Tuesday, April 26, 2016

BULLETIN BOARD

ESTABLISHED GAY MALE TRAVEL WRITER — specializing in adventure, cultural, off the beaten path, and purely hedonistic beaches, palm tree islands in the sun travel — seeking new outlets. ErnieAlderete@yahoo.com

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BULLETIN BOARD
Volume 18
Issue 1

TRANSITIONS AND MILESTONES

What’s happening at your publication? Let us know. Email editor Fred Kuhr at editor@presspassq.com.

CURVE, based in New York, N.Y., entered its 26th year of publication with its January/February 2016 issue.

Jeff Myers of the Gay Alliance and
The Empty Closet
THE EMPTY CLOSET, based in Rochester, N.Y., has announced that JEFF MYERS is the new Volunteer Coordinator of the GAY ALLIANCE, which publishes the publication.

GOLIATH ATLANTA entered its second year of publication with its February 2016 issue.

LETTERS FROM CAMP REHOBOTH, based in Rehoboth Beach, Del., entered its 26th year of publication, with its February 12, 2016, issue.

THE MIRROR, based in Wilton Manors, Fla., entered its fifth year of publication with its Winter 2016 edition.

THE NATIONAL LESBIAN AND GAY JOURNALISTS ASSOCIATION (NLGJA) has added Excellence in Bisexual Coverage as a category as part of its Excellence in Journalism Awards.

OPTIONS, based in Providence, R.I., held its annual meeting on March 29, 2016. Attendees, along with its board of directors, discussed the publication’s 2015 achievements as well as the its future.

OUTSMART MAGAZINE, based in Houston, Tex., entered its 23rd year of publication with its February 2016 issue.

PINK BANANA MEDIA has announced that ED TORRES has joined its team as Director of Sales. He has over 20 years of advertising sales and marketing experience.

Dennis James Jozefowicz,
SFGN's webmaster
PRESS PASS Q, the only trade publication serving those working in LGBT media, entered its 18th year of publication with its April 2016 issue.

Q NOTES, based in Charlotte, N.C., will celebrate its 30th anniversary with its May 6, 2016, issue.

Q SALT LAKE, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, published its 250th issue in December 2015.

SOUTH FLORIDA GAY NEWS, based in Wilton Manors, Fla., announced that its webmaster, DENNIS JAMES JOZEFOWICZ, passed away February 12, 2016, after a brief illness. He was 46.

WIREMAG, based in Miami, Fla., entered its 28th year of publication with its January 7, 2016, issue.

TRANSITIONS AND MILESTONES
Volume 18
Issue 1

PRESSING QUESTIONS: The Fight of Los Angeles

Interview with Editor in Chief Stanford Altamirano and Managing Editor Mark Ariel
by Joe Siegel

Geographic coverage area: Southern California

Year founded: 2011

Staff size and breakdown: 16 people, including one editor in chief, one managing editor, one designer, one office manager, four sales executives, six writers, and two photographers

Physical dimensions of publication: 8.5” x 11”

Average page count: 60

Key demographics: 79% male, 21% female, median age 38

Print run: 25,000 (30,000 every June for L.A. Pride)

Web site: thefightmag.com

*****

PPQ: What feature or features of The Fight have been the most popular with readers?

Editor in Chief Stanford Altamirano: Our monthly section on recovery called The Share is quite popular, as well as our annual Leather Pride issue. Among the features that have received a lot of feedback was an article written by a straight woman who fell in love with a trans man, and an interview by Kit Williamson with the actor Van Hansis, who officially came out during the interview (http://perezhilton.com/tag/van_hansis/).

PPQ: Who came up with the name and what is the inspiration for it?

Managing Editor Mark Ariel: Editor in chief Stanford Altamirano came up with the name The Fight, as in the fight for equality.

PPQ: What challenge has your publication had to overcome since its inception?

Altamirano: In 2011, advertisers were just beginning to realize that niche market print should still be a component of their advertising budget. It was rough at first. But as time went by, advertisers who initially told us, “We only do social media,” came back to us with the realization that certain types of print media need to be included in the mix.

PPQ: What challenge or challenges is The Fight facing now?

Ariel: The Fight sponsors a multitude of LGBTQ related events throughout the year, including all SoCal LGBTQ Pride festivals, L.A. Leather Week Pride, Palm Springs Leather Pride, White Party, and Trans Pride. The challenge is balancing out our time between these community events and continually putting out a quality product.

PPQ: How has The Fight changed since it was first launched?

Ariel: We have become much more community focused and driven, with an emphasis on those in the community who we feel have been under-represented in local gay media and gay media in general, such as people of color, the trans community, and the recovery community.

PPQ: What one change would you like to make?

Altamirano: We feel we are on the correct path. We would not change anything at the moment.

PPQ: What has been the biggest news story or stories The Fight has covered?

Altamirano: Aside from the obvious — like the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision — the PrEP HIV prevention revolution has been continually covered in The Fight, from new forms of PrEP in the works to AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s negative stance on PrEP. The Los Angeles County HIV Commission recently publicly recognized The Fight for its reporting on new HIV cure attempts and treatment.

PPQ: What's the most surprising feedback you've received from a reader? 

Ariel: The most touching feedback was from a young trans man who came out to his family after reading our cover story on Buck Angel in our Pride issue two years ago. He wrote that he wouldn't have had the courage to come out as trans if he hadn't read that interview.

PPQ: What advice would you give to anyone who may want to launch their own GLBT publication?

Altamirano: Have a clear mission statement. In other words, have a core purpose and focus.

PRESSING QUESTIONS
Volume 18
Issue 1

GUEST COMMENTARY: A 40-year journey for Philadelphia Gay News

by Mark Segal 

Mark Segal, publisher of Philadelphia Gay News (PGN), is the nation’s most award-winning commentator in LGBT media. His best selling memoir "And Then I Danced, Traveling the Road to Equality'" is available at amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com or your favorite bookstore.

Last Friday, I attended a meeting of the National Gay Media Association, an organization of the publishers of the LGBT legacy publications. At one point when we came back from a break, Lynn Brown, publisher of The Washington Blade, asked all to rise but me. She then asked all the other publishers to toast me and PGN on our 40th anniversary. 

Being honored by the best in LGBT media brought me chills, and brought back a rush of memories. Today, PGN is the most-awarded LGBT publication in the nation. Now, it seems we win praise and honors wherever we go, but 40 years ago …

Our very own community didn’t believe a professional news publication was possible for us, and the mainstream media organizations refused us membership. We had very little money. Most businesses didn’t want to see their names in our paper, so they didn’t give us financial support. The white supremacist magazine “Thunderbolt” put us on its hit list. It was routine for us to get death threats, and one night a homophobic neighbor broke into our $1-a-month rental office and tore out our electric wiring and what little plumbing we had. When we put vending boxes on the street, they were bombed, cars ran into them and the doors where torn off, but Don Pignolet, our distribution manager, never allowed anyone to get the best of us. Don, who is still with us, has that PGN spirit; nothing will deter us from our original mission.

That mission is simple: to be a source of information and platform for discussion of all sides of all issues in our community. That has been trying at times when you have to report on homeless LGBT children, hate crimes, murders and the toll that discrimination plays on individuals and families. It was never tested more than when HIV/AIDS emerged in the 1980s and we were writing about our very lives, how we were treated by the establishment and how we reacted as a community.

This newspaper is as great as it is due to one factor: the talented and dedicated people who are its family. When new employees join PGN, they quickly pick up the spirit that this paper was founded on. And each of them somehow along the way finds that spirit that Don found. They have all become part of a family that delivers a newspaper to you each week that is committed, as our slogan states, to honesty, integrity and professionalism.

GUEST COMMENTARY
Volume 18
Issue 1

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Global LGBT survey looking to partner with media outlets

by Chuck Colbert

Community Marketing Inc. (CMI), a gay-owned San Francisco-based consumer-research company, is gearing up to launch its 10th Anniversary LGBT Community Survey. The survey will be fielded April 15-May 31. LGBT media outlets can register now at http://survey.communitymarketinginc.com/se.ashx?s=359D342B75BD7AF5.

This is the largest LGBT survey of its kind and has previously yielded up to 45,000 participants from 150 countries. 

In order to participate, publishers must promote the survey to their readers through all outlets — website, social media, mobile, email, and print. After the study ends, CMI will send a copy of the full report. If media outlets generate a minimum of 200 completed surveys, CMI provides a data cross-tab of outlets' members or readers.

The importance of the survey — and LGBT media participation — cannot be overstated insofar as the survey provides useful data for LGBT media publishers and their sales teams, according to the company. For example, previous CMI surveys included information on financial confidence and concerns, beverage consumption, real estate, LGBT terminology and communications, brand recognition, sports interaction and engagement, family dynamics, and news media interaction — and perhaps the most important data is that of purchasing behavior.

The results of LGBT media reader surveys can be used for advertising and promotional purposes, as well as to establish the age profile of your readership from a third-party source, which can be important for alcohol-related advertising. 

In addition to providing overall LGBT market-specific data, the survey also gives publication-specific data to participating LGBTb media outlets.

CMI “is helping to promote the gay and lesbian market," said Todd Evans, president and chief executive officer of the LGBT ad placement company Rivendell Media (which also publishes Press Pass Q). "Right now, beside Rivendell with the annual Gay Press Report, they are the only other company I know doing that.”

In all, the benefits of CMI’s data for individual LGBT publications are three-fold, explained Rivendell’s Evans, noting that participation in the survey is free.

"They get their own reader demographics. They get facts and figures for sales leads. And they are helping the whole gay market by stimulating sales and segments where it makes sense,” said Evans. “Madison Avenue is all about independent facts and figures. And without CMI doing these surveys, we would have to pay for our own. Many gay media outlets did for many years to stimulate the market and make news. In advertising, it’s all about justifying ad-buying decisions. There is a business case for participating.”

Over the years, through 250-plus global media and community partnerships, CMI has generated as many as 45,000 survey participants in French, Spanish, German, Chinese, and English.

Through partnerships like this, CMI expands the participation and diversity of its studies, and its partners gain valuable insights into their readers or members, as well as the overall community, according to CMI. 

CMI’s research has earned a reputation as the industry standard, and has been referenced in boardrooms around the world to understand the LGBT market and create appropriate strategies. CMI has been quoted frequently in the Associated Press, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Forbes, Miami Herald, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, CBS News, NPR, Ad Week and many others around the world.

For more information, go to http://survey.communitymarketinginc.com/se.ashx?s=359D342B75BD7AF5.

IN THE NEWS
Volume 18
Issue 1

Sunday, March 27, 2016

TRANSITIONS AND MILESTONES

What’s happening at your publication? Let us know. Email editor Fred Kuhr at editor@presspassq.com.

BETWEEN THE LINES, based in Livonia, Mich., entered its 24th year of publication with its January 7, 2016, issue.

MARK ANTHONY DINGBAUM has joined the CLINTON FOUNDATION as deputy director of communications, digital engagement.

FENUXE, based in Atlanta, entered its seventh year of publication with its January 15, 2016, issue.

THE FIGHT, based in Los Angeles, entered its sixth year of publication in January 2016.

Raymond Kent Fordyce,
formerly of Lambda
Rising Bookstore
RAYMOND KENT FORDYCE, the well-known book buyer at LAMBDA RISING BOOKSTORE in Washington, D.C., died December 24, 2015, in hospice in Southern California from emphysema. He was 72.

GAY CITY NEWS, based in New York City, entered its 15th year of publication with its January 7, 2016, issue.

GAY SAN DIEGO entered its seventh year of publication with its January 8, 2016, issue.

GLOSS, based in San Francisco, entered its 14th year of publication with its January 8, 2016, issue.

GRAB MAGAZINE, based in Chicago, entered its seventh year of publication with its January 12, 2016, issue.

ODYSSEY NY, based in Jersey City, N.J., entered its eighth year of publication with its January 7, 2016, issue.

OUT & ABOUT NASHVILLE entered its 15th year of publication with its January 2016 issue.

PHILADELPHIA GAY NEWS teamed up with local production company PersonalCast Studios for a Valentine’s Day promotion offering a free, professionally edited “Love Story,” showcasing personal interviews with couples about their relationships.

THE PRIDE, based in Los Angeles, entered its second year of publication with its December 30, 2015, issue.

THE RAINBOW TIMES, based in Boston, entered its ninth year of publication with its January 7, 2016, issue.

Patricia Bathurst of
San Diego LGBT Weekly
SAN DIEGO LGBT WEEKLY introduced new columnist PATRICIA BATHURST in its January 7, 2016, issue. Her monthly column, “Innovations in Recovery,” addresses the negative impact of addiction and mental health on the LGBT community.

SOUTH FLORIDA GAY NEWS, based in Wilton Manors, Fla., celebrated its sixth anniversary with its January 27, 2016, issue.

TAGG MAGAZINE, based in Washington, D.C., entered its fifth year of publication with its January/February 2016 issue.

THE WASHINGTON BLADE entered its 47th year of publication with its January 1, 2016, issue.

WATERMARK, based in Orlando, Fla., entered its 23rd year of publication with its January 14, 2016, issue.

TRANSITIONS AND MILESTONES
Volume 17
Issue 12

Frontiers news editor Karen Ocamb laid off by new owners

by Chuck Colbert

Frontiers Magazine news editor and veteran journalist Karen Ocamb broke the story in a Feb. 25 Facebook posting:

“I was just laid off as news editor of Frontiers Magazine and FrontiersMedia.com. The company, Multimedia Platforms Worldwide, is making major changes to the magazine and is building a new website — all of which will be announced later.

“I have never been laid off before so even saying, ‘laid off,’ feels odd. I started my career in the gay press after meeting Frontiers founder Bob Craig in 1988. My first piece for the magazine was about ACT UP storming the FDA and the simultaneous protests here in Los Angeles. It has been an honor and privilege to have covered the HIV/AIDS and LGBT movement since then.”

Bobby Blair, chief executive officer of Multimedia Platforms Worldwide, which also owns New York’s Next magazine, FunMaps, Guy magazine, and Florida Agenda, said the company "found $1.1 million of efficiencies" across the companies, primarily by "reducing print staff." He added that at the same time, the company has created a new website, www.wirld.com, with content focus on Millennials.

"Unfortunately, Karen fell where we realized we were moving toward a digital and Millennial audience, and we wanted to give the generation of Millennials a real shot at creating our content," said Blair.

He added, "Karen did an incredible job and is very much missed. We would like to use her services in the future from time to time, if she would like to."

Karen Ocamb, former news editor
of Frontiers in Los Angeles
In an email interview, Ocamb elaborated on the dismissal. Asked how much a surprise this was for her, she said, “About two weeks before I was terminated, there were rumors that I was on a list to be let go. But since no one from the company had raised that as a possibility, I set it aside and did my work.

“News had always been an anchor for the magazine, no matter how many changes Frontiers went through over the years. But I had my suspicions about how I might fit in. So when I was called in from vacation for a five-minute meeting, I was pretty sure I knew what would happen. Nonetheless, as intellectually prepared as I might have been, there’s still a toll letting go of my long career of community service through Frontiers,” said Ocamb.

Asked if she had any future employment prospects, she said, “I do not have anything lined up yet. I have applied for a consultant position with the National AIDS Monument and the City of West Hollywood that would be a perfect fit, since the reason I got into gay journalism in the first place in 1988 was because I had so many friends dying and I thought reporting would be a contribution I could make to the movement. I have been lucky enough to have a number of editors suggest I pitch them for freelance work, which I am thinking about. I’m already a news junkie in withdrawal, watching CNN and MSNBC nonstop with no place to post. But I’m taking a break first.”

Ocamb also discussed her career with Frontiers:

“My first story for Frontiers was in October 1988 when ACT UP stormed the FDA and I covered the ACT UP protesters who called for parallel tracking of experimental AIDS drugs. I came from a mainstream journalism background so I got a crash course in advocacy journalism and the delicate balance I had to maintain between reporting on people who became friends through other venues such as my 12 Step program. Even the appearance of a conflict of interest could cloud my reputation and soil my goal of delivering reliable news. I determined to never hang out with any of the people I covered, with the one exception for a period of time of attending church and having Sunday brunch with HIV-positive attorney John Duran, with whom I challenged rabidly anti-gay Rev. Lou Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition. I have tried to honestly and fairly report on the spectrum of the LGBT community, from ultra-conservative, pro-life Log Cabin Republicans to ultra-liberal Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. I’ve had my share of death threats and angry critics — but I also had the great honor of covering the AIDS crisis. I tried my best to measure up to what I felt was a spiritual obligation to report both the truth and give dignity to people as they were dying.” 

Ocamb also discussed what her being laid off means for LGBT journalists in gay media in the context of the trend away from hard news reporting towards entertainment and lifestyle reporting.

“I’m an old-school journalist so it’s odd to have become a story,” she said. “However, I do recognize that my longevity and my institutional memory suggest that I might bring something unique and valuable to LGBT journalism. Nonetheless, no one is indispensable. I see my being laid off as a purely financial business decision, no matter what direction the new owners may choose. I think the kind of in-depth reporting I do changed fundamentally with confessional blogging, citizen journalism and short-attention-span tweeting of the news. In that glutted context, media outlets — LGBT and straight — are trying to get eyeballs, clicks, buzz in any way they can. I have been encouraged to see some trending back toward long form journalism — but who knows. It’s a rapidly changing media environment.” 

And yet, Ocamb said, it is important to have LGBT reporters covering “our community” in gay media.

“We discovered the importance of covering our own community long ago, when Lisa Ben published an underground newsletter in 1947 called ‘Vice Versa’ to let lesbians in Los Angeles know where to go, and when Mattachine folks at ONE Institute published ONE Magazine in the 1950s that tackled issues that no one else dared speak about, including homosexual marriage. ONE Magazine boldly pressed a lawsuit against the U.S. Post Office that resulted in a lawsuit and a Supreme Court decision that helped pave the way for the sexual revolution in America,” she explained. “But we are still either invisible or controversial or special to the mainstream media, no matter how integrated and acculturated we become. I recently reported on the San Diego police shooting of a gay man and another gay man’s civil rights lawsuit against the San Diego police that suggest that there could be a virtual ‘God squad’ within the department. Mainstream media has not connected the dots, nor seen anything [extraordinary] about either story. 

“However, we see the nuances, the backstory, and the holistic context that comes with being second-class citizens still fighting for equality. Sometimes, when you are blissfully engrossed in being privileged, you don’t know what you don’t know. Or care. But we must. We report on the scope of our very existence.”

LGBT editors and others praised Ocamb’s work.

“Wow, what a loss for [Frontiers],” said Cynthia Laird, news editor of Bay Area Reporter, on Facebook

“New management always thinks they can ‘improve’ the company, ... usually by making huge mistakes like this,” said Chris Cash, managing partner of Georgia Voice. “And I mean HUGE.”

Washington Blade International News Editor Michael K. Lavers offered his perspective.

“Karen has truly paved the way for those of us who are fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work in LGBT media,” he said in email correspondence. “I very much appreciate the friendship and the guidance and support she has shown to me throughout my career. I only wish her the very best, and I very much look forward to learning more about her next steps."

David Badash, founder and managing editor of The New Civil Rights Project, offered his thoughts.

“LGBT media is simply following most mainstream media in downsizing staff and gutting budgets so that for too many outlets, who once served as the tribal drum of their community, the only hires are at-home freelancers and the main editorial seems to be infotainment and listicles,” he said in email correspondence. “I don't mean everyone is caving in, but some heavy hitters are. Forget even the prospect of investigative pieces, because they require time and budgets that are beyond the reach of most strapped LGBT media outlets.”

Bob Witeck, chief operating officer and founder of Witeck Communications, said, “I know from experience that Karen embodies everything it means to be a master journalist — her extraordinary attention to detail, a Rolodex equal to none, and a perspective drawn on decades of reporting on our lives and times.”

Mike Rogers, co-owner of RawStory.com, offered his thoughts. “I'm adding my voice to the group of folks above who are not only concerned about what this means for [Southern California] reporting, but also for those who have come to depend on her reports from California to the rest of the country. Since we first met in 2008, I've been a huge fan,” he said.

Jay Blotcher of Public Impact Media Consultants, said in email correspondence, “Allow me to add to the deserved pile of bouquets regarding her dazzling career — and the outrage over Ocamb’s unjust dismissal from Frontiers. This would suggest that yet another LGBT media outlet has decided to jettison real news and focus solely on infotainment. Her separation is a terrible business decision that diminishes the entire LGBT media landscape. Let me be clear — infotainment is different from entertainment. Infotainment may include a speck of news, but it is wrapped in a lot of glitz and dazzle. It accentuates photos and brief items, rather than bona fide reporting.”

TOP STORY
Volume 17
Issue 12