A couple days ago I posted about a press release on PlanetOut and their NASDAQ compliance note. Another press release was issued yesterday, confirming doubts about the only LGBT-oriented, publicly-traded company’s future on the stock market:
PlanetOut Inc. Receives Notice From Nasdaq Regarding Non-Compliance With Minimum Stockholders’ Equity Requirement (link)
SAN FRANCISCO, March 13 — PlanetOut Inc. (Nasdaq: LGBT), a leading media and entertainment company exclusively focused on the gay and lesbian market, announced today that on March 9, 2009 it received a notice from the Nasdaq Listing Qualifications Department of The Nasdaq Stock Market stating that based on PlanetOut’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008, the Nasdaq staff had concluded that PlanetOut’s stockholders’ equity was less than the $10 million minimum required for continued inclusion on The Nasdaq Global Market under Marketplace Rule 4450(a)(3) (the “Rule”).
The notice further states that PlanetOut will be provided with 15 days, through March 24, 2009, within which to provide the Nasdaq staff with a definitive plan to regain compliance with the Rule. If the Nasdaq staff accepts PlanetOut’s plan, the staff may grant PlanetOut an exception of up to 105 calendar days within which to regain compliance pursuant to its plan. If the Nasdaq staff does not accept PlanetOut’s plan, PlanetOut will have the opportunity to appeal that decision to a Listings Qualification Panel. The notice also states that rather than submitting a plan to regain compliance, PlanetOut may instead apply to transfer its securities to The Nasdaq Capital Market if PlanetOut satisfies inclusion requirements for that market and submits its transfer application no later than March 24, 2009.
PlanetOut currently intends to submit an application to transfer its securities to The Nasdaq Capital Market.
According to a press release sent out today by PlanetOut, Inc., it looks as though the company continues to face a doubtful future that might include getting the boot from NASDAQ:
PlanetOut Inc. (Nasdaq: LGBT), a leading media and entertainment company exclusively focused on the gay and lesbian market, announced today that the audit report contained in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on March 4, 2009, included an explanatory paragraph from PlanetOut’s independent registered public accounting firm expressing substantial doubt about PlanetOut’s ability to continue as a going concern due to its continuing net losses and accumulated deficit. Pursuant to Nasdaq Market Place Rule 4350(b)(1)(B), any company whose securities are listed on one of the Nasdaq stock exchanges that receives an audit opinion expressing doubt about the ability of the company to continue as a going concern, must make a public announcement through the news media disclosing the receipt of such an opinion.
As a result of recent operating losses, PlanetOut has carefully assessed its anticipated cash needs and adopted an operating plan to manage the costs of its capital expenditures and operating activities along with its revenues. As part of this plan, PlanetOut reduced its workforce by approximately 33% on January 16, 2009. [link mine] In addition, as previously announced, on January 8, 2009, PlanetOut entered into a merger agreement with Here Media Inc. and certain other parties, and this transaction is anticipated to be completed during the second quarter of 2009.
If the proposed business combination is not completed, PlanetOut has adopted an operating plan, including further cost reductions, to manage the costs of its capital expenditures and operating activities along with its revenues in order to meet its working capital needs for the next twelve months.
Back in August 2008, the gay media company announced that its placement on NASDAQ (LGBT) might face the chopping block. In January, the company agreed to a merger with Here Media, the same company that bought up PlanetOut’s print publications The Advocate, OUT and others.
PlanetOut isn’t the only gay media conglomerate facing tough times. In February, Gay City News reported that the majority share owner of Window Media (Washington Blade, Southern Voice, Genre etc.) was going into a receivership with the Small Business Adminstration.
There’s no doubt that the news publishing business, especially the LGBT news industry, is going to be facing some tough questions in the months and years to come. Small publications like the one I work for and large conglomerates like Window Media and all those in between will face cutbacks, shrinking page counts and stiffer competition from the online world. How will we survive? Do we even need to survive? Every one says the era of the print media is going, going … gone?
I don’t think the news-media industry will ever disappear. It’s all just a matter of how quickly print news fades away and how LGBT print news publications learn how to adapt. No one has the answers… I guess we’ll all keep waiting for some genius out there to come up with the next big innovation.