When the University of Nevada Las Vegas acquired believer In March 2017, a press release boasted that it was “one of the world’s leading arts and culture journals” and listed the top writers who contributed to its pages, including Anne Carson and William T. Vollmann.one of the co-founders believer Calls UNLV the “perfect home” for a widely respected publication.

Five years later, the university sold believer Paradise Media is a mysterious company registered in Puerto Rico.After the transfer, the new owner published an article in time believer‘s website lists the “25 Best Sex Sites” for “purely unconditional sex” (for the record, the article only lists 20 sites). Paradise Media seems to have a different editorial philosophy.

I am disappointed by UNLV’s lack of judgment and I cannot for the life of me understand why UNLV would damage its own reputation and tarnish my name and foundation in this way.

Beverly Rogers, donor to UNLV’s Black Mountain Institute

The company appears to be an SEO company loosely associated with sex toy sites. Why UNLV is surrendering the reins believer Wear something like this?

Short answer: money.Paradise Media, according to documents provided to chronicle The university paid $225,000 for the magazine in response to a public records request. The purchase agreement gives the company rights to the magazine name, website, archive and client list, and other assets. UNLV announced last October that it was shutting down the magazine because it “consumed” a “significant portion” of the resources of the University’s Black Mountain Institute, a literary center whose mission was to “bring writers and the literary imagination” into the hearts of the public. . ” in a statement chronicle, The university stated that “although believer As a highly regarded vehicle for literature, the College has a responsibility to direct resources to initiatives that are at the heart of the College’s mission. “

Founders and former employees believer They weren’t thrilled when they discovered that the literary nonfiction journal they created and ran for nearly 20 years is now a vehicle for publishing reviews of hookup sites. In an open letter posted on Medium, they called it “unfamiliar territory” for the magazine. They also point to the San Francisco-based nonprofit publishing company McSweeney’s believerhas been in talks with UNLV to re-acquire the magazine.

“UNLV’s representatives are opaque in their dealings,” wrote staff members including founders Heidi Julavits, Ed Park and Vendela Vida. They also said that “there was no notification or consultation to staff regarding the sale of the magazine to Paradise Media”.

In fact, McSweeney did make an offer to the university, even though it was essentially donated by the university believer Back at McSweeney’s, according to a letter McSweeney sent to UNLV in January. According to the university, McSweeney’s “requests that these assets be granted to them free of charge and that UNLV is held financially responsible for any unfulfilled subscriptions at the university’s overall net loss.”

UNLV accepts better financial offers from lesser-known entities.

I texted Ian Moe, CEO of Paradise Media, about the acquisition. Moe says he’s a ‘big fan’ believer When he was in college, he sent an email to the college when he heard that the school was being closed. “They said they would hear my offer and be willing to sell it and that’s it,” he wrote. “I explained my idea of ​​adding articles that answer specific questions of searchers (SEO content) to bring in enough revenue to make the magazine as good as it was in its glory days.”

After the backlash over the hookup article, a note was posted on the website titled “Plan to Bring Back Believers” (dated March 22, 2021, for some reason). It includes a list of “SEO informative content” to be published in the future, with topics such as “Sentiment Ring Color Meaning,” “Types of Clouds,” and “The World’s Largest Spider.” The note was pulled on Thursday and replaced with a similar note saying Paradise Media was “cancelling and removing all business review articles.” (The related article was removed from the site on Thursday night).

Ministry of Education publicly responds to questions about purchases believer Through the Twitter account of the Sex Toy Collective, which he created, the site posts reviews of vibrators and sex furniture. “I don’t have any other tweets, contacting via our sex toy site might be a mistake, but I just want everyone to know that this dating post isn’t spam,” he wrote chronicle. “It’s just about monetizing Google (not readers) as a first step to getting stuff back in print.”

Here’s an odd side note: The link article’s author is listed as Aaron Cutler, who wrote a few years ago for believer, Includes an article on the films of Lithuanian American poet Jonas Mekas. I spoke with Cutler over Zoom from my home in São Paulo, Brazil. He didn’t write hookup articles, which is obvious after you peruse his past work. “As a freelance writer, this is an attack on my reputation,” he said.Cutler also guessed that his name was chosen because it starts with two Ass, so it might be at the top of the list believer Contributor.

Amid the controversy, Paradise Media’s website was taken down and replaced with “coming soon” images.

Another person distressed by the sale is Beverly Rogers, chairman of the board of the Rogers Foundation, which donated $30 million to UNLV’s Black Mountain Institute. Her name is part of the official name of the institute.she said for sale believer Paradise Media was produced without her knowledge. “I’m disappointed by UNLV’s lack of judgment, and I can’t for the life of me understand why UNLV would tarnish its reputation and sully my name and my foundation in this way,” she wrote to chronicle.

rogers wanted believer Back under McSweeney’s umbrella and said she was told UNLV was doing due diligence and would be in touch with her about a possible transfer. “I’m a champion of literature and the arts and probably one of the biggest cheerleaders UNLV has ever seen,” Rogers wrote. “I didn’t expect UNLV to be so blatantly disrespectful to me.”