|Company||Windmill Europe Ltd|
Boyz is a free, London-based magazine, targeted at gay men and distributed mainly through gay bars, pubs, clubs and saunas in the United Kingdom. Published weekly, it tends to focus on news about the gay scene and celebrities (generally pop artists) popular with young scene-going gay men.
Boyz is relatively light on "serious" content, being quite tabloid in its outlook and design. A typical issue will include interviews with pop bands, actors or writers, a regular health page, film and DVD reviews, an agony uncle page, astrology, music reviews and a rundown of recent and upcoming events on the gay scene, including a night-by-night list of events.
General advertising for night-clubs, pubnights etc. now provides the bulk of the revenue for the production and distribution of the magazine and may go some way to explain the often subjective nature of its coverage of the gay scene.
On 18 October 2007, Boyz was relaunched and re-designed. The separate London/national versions were merged into one. It seems that a new team took over the running of the magazine and most of the sexually explicit content, such as the 'Backroom Boy' pin-up, was taken out. Instead, the magazine introduced an increased number of pages of photographs from recent scene happenings and a dedicated news page; the number of features on subjects not directly related to the scene such as grooming, health and partnership were reduced to just one or two per week. The Agony Uncle and relationship/sexual advice pages were merged into one section.
Although the new format magazine abandoned its more explicit content, adverts for male escorts and erotic phonelines continue, perhaps due to the amount of revenue they raise for the publishers. The size of the contact ads section was drastically reduced; the publication no longer offers a service for replying to box numbers by post and advertisers can now only use premium-rate telephone lines. The new format abandoned the geographical scene guide.
The news page, In The Know, received particular attention when it was the first to break a story of three young gay porn stars being infected with HIV on a British porn shoot. Boyz' news editor Karl Riley later appeared on the BBC's Newsnight to discuss the story.
The magazine was launched in the summer of 1991, at a time of expansion for the gay scene in Britain; with the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality (brought in by the 1967 Act) and the increased prosperity of the 1980s, many more gay bars and pubs were opening. A magazine to help people new to the scene navigate around it became a necessity, especially as this function was not provided by existing publications such as the Pink Paper.
The original format of Boyz was tabloid-size newsprint with some pages in colour.