Bad Year for Porn Publishers

It’s turning into a very bad year for publishers of sex magazines aimed at men.

Screw, a weekly flesh magazine published by the larger-than-life Al Goldstein, has suspended publication just shy of its 34th anniversary. Goldstein has bounced employees’ checks, been evicted from his Manhattan offices and missed publishing the last two issues of the weekly.

“Midnight Blue,” his raunchy and freewheeling late-night cable talk show on public access TV, is also off the air – apparently because he hasn’t paid his bill to Time Warner Cable. Goldstein, reached at his estate in Pompano, Fla., vows he’ll return to publish Screw again and get back on cable. But it won’t be easy.

Marshals evicted the one-time porn magazine king and “Midnight Blue” impresario from his offices on West 36th Street on Sept. 9, according to a notice tacked to the door of the offices. He operated under the names Milky Way Productions and Media Ranch.

Gary Wachtler, an attorney for landlord Kaufman Wales Associates, said that Goldstein’s company was evicted for “non payment of rent. They owed approximately $40,000 – six or seven months’ rent.”

Time Warner Cable is also owed at least $12,000, according to Goldstein’s own estimate.

Chip Maloney, editor of Screw until a few weeks ago, said that Goldstein had been bouncing employee paychecks. “I had my last two paychecks returned by the bank,” said Maloney. “They don’t call it Screw for nothing.”

He’s since taken a job at a new magazine, New York Hot Sex, also known as NYHS – a freebie that will be distributed inside Starbucks and some record outlets starting this week.

Goldstein blamed all his problems on “the mafia. My distributor was f – – – ing me,” he said.

Goldstein also claims that Maloney was fired, a claim that Maloney says is patently false.

“He said I was fired when he heard I had taken a job with someone else,” counters Maloney.

Goldstein vows to resume publication in the next few weeks. “I’m coming to New York Friday to find a non-mafia distributor to handle the magazine,” Goldstein said. “I’ll have $200,000 – it’s called a bridge loan – then in a few weeks I’ll have another $500,000 from a mortgage on the house,” he said.

“I have money problems . . . We’ve been in the toilet the last few years,” he conceded before he hung up the phone because, he said, “you don’t listen.”

Goldstein is the second porn king to hit the skids this year.

Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione put his General Media empire into Chapter 11 bankruptcy after defaulting on loan payments to Kennedy Funding.

Guccione is continuing to operate while he seeks to come to terms with his creditors.
 

 

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