Tuesday, December 22, 2015


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

JIM ALBRIGHT, formerly of Oakland Park, Fla.-based HOTSPOTS MAGAZINE, has joined the sales staff at Wilton Manors-based SOUTH FLORIDA GAY NEWS.
Jim Albright

BRIAN T. CARNEY, a freelance writer for THE WASHINGTON BLADE, was elected to a two-year term on the Steering Committee for PennGALA (the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Alumni Association of the University of Pennsylvania).

ECHO MAGAZINE, based in Phoenix, Ariz., entered its 27th year of publication with its October 2015 issue.
Brian T. Carney

GAY PARENT MAGAZINE, based in Forest Hills, N.Y., celebrated its 17th anniversary with its November/December 2015 issue.

ERIC GINSBERG was hired by OUT & ABOUT NASHVILLE as director of sales, marketing and events. He replaces SCOTT BRYANT, who left at the end of June 2015. Managing print editor JAMES GRADY filled the position temporarily.

EXIT MAGAZINE, based in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa, published its 300th issue in November 2015.

GUY MAGAZINE, based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., launched a Central Florida edition — covering Orlando, Tampa and St. Petersburg — on December 3, 2015. SCOTT SPAR is publisher and FRED BIRKS is advertising manager of the new publication, which will be published monthly in the short term.

THE LEATHER JOURNAL, based in Hollywood, Calif., celebrated its 28th anniversary at a party in Asbury Park, N.J., on November 28, 2015.

ODYSSEY MAGAZINE, based in Jersey City, N.J., entered its 7th year of publication with its October 21, 2015, issue.

THE WASHINGTON BLADE, based in Washington, D.C., launched a new business column entitled, “Comings & Goings,” which will highlight the accomplishments of LGBT professionals in the area. The column is written by contributor PETER ROSENSTEIN.

WINDY CITY TIMES, based in Chicago, entered its 31st year of publication with its September 30, 2015, issue.

THE WORD, based in Indianapolis, Ind., unveiled its redesign with its October 2015 issue. In the same issue, the newspaper merged with its sister publication UP DOWNTOWN, a general circulation publication, which is now a section of The Word. This will also include a map of Indianapolis that showcases LGBT and ally-owned and operated businesses in every issue.


PHILADELPHIA GAY NEWS will have an advertising sales rep position for an energetic, self-motivated individual with outstanding communication and sales skills available the beginning of February.

Qualifications: Two years of successful sales experience, preferably in print and/or online sales; Strong verbal and writing skills; Excellent at relationship building; Ability to work independently and part of a team; Knowledge of local media market and/or LGBT community a plus; Computer literacy a must

Our ideal candidate should have polished sales skills with experience in lead generation and cold calling, combined with a track record of closing the sale.

Salary/Benefits: Salary plus commission. Our benefits package includes medical and dental insurance, paid holidays, 401K plan, vacation and a non corporate work environment.

Qualified individuals interested in applying are encouraged to send their résumé to greg@epgn.com.

Volume 17
Issue 9

TOP STORY: Journalists group to offer training for improved HIV coverage

NLGJA granted $130K by CDC for launch program
by Chuck Colbert

The National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) has received a five-year renewable grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to deliver journalism training that will enhance strategies and skills in covering HIV/AIDS.

"NLGJA shares in CDC’s confident resolve that the battle to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS is a winnable one," said Adam Pawlus, NLGJA’s executive director, in a press statement. "The media can serve as a bridge, linking those at greatest risk of contracting HIV with the facts, tips and action steps of the Act Against AIDS campaigns and other CDC initiatives along with other research and information."

The grant is part of CDC’s Partnering and Communicating Together to Act Against AIDS program, administered by its Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention’s Communication Branch. Other grantees include organizations addressing media or health issues focused on serving the African American, Latino and LGBT communities.

With the grant to NLGJA, $130,000 in the first year through fall 2016, the association of LGBT journalists would provide a series of in-person and web-based trainings, fellowships and specially-designed online resources.

These will equip journalists to cover issues and trends related to HIV/AIDS in new ways while reiterating the time-tested basics of talking, testing and treatment. These journalists in turn can better serve their viewers, readers and listeners with important information, especially those in communities and geographic areas most impacted by HIV/AIDS, according to the CDC.

HIV activists and educators voiced praise for NLGJA’s grant.

“Wow, this is really terrific,” said Mark King, who blogs on his web site, My Fabulous Disease www.MyFabulousDisease.com, a health and wellness site. “This HIV educational support for journalists couldn't come at a better time. The HIV epidemic has morphed into a story of criminals, injustice, crippling social stigma from within our own community, and the politics of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). 

“Let's take PrEP, for instance. Because the drug Truvada as PrEP was developed without the cooperation of its maker, Gilead Sciences, there was no multimillion-dollar patient and physician educational effort about it when it came on the market. (Gilead has a business model focused on treatment, not prevention). In this vacuum, so much misinformation and stigma about PrEP was allowed to fester — and stories about low efficacy, side effects and the sexual mores of PrEP users spread, all of which has since been debunked.

“The rise in HIV criminalization may be the leading moral issue of our time in HIV advocacy. But outside of a core group of dedicated activists, little is known or understood. I certainly hope this grant increases media capabilities, and as importantly, increases access to those of us actually living with HIV. Our stories should be told by us.”

Sean Strub, activist and author of "Body Counts: A Memoir of Activism, Sex and Survival,” offered his perspective.

“There are three distinct issues that I hope this program from the NLGJA will help address:

“One, the volume of coverage. The attention to the epidemic has waned and it is seldom in the media except when press is prompted by an event (World AIDS Day) or a property interest (pharmaceutical companies, research labs, etc.)

“Two, the depth and perspective reflected in the coverage. Too often it is journalism by press release, without reporters digging in, making the calls, treating claims from pharma with skepticism, and understanding the bigger context that is relevant. Why do we have loads of funding to bring people to Washington to lobby for ADAP (AIDS Drug Assistance Program) funding, but nothing to lobby for price controls, access to generics or to allow states to negotiate the prices for the drugs on their formularies? Why is there so much money available for community groups to promote PrEP, but almost nothing for PEP (post exposure prophylaxis)?  How is PrEP affecting other prevention funding? Why do some informed experts think the promotion of PrEP may lead to a higher rate of HIV among young African-American MSM (men who have sex with men)? What happened to the self-empowerment movement? Why do so many reports and studies say that stigma is the number one obstacle and we must have greater involvement of PLHIV (people living with HIV) in order to stop the epidemic, yet when one looks at the funding, there's nothing for truly effective stigma reduction and there's almost no support for networks of PLHIV? We need journalists who ask these and other questions, not simply report on a press release.

"Three, the voices and role of PLHIV. The mass of AIDS service organizations created in the 1980s were almost all created by people with HIV and their very closest partners and allies. We dominated the boards of directors of those groups. ‘Nothing about us without us,’ was the mantra respected by all. That's almost all gone. We are on the boards of the organizations we created only in token numbers these days, with few exceptions, and sometimes not present at all. What happened? How did the peer-to-peer service delivery network we created revert to the dominant ‘benefactor-victim’ service delivery paradigm? What happened to the respect for the role of PLHIV in policy development and service delivery? When did we become them?

“I'm delighted to see NLGJA take this on and it is a big task.”

Journalists interested in these free trainings and resources, available to those regardless of NLGJA membership, should contact PACT@nlgja.org to get updates. NLGJA is an organization of journalists, media professionals, educators and students working from within the news industry to foster fair and accurate coverage of LGBT issues. NLGJA opposes all forms of workplace bias and provides professional development to its members.

Volume 17
Issue 9

Florida Agenda launches its own Business Network

by Chuck Colbert

The Florida Agenda, based in Fort Lauderdale, has launched the Florida Agenda Business Network, a new program of the LGBT newspaper “to help small business owners and their supporters connect, network and thrive,” according to a piece by Peter Jackson, president of Multimedia Platforms, Inc. (MMP), publisher of the newspaper and the only publicly-traded LGBT media company. 

The program includes monthly networking events, free business seminars, and marketing and promotional opportunities. The Florida Agenda Business Network aims to recognize and support LGBT entrepreneurs statewide. The program launched a few moths ago with kick off events in South and Central Florida.

With its Business Network, Florida Agenda hopes to join forces with chambers of commerce, small business associations, and resource providers to help build stronger LGBT-owned businesses.

In 2016, Florida Agenda will also host its first annual LGBT Small Business Recognition Awards and Banquet, which will pay tribute to the unsung heroes of enterprise in Florida.

During a recent telephone interview, MMP Chief Executive Officer Bobby Blair explained that the Florida Agenda Business Network “got started four years ago when each month, the publication began gathering community leaders and advertising partners to give them an opportunity to network and promote each other regarding what they were doing. It kept evolving and evolving at each of the events, so now we are doing this kind of event at all our locations."

Over the years, MMP has acquired Los Angeles-based Frontiers Media, New York’s Next magazine, FunMaps, and Guy magazine.

California networking events will begin in 2016, said Blair. A recent event in New York City, sponsored by Next magazine at the W Hotel, drew more than 500 people, he said.

For its part, Guy magazine hosts an entertainment-based “Guys Night Out” event, Blair said.

Altogether, “These events are another way for our readers and advertisers to connect in a very social environment,” he said. “The media business is more than just delivering advertising. It’s about getting out the news, bringing people together, taking a social responsibility to interface with the community. It’s more than putting out print and digital publications and content.”

Volume 17
Issue 9

Bay Windows publisher, editor now host of TV news show

by Chuck Colbert

New England Cable News’ (NECN) “Broadside” has named the publisher of Boston-based Bay Windows as its new host. She replaces the previous host who moved to a similar television news and talk show on WGBH, Boston’s public broadcaster.

Since early October, O’Connell has been hosting "Broadside."  However, next year she will be hosting a new show, "The Take with Sue O’Connell," which will replace “Broadside.” Currently, “Broadside” provides commentary and analysis on the top stories of the day.

Sue O'Connell
O’Connell will continue editing and publishing "Bay Windows" as well as its sister publication, the South End News, a general circulation neighborhood newspaper.

In a Facebook entry on October 6, she praised those in the community who helped her secure the host spot.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” O’Connell wrote. “Wow. Totally overwhelmed by the great support around my new position at NECN. So many of you watched, shared links, and urged NECN to hire me. I truly appreciate it. I promise I won't let you down! More to come as we retool the show!”

During a recent telephone interview, O’Connell spoke about how her new gig came about. “When [previous host] Jim Braude announced that he was leaving NECN and going over the WGBH, I threw my hat in the ring.  NECN knew it was going to keep ‘Broadside’ or a show like it. I started to audition last March. And after many, many auditions, NECN called to tell me I was going to be the host of a brand new show. So I am looking forward to January. The new show, 'The Take,' will be a topic-based news show, but will look at news in as interesting a way as it can. I hope to bring my personality into the mix as much as I can, interviewing newsmakers, lawmakers, entertainers, and people of note in the New England area. I hope to take the show out of the studio as often as I can, go to newsmakers where they are, and use social media to its fullest capacity. ‘Broadside’ does not do that.”

With social media, O’Connell said, the hope is “to stay engaged with our viewers where they happen to be.”

"The Take" will also be different in another way, she explained.  “The show will also not just be posting segments. We will be re-editing the show and posting so people will have better ease of watching it when they check in with their smartphones or iPads.”

Altogether, “We will do what ‘Broadside’ did, but only with me and with a completely fresh and current and forward approach,” O’Connell said. “I think I am the only gay person in New England who has had a show on a major market talk show. NECN is an NBC affiliate, and that’s very exciting.”

Volume 17
Issue 9

PRESSING QUESTIONS: Outword Magazine of Sacramento, Calif.

Interview with Fred Palmer, CEO of Outword Media Marketing and Events
by Joe Siegel

Year founded: 1995

Staff size and breakdown: One full-time art director, one part-time graphics person, one editor, and several contract writers

Physical dimensions of publication: Tabloid size, 13”

Average page count: 28 pages average, a bit larger for special issues like Homes & Gardens and Romance & Weddings; Pride issue is usually 72 pages

Print run: 5,000

Website: www.outwordmagazine.com; Paper is fully functional and downloadable online as a flip version or PDF


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

CEO Fred Palmer: Myself and a designer. We played with the word “out” in many different forms. It was a different world 21 years ago and being out and getting LGBT communications to our community was a different process. It was just print news, no Internet, no websites, no Facebook.

PPQ: What challenge has your publication had to overcome in the last 20 years?

Palmer: The biggest challenge has been the same for any business, surviving ups and downs. The last 10 years have been hard on media as an industry.

PPQ: What challenges is Outword facing now?

Palmer: None, we are doing well.

PPQ: How has Outword changed since it was first launched?

Palmer: Biggest change was online, but we were one of the first to have a fully downloadable copy of the paper. The first company that we hired was expensive and out of Canada. Now it is easy and inexpensive and we use issue.com, like many of us.

PPQ: What one change would you like to make?

Palmer: Have a salesperson other than myself.

PPQ: Do you see yourself as an “activist journalist”? If so, in what way?

Palmer: I have always been more of an activist rather than a journalist.

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

Palmer: One reader thanked us for being available and that it helped her to connect with her son who was about to commit suicide; she said we saved his life. One other reader wrote us a letter about a story we ran on self breast examination and said we saved her life, but that since we were gay we were still going to hell.

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

Palmer: Follow your heart but be prepared for a lot of work and not much money.

Volume 17
Issue 9