About Michael Goff

Michael Goff

CEO and Partner, Towleroad, Award winning, No. 1 gay news site
& ModUrban Media, leading gay ad network

  • Email: michaeljgoff at gmail


  • ADVISOR: NowPublic pre Examiner, Treehugger pre Discovery acquisin, Center for Citizen Media, Blogger, pre Google acquisition
  • Dan Gillmor’s partner/CEO, early local/citizen journalism effort, Bayosphere
  • Lead Volunteer (Haiti), Clinton AIDS Initiative
  • CEO, The Accelerator Group & Roamable Corp
  • Microsoft: General Manager, MSN.com, Editorial Director, Sidewalk city guides
  • Founder/Editor-in-chief, Out magazine, Out.com
  • 2005: Partnered with journalist Dan Gillmor to launch one of the first-ever citizen-journalist sites, Bayosphere, HonorTags, was a miserable failure ofan attempt to increase trust in citizen journalism. Bayosphere was sold to hyperlocal- Backfence.

    Led the William J. Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative all-volunteer team in Haiti, working with the first lady and ministry of health to guide the creation of a national HIV/AIDS treatment plan. Plan was ratified by  local and international stakeholders and donors. A shorter project supported Caribbean OECS nations in gaining release of UN Global Funds that had been allocated for AIDS treatment programs.

    As CEO of Roamable, a wireless publishing platform company, he built a team of developers with a good idea and rudimentary application into  a company with customers including MSNBC, MTV, and Ticketmaster; and good reviews (Wall Street Journal, trade publications).

    Goff  became involved with Roamable as Managing Partner of the investing and consulting partnership  the Accelerator Group that included Upendra Shardanand, Clay Shirky, Jon Rubin, Alexandra Angle and Saul Klein. Notable portfolio acquisitions: Blogger (Google), Avogadro (Openwave), and Insight First (24/7).

    As General Manager of Microsoft’s  MSN.com, (Programming and Technologies) he led the conversion of  Microsoft’s online properties from so called walled garden into an open  intenet network leveraging MSN.com’s traffic. Network sites included CarPoint, Investor, Sidewalk, Expedia and Hotmail, among others. He was directly responsivle for negotiating and signing more than $150 million in revenue deals in 1999, including the largest advertising deal to date, and launched MSN’s women’s channel. Goff joined Microsoft initially to help launch Microsoft’s city-guide business, Sidewalk which the company soon sold to  Citysearch. (Newsweek)

    Before Microsoft, Goff launched and re-launched magazines for Hearst Magazines, McCalls, Roger Black Inc., Esquire as well as on his own, founding Out Magazine and Out.com. As Editor-in-chief and President he grew it into the most widely read gay publication, attracting almost every top advertiser, and featuring top editorial talent in the the gay market for the first time. (Newsweek., Time, New York Times)

    From Waldenbooks to the Piggly Wiggly supermarket chain, gay magazines… can now be seen and purchased at a majority of newsstands and grocery chains that never carried any such titles before this year.

    The “outing” of gay magazines can be credited to two key factors: Michael Goff and the changing content of gay publications. Although Goff is not the first to publish a gay lifestyle magazine, the president and editor in chief of the New York City-based bimonthly Out has been a major influence in altering the category’s image.

    Samir Husni, go-to guy in academia for for the magazine industry in “The mainstreaming of gay titles”

    — Folio magazine, Samir Husni. Sept 1, 1993

    Goff is a graduate of Stanford University, and his work has been covered widely. He served on the board of ACRIA, a non-profit group which funds and manages community-based clinical trials for AIDS treatments in New York City, for many years. He has written on social issues related to HIV, was a member of ACTUP 1989-91, and one of his 1991 columns in Outweek raised the idea and inspired Patrick O’Connell and Frank Moore to launch the AIDS Red Ribbon. (From the Independent)

    Goff has lived all over the United States as well as in West Africa, Asia and Central America. The son of two diplomats, , he’s polite most of the time, but was unable to follow in their footsteps. After passing the necessary tests, the U.S. State Department rejected for being gay.

    And right now he’s feeling that this writing in the third person is terribly awkward.

    Appreciated, yet somewhat dubious, recognition:

    • Folio “Editorial Excellence, General Editorial”
    • Swing magazine’s “Most Powerful Twentysomethings”
    • Rolling Stone’s “Hot Magazine”
    • Crain’s “40 under 40
    • Newsweek’s “VIX List: Very Important Generation Xers”
    • Adweek “Best Direct Response Spot”