Brave Publishing has announced that South Africa’s Wrapped magazine, aimed at a lesbian and gay readership, has shut down.

The announcement came in the form of an e-mail from publisher and editor Lourens Joubert sent to suppliers, community organisations and role-players.

While Wrapped temporarily ceased publishing after its first issue, only to restart a few months later, Joubert says that this time the magazine has closed its doors permanently.

Wrapped was widely received as an exciting magazine of a high standard, with much potential, when it debuted. The intention was originally to publish monthly, but after its first issue, this changed to a quarterly schedule. Wrapped ultimately only published three issues, with its recent winter edition being the last. Its planned spring edition was to have had a print run of 8 000 copies.

According to Joubert, the closure was a “difficult but prudent business decision”, adding, “Regrettably, after a year of investing in the publication we have not been able to secure enough advertising support to sustain the editorial standard we believe is appropriate for a publication that aspires to reflect positively on the rich diversity of gay and lesbian South Africa”.

The closure appears to re-affirm the perceived lack of interest by most mainstream South African advertisers – generally considered to be very conservative – in directly targeting the gay and lesbian market.

Joubert says that subscribers have been refunded the balance of their accounts, while journalists and other creditors will be paid as per the usual terms of business. Brave Publishing will continue to pursue its other business interests.

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