Monday, March 10, 2008


I just got an email from a nice person who saw a recent post regarding Benefit Magazine.

My correspondent said that Benefit Magazine has ceased publishing:

The magazine and Benefit has folded now... office closed, assets being sold off, looking for someone to buy the name. People unpaid...
So I called Benefit Magazine to confirm. I called the contact number they provide on their website.

Bong bing ding. We’re sorry, the number you called has been disconnected…
Could it be true? If so, the tenure of Tim and Ruby will be remembered as the Heyday of Benefit Magazine. And, whether or not the magazine could survive without them, it didn’t.

----- o -----


Jerry Jarvis said...

All I can say is "HA'HA"

sfmike said...

It was always so transparent in wanting to be the San Francisco high society magazine and so weird in the way it went about it, focusing on rich people's benefit parties. Now, the only thing that's left is the Nob Hill Gazette and Pat Murphy's "San Francisco Sentinel" website which gets loonier each and every day. Check out his latest, a worshipful look at Michela Alioto-Pier, comparing her with Jeannette MacDonald of all people. Must be seen to be believed.

sfwillie said...

Dear Mike,

Thanks for pointing out the Murphy article. I used to have the Senitinel bookmarked but it kept freezing my otherwise unflappable XP machine.

I was impressed by the article's technique as well as tone.

Technically, Mr Murphy challenges us to understand... anything.

Remember in English class drawing two lines under the main verb, and one line under the subject-noun of a sentence? I was doing that mentally throughout Murphy's article.

Tonewise: I've been thinking that the term "fruity" is more descriptive than it is prejudicial.

Not all gay men are fruits. And nobody's entirely fruity. But there are certain behaviors that we associate with a particular type of homosexual.

These behaviors manifest in straight men as well as gay. In fact, it's frequently a mistake to assume that a man exhibiting fruity behaviors is actually homosexual.

For instance, someone reading Murphy's Michela/Jeanette article, knowing nothing else about its writer, would probably bet a lunchtab that Pat Murphy is gay.

I'd make no such bet.

But the writing is definitely fruity.

Don't ya love his never use a hyphen adjectival phrases!

Anonymous said...

I'm still curious about the reason behind Tim's and Rube's departure. r.s.

sfmike said...

"Fruity" is the perfect word indeed.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Tim would be happy to comment on how he came to leave Benefit magazine.

Why would a member of the Advisory Board for the magazine and someone listed as masthead staff, spend her time and money redecorating an office for a business she well knew was in financial trouble (and due to go out of business a month later)? New offices? Uh... not by that press date, unless you count one wall painted blue as redecorating.

Further, if underwriting the costs of redecorating a perfectly fine office was considered important, can you tell me why the monies due photographers, illustrators, edit and production staff who believed in the product and the lifestyle of giving is NOT important to underwrite?

sfwillie said...

Dear r.s.,

I agree, we need a real journalist to do some original reporting. The full story of the rise and fall of Benefit Magazine could provide a talismanic view of Newsom: The Early Years.

Strangly, Benefit Magazine posts here draw more comments than any other topic. Maybe there really is a story to be told.

sfwillie said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thanks for commenting. You and I probably look at the content of Benefit Mag differently. You emphazise a lifestyle of giving, while I emphazise is preceeded by a lifestyle of taking.

We agree 100% that it's a sin to stiff workers. It doesn't surprise me that people who are busy being philanthropists are less than scrupulous about paying the help.

I appreciate your input.

Anonymous said...

Willie, you're right on target on the Benefit thing. There is a story there. I'm not surprised that your Benefit post brings many visitors. My own unsophisticated opinion is that Tim and RT were jacked out just before the mayorak election because their presence in a mag closely aligned with him would have been an embarassment. Political strategists don't overlook little things like that.

Anyway, thanks for the update. r.s.

Anonymous said...

I said the contractors were committed to the vision of promoting a lifestyle of giving... not the deep-pocketed Advisory Board.

Indeed, I suppose if one looks at all the advertising and content of the articles, definitely the promotion and publicity within the print vehicle gave more than it received.

Anonymous said...

There is a huge story there, it doesn't however involve politics. The original founder had lofty ideals and goals, some investors had other motives, not necessarily to help the little people.

Newsom was never involved, neither was RT or TG; but the scandal hurt the publication. Helping the little guy and telling their stories was important, probably ahead of its time. Benefit never covered society, it only displayed photos taken at events that raised thousands of dollars for nonprofits.

Anonymous said...

This is the reason the magazine is kaput

French women 'are the sexual predators now'

sfwillie said...

Thanks Anon, very insightful.

You know, the pic I saw associated with the FFP (French female predator) story showed a naked gal lying on her tummy, not a very predatory pose.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps if they had merged with Hustler and put a pic of Ruby on the cover, that would have helped (would have been more real, thats for sure).

sfwillie said...

Dear Anon, Thank you for continuing to care.

I tend to think of Ruby as the victim. However, she did begin her important job for BM while still collecting disability from the taxpayers of old SF.

And Vol I Num 1 coverboy now sees himself as governor.

Copies of BM are becoming valuable... to opposition research teams.