Sydney Star Observer goes into voluntary administration

Australia’s longest running newspaper for the LGBTI community, the Sydney Star Observer, has gone into voluntary administration with the title up for sale.

In a post to the newspaper’s website, chairman of the Star Observer, Sebastian Rice, said:  “The board saw an unexpected slowdown in our advertising clients paying their bills, which caused us to run low on cash in the bank. We needed to enter voluntary administration to protect our creditors and staff, and provide a chance for the Star Observer to survive.”

Recent front pages of the Sydney Star Observer

Rice told Mumbrella: “The Star Observer has operated for a long time with a small number full time and casual staff, supplemented with freelance contractors and volunteers. Our editor Matthew Wade is continuing on during the Administration process, focusing on our online and social media content.”

“The administrator is hoping to find a buyer for the Star Observer as a going concern within 30 days. Anyone who is interested in the purchasing the business should contact MaC Insolvency at

“I believe that a buyer of the Star Observer could make a very strong return on their investment using our current operating model, with an injection of enough working capital. I think it could potentially be a simple bolt-on acquisition for a larger organisation.”

Gay & Lesbian Community Publishing Limited, publisher of the Star Observer, appointed McMillen with hopes of either selling the title, which is due to celebrate its 40th year in July, or entering a scheme of arrangement with creditors.

McMillen said in a statement:  “We are continuing to trade the organisation, with the May print edition of Star Observer circulated and staff retained to maintain its online presence and future releases.

“We are currently exploring options to save the business. This may include a sale of the business or third party investment. As the Administrator appointed, I am keen to hear from any party or organisation interested in preserving the Star Observer as a quality ongoing news journal for the Australian LGBTI community.”

The publication has been under pressure from a declining ad market for some time, with it moving to a monthly format in 2014.

Later that year, the Star Observer launched a crowd funding campaign as the business struggled with legal bills and falling revenues. The Pozible campaign beat its $75,000 target, eventually raising $103,938.


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