In 1998, concerned that the newly emerging internet posed a threat to the continued financial success of Cruiseline, the Press formed a partnership (Pressnet Inc) with Colin Brownlee, who had left the Press in 1993 to work elsewhere in the chatline industry.
Together we launched Squirt, an international website featuring personal ads and a guide to sexual opportunities for gay men, in August 1999. During the next four years, the Press experienced many setbacks, but it persevered in its efforts to make Squirt its first successful internet business.
Squirt was finally converted to a paid website in September 2003. Soon the Press acquired full ownership of the business and revenue began to flow in not just from Canada, but also from the United States, Great Britain, Australia and many other countries.
In 2007, Squirt overtook Cruiseline as a source of revenue. And it became an important international tool for the Press, gaining a membership that numbers in the hundreds of thousands and introducing our sexual politics into virtually every corner of the English-speaking world, from urban North America to small-town Australia.
Television & Video
Always looking to expand the media at its disposal, in 2002 the Press formed a partnership with Peace Point Entertainment Group, a gay television production company, and began to produce a travel program, Bump.
The program first aired on Canada’s PrideVision, where it became the network’s number one show. It has subsequently been broadcast in the United States, Europe and the Middle East.
In 2004, the Press joined a group of investors to buy PrideVision, the world’s first gay and lesbian television network. Initially the Press was just one of five minority shareholders and held only about 10 percent of the renamed Out TV. By 2008, our ownership stake in the network had grown to about 25 percent, but we sold this interest in 2012 in order to focus on our journalistic work and on Squirt.org.
The Guide & Guidemag.com
Late in 2005, the Press was contacted by The Guide, a gay Boston-based monthly travel magazine noted for its political commentary on sexual politics in the United States.
The Guide’s publisher wished to retire and, recognizing the broad similarity in editorial philosophy between the Press and his own publication, offered to sell it to the Press.
Noting not only the political congruities and the access to a large new audience that the magazine and its website would offer, but also the possible complementarities with other Press activities, such as Bump and Squirt, the Press agreed to buy. The September 2006 issue of The Guide was its first issue as a Press publication.