The websites of Australia’s largest LGBT publisher are back online, amid claims former staff are owed hundreds of thousands in lost wages and superannuation.
Samesame.com.au has been offline for the past week but now has a new logo and design without any advertising. A message has been posted on sister website gaynewsnetwork.com.au claiming it is down for “scheduled maintenance”.
It is understood the company’s former web host pulled the pin on both websites over unpaid bills.
The portals are owned by Evo Media, which has seen a mass exodus of staff over recent months. Many are planning a class action against their former bosses to try and recover wages and superannuation.
Sydney couple Dean Bell, 44, and Mark Anthony, 49, have owned and managed their gay media empire for more than 15 years. Mr Anthony was the director of ‘Evolution Publishing’ until it went bust in 2013 owing thousands to staff. Before administrators took over, Mr Anthony sold the company’s magazines and websites to his boyfriend Mr Bell. Bell then “licenced” them to a new company he established called Evo Media.
Corporate watchdog ASIC hasn’t taken any action against the pair.
Gay Pop can also reveal a third company, Evolution Corporation Pty Ltd, was owned by Mark Anthony until it was placed into administration last year owing $100,000 to the ATO. Evo Media’s flagship web domain gaynewsnetwork.com.au is still registered to Evolution Corporation, and it’s unclear if administrators will try to recover it as an asset.
More allegations against Evo Media are detailed in this report by former employee Serkan Ozturk. Updates to come.