PAID CONTENT -- May 22 -- The owners of PlanetOut hope to raise $15 million+ in new equity or subordinated debt as it tries to dig out from $26.5 million in debt. The trouble began two years ago when PlanetOut went on a shopping spree, acquiring the RSVP Vacations cruise business and LPI Publications, publishers of Out, OutTraveler, and The Advocate, as well as several pornographic magazines under the Specialty Publications brand. Several senior executives have resigned. Some of the problems besetting the company may be due to the migration of gay people to sites such as MySpace.
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Mark Brooks: Advice to PlanetOut: Divest the magazines and travel companies and stick to your knitting, online content and memberships and advertising. PlanetOut has been too busy trying to fill cruise ships and sell magazine subscriptions to focus on the future. Manhunt.net (casual adult) and MyPartnerPerfect.com (about to be launched, serious dating) are biting at PlanetOut's heels.