Express Gay News rebrands, relaunches

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Express Gay News has redesigned and re-launched under the title South Florida Blade.

The newspaper, which has a weekly distribution of 15,000 in the Miami and Ft. Lauderdale areas, conducted extensive market research to shape the redesign. Blade's readers tend to be older, more affluent, professionals who are members of South Florida's gay and lesbian community.

“The news media is a constantly changing environment, and we have to just keep up with trends,” noted Blade editor in chief Dan Renzi. “We just wanted to move toward a more design-forward style and make it more cosmopolitan.”

Renzi added that the paper recently expanded its coverage to include Miami, and the re-design is meant to show that Express Gay News was changing to cover a much larger area. The paper is now considering a rate base hike.

“Publishing has taken some hits, but, luckily, the gay community is very loyal, and we have a solid readership that will continue to come to us,” he pointed out. “We're at an advantageous position because we have this core audience that always wants to have this element of news delivered to them — just like any niche market.”

The Web site for South Florida Blade has also been redesigned and re-branded and now lives at More frequent page updates and more interactive features, such as commenting, have been the major changes there. Renzi reported that site traffic has doubled over the past month.

Blade promoted its new look with launch parties in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. E-mail blasts and ads in the paper invited readers to the events, which were held at local bars in each city.

The redesign features a new cover treatment and revamped front of book, as well as a higher image and graphics count in the layout. Articles are now shorter, and page sizes have been standardized. Blade is also adding a Q&A section, in hopes of garnering more reader engagement.

Express Gay News was founded in January 2000. It is distributed free at more than 300 venues in South Florida. 


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