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Advocate Support

August 08, 1992

Richard Rouilard's statements, as quoted by Liz Smith ("Abdication at the Advocate," July 30), that "the editorial staff has received . . . very little support . . . during the period we changed . . ." and that "the Advocate has had a new editor-in-chief nearly every two years since the present owners took over," deserve comment.

First, as to support of the editorial department: as editor-in-chief Rouilard cleaned house. He was granted several new editorial staff positions, both in-house and in important national and international cities, and he had influence in the hiring of key positions in the art and advertising departments. The budget for the editorial department has been raised to an all-time high. All this took place when almost every other company department was being cut back.

As for the turnover of editors-in-chief, it simply won't wash. When the present administration "took over," beginning in June, 1985, the position had been held by Robert I. McQueen since December, 1975. He stepped down for health reasons, after a tenure of nearly 13 years, in July, 1988. He was succeeded by Stuart Kellogg, who had the position for nearly two years before leaving in April, 1990, to pursue his own writing interests. His successor was Rouilard. This is hardly a record of rapid turnover.

Rouilard is a talented, driven man who has done the Advocate a great deal of good; but the changes would not have been possible without management backing. That he now chooses to question the "support" of a magazine that has been in the forefront of the gay and lesbian rights movement for 25 years sounds more than a little bit like "Eating Our Own."

GENE BIVINS

Silver Lake

OLYMPICS LETTERS: F9

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