It is our great pleasure to announce that EXIT is now under new leadership. Mr. Gavin Hayward (right) who has been at the helm of this LGBTIQ+ publication and various other organisations officially passed on the baton to Mr. Gontse Seakamela (middle) and Mr. Petros Abraham (left) on the 1st of June 2020. It is a complete coincidence that this process of transformation comes to EXIT at the time when not only South Africa but the entire world is going through change in the form of the COVID19 pandemic and the racism protests. To add to this, print media has seen a decline in the South African market over the last few months. For the first time in its history no EXIT Issues were published in a space of two months (May and June 2020). This was due, in part to the fact that most businesses and therefore the distribution points were closed under the lockdown level 5 and 4 regulations. Now that the country is in level 3 and the regulations have been eased, the EXIT team is hard at work and have had to ‘hit the ground running’ to ensure that EXIT is ‘resuscitated’.
The new owners come with extensive business and project management and legal background between the two of them. As entrepreneurs they have what it takes to turn the business around. However they understand and acknowledge that EXIT is going to need the support of its network of stakeholders now more than before. “We have been receiving a great amount of support already, not only messages of congratulations and well wishes but tangible support.” said Mr. Abraham.
The country has been experiencing closure of print media houses in recent months to a year, the EXIT team believes that print still has relevance in society and that sustainable newspapers and magazines have reinvented themselves by creating brands that serve their audience via a range of channels, which print one of. They believe that the success of their print editions will heavily rely on their ability to fit the newspaper in with and alongside their other channel offerings. Therefore, their overall strategic direction is simply the creation and marriage of the EXIT Newspaper media channels, which print remains one of. These channels will include but not limited to substantial digital (Website and social media) presence, podcasting and eventually broadcasting. Mr. Seakamela has this to say, “With our print edition, we are saying to our readers, this has been researched and curated for you, so please take your time to read it and take it in and engage a little deeper with it.
With our digital and podcasting offering we are saying, this is what is on the pulse, it is developing into major news engage and debate with us as this content develops; we are saying tell the stories with us, share your thoughts, let us have fun with the content but when necessary let us have the serious conversations”.
This in essence implies that content across the channels will be a balance between hard hitting and light stories, ranging from entertainment to products reviews. At the centre of all this will remain the abundance of critical LGBTIQ+ information.
In as far as the content, it will be wide ranging, with toned-down sexual content but curated and speaking from an LGBTIQ+ perspective. It will have a broader reach, where EXIT instead of just leading conversations will also listen, for instance instead of only publishing journalistic articles they will also allow readers to submit and tell their own stories.