Publisher Mike Todd Celebrates 14 Years of

When Get Out Magazine’s publisher Mike Todd arrived in New York City, he knew zero about the publishing, magazine and entertainment industries, but he had a vision. Fourteen years later, when all others failed, he owns, operates and publishes what was dubbed the seventh best LGBTQ+ Magazine on the planet, both in print and online.

With interviews and covers featuring top celebrities including Diana Ross, Melissa Etheridge, Toni Braxton, Dionne Warwick, Boy George, Annie Lennox, Emma Stone, Sandra Bernhard, Taylor Dayne, LeAnn Rimes, Belinda Carlisle, Cyndi Lauper, Jennifer Nettles, Michelle Visage, Jennifer Hudson, Cheyenne Jackson, Michelle Lee and a barrage of others, Mike Todd finds himself with one of the most sought after magazines for both gays and their straight allies. The magazine has survived everything against all odds, including Covid. 

Aside from the interviews, Get Out has advertisements, written stories for bars and has became the go-to guide for New York City’s nightlife, featuring some of the hottest gogo dancers, bartenders, DJ’s & queens in New York City and surrounding areas. Get Out continues to grow and evolve as one of the busiest publications around….and is looking to celebrate many Prides to come.

The Get Out team is proud to have Indiana native Mike Todd recalling the last 14 years of the magazine…his thoughts, his recollections, his reflections and his visions for the future….Happy Pride to all….

After 14 years of Get Out Magazine (which is still going strong), while reflecting back, what inspired you to create the magazine?

I used to go to this one bartender and pick up the other two NYC gay magazines, and I’d always mention to him , “Why don’t they lay out the magazine this way?” “Why are the ads this way?” I was basically just talking out loud. Then, around April 2009, he leans over the bar and says “You say this week after week. Why don’t you do your own? Then it will be the way you want it.” I never thought about that. “I just might do that”, I replied. Then Queen’s Pride came and I took the first photo of two great friends, and the rest was history. 

Even though the first issue was eight pages, lol, I took that to the streets and promoted it. I had to learn everything after I started it. I told myself, “Well, it can’t get any smaller ‘cause eight pages is the minimum to print on a huge printing press.” 

I then met Splash Bar owner Brian and Eddie of currently Friends Tavern & Viva La Vida, who has owned bars on Roosevelt Avenue for all the 14 years. They both bought ads and allowed me space in their venues to share the magazines with their patrons. Thank god for those two; otherwise, it would have ended shortly after. I still today think of those two generous guys every time I put the new issue out. I remember Brian saying, after he flipped a couple pages, “You seem determined, and I like that. Send me an invoice.” I was thinking this guy just gave me prime exposure in his huge, successful, packed Manhattan bar, I have to make him proud and make him know he made a good decision. I am very thankful. 

Even the biggest LGBTQ and commercialized publications went out of business, so what do you attribute your success to and how did you survive Covid?

Well, Covid made me rethink the way we put out the issue. Luckily, we found takeout food and alcohol spots, and the Grand Central green boxes was a huge pick up destination. 

The biggest attribute of all was learning that the future is here–and having a team of staff to split up all the workload was not as easy as it once used to be. Lucky for Get Out, it was created with my hard work and dedication in mind, and that meant even delivering as well to keep costs down and keep advertising rates where advertisers could easily afford promoting their venues, artists, shows, movies, and merchandise. That’s why we are still here, even with paper and postage that has doubled in price since we started 14 years ago. We still have 75% of all original clients in each issue. They are the reason we are still here, being able to help others promote. 

Thinking back, do you recall your favorite cover? 

I can’t really name the most special one. They are all special and the result of everyone’s hard work. With gratitude and appreciation and help from so many people to make them happen behind the scenes to their management teams, agents, PR firms, and the artist themselves, the writers, interviewer(s) editor, designer. I have to say singer Amber, and then Deborah Cox opened the celebrity doors for Get Out! Magazine. I have been lucky to have featured so many. I’ve almost had every artist I grew up listening to on the radio.

You’ve had Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Boy George, Annie Lennox, Melissa Etheridge, Taylor, Dayne, Belinda Carlisle, DJ Tony Moran, Sandra Bernhard, Bianca Del Rio, RuPaul, several RuPaul’s Drag Race alumni, Paula Abdul, Bob the Drag Queen,  Madonna, Frankie Grande, just to mention a few, and that’s not counting some of the hottest dancers on the planet who’ve been on the cover of Get Out Magazine. Is there anyone that you still wish to have on the cover? 

Well, as I was literally answering this question, I was going to say Diane Warren, Janet Jackson and Ricky Martin, but those two latter artists just haven’t crossed paths as yet to be done. At this very moment, I just received a reply from Diane Warren and I have to say I am honored more than my words can explain if this happens. Her writings are all over my music shelves. I am old school and purchase all my music in CD’s, and my house is full of music from Diane and all the above singers. 

What’s your biggest challenge and your biggest triumph regarding the magazine?  

A challenge is honestly trying to keep the advertising rates and expenses low, and with the increased cost of living, gas, paper printing, and mailings doubling. That is a huge challenge. The other challenge is trying to offer the deal of the decade to advertisers to promote their namesakes and trying to understand those that don’t take advantage of it. I have sat in empty places where I could help them and they don’t even think to take their lunch or dinner monies and invest in their business in advertising. 

I myself am always putting my money back into the business, and with that said, those have always been the most wise decisions I’ve made. And the numbers are right there. Get Out! Magazine reaches far more people than any venue post you see on social media and we connect exactly to the reader that goes out and enjoys entertainment and nightlife. 

As far as triumphs, I have sat in the best seats all across the country watching my favorite artists perform on stage, and damn, the artists are a million times better on stage now then they were when I was younger. I have met the best people in the world doing this magazine. 

What is your vision for the future regarding the magazine?

I really have no vision of the future. I honestly never have had one. I can only say that I can go searching and searching, I rarely don’t make any achievements from it, it just seems like I am supposed to do this. Even the many times I wanted to stop, something amazing happens the same week and I’m back full speed into it again. In all seriousness, it has to be said whether it be God or the universe or just helping people along the way, and maybe it’s all three combined, but everything just lands in my lap when it’s supposed to. 

Special thanks to you  Eileen Shapiro (interviewer), Michael Musto (editor), & Jeff Eason (photographer), without the three of you, the following issue would not be possible. With 516 issues and over 5000 people involved that I’m thankful for. I cannot ever write that many names to say “Thank you” here.

But I will never forget a single person and I will still continue to promote anyone that I have interacted with till it ends. 

Eileen Shapiro

Best selling author of "The Star Trek Medical Reference Manual", and feature celebrity correspondent for Get Out Magazine, Louder Than War, and Huffington Post contributor, I've interviewed artists from Adam Ant, Cyndi Lauper, and Annie Lennox to Jennifer Hudson, Rick Springfield, LeAnn Rimes, and thousands in between. My interviews challenge the threat of imagination....

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