward Jones Investments, Andy Mohr Chevrolet, real estate agent Joe Everhart, Hoosier Park and Indiana Grand Racing and Casino. Fleischaker said he often sells advertisers combination deals to appear in both publications. Advertising takes up more than 50 percent of the space in both tabloids.

Both publications, Fleischaker said, have been profitable from the start, and the operation has no debt.

“I really am proud to have started something such as these two publications which have seen such widespread success,” Fleischaker said.

The acquisition will extend Gaycation Magazine’s reach in the Midwest, helping to fuel its aggressive growth strategy, said publisher D.J. Doran.  

“The Word and Up Downtown are a perfect fit for our growing portfolio of news and travel media assets, and the name and rich heritage of both titles will be preserved independently, vastly expanding our overall print and digital platforms and extending our reach across the growing LGBT market,” said Doran in a statement.

Many of the freelance writers and photographers supplying content for the publications will continue to do so under the new owner, Fleischaker said.

Fleischaker, 64, plans to move to Portland, Maine, where his partner, Ivan Howard, has taken a job with Apple.

Fleischaker has retained the rights to use the name Up Downtown in Maine and is considering starting a newspaper covering downtown Portland. He also said he is considering pursuing a life-long dream of owning and operating a small radio station.

“For now, I’m going to retire,” he said. “I do intend to wear out, not rust out, so I won’t just put my feet up.”

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