Tuesday, August 30, 2016

TRANSITIONS AND MILESTONES

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

ADELANTE, based in Los Angeles, entered its 20th year of publication with its June 2016 issue.

CHARLES ALEXANDER, a columnist with Livonia, Mich.-based BETWEEN THE LINES, had his artwork, a show entitled “Good Rainbow Genes: Alexander’s Art @ 80,” on display at Detroit’s venerable Scarab Club.

DBQ, which stands for DAVID BRIDGEFORTH QUARTERLY and is based in New York City, entered its sixth year of publication with its Summer 2016 issue.

THE EMPTY CLOSET, based in Rochester, N.Y., published issue #500 in May 2016.

GED, which stands for GAY ENTERTAINMENT DIRECTORY and is based in Long Beach, Calif., celebrated its third anniversary with its June 15, 2016, issue.

MIKE HALTERMAN, the former editor of Oakland Park, Fla.-based HOTSPOTS MAGAZINE, is now the editor of the new monthly magazine HOTSPOTS CENTRAL, covering Tampa Bay and Orlando. He began his new position on June 10, 2016. The first issue of the new publication is dated July 2016. Previously, the weekly HOTSPOTS covered both South and Central Florida.

MARK A. LEE is the new managing editor of UNITE INDY, based in Indianapolis.

NEXT, based in NEW YORK CITY, entered its 24th year of publication on June 22, 2016.

Q SALT LAKE, based in Utah, celebrated its 12th anniversary with its May 2016 issue.

THE RAGE MONTHLY, based in San Diego, celebrated its ninth anniversary with its June 2016 issue.

RUSHBOX, based in NEW YORK CITY, published its premier issue in April 2016.

THE WORD, based in Indianapolis, entered its 25the year of publication in June 2016.

TRANSITIONS AND MILESTONES
Volume 18
Issue 5

LGBT buying power hits new high of $917 billion

by Chuck Colbert

The combined buying power of the U.S. LGBT adult population for 2015 is estimated at $917 billion. That’s according to a new analysis by Washington, D.C.-based Witeck Communications. By way of comparison, the community’s 2014 buying power was $884 billion.

Bob Witeck of
Witeck Communications
In releasing the finding,  president and founder Bob Witeck said in  a statement, “Buying power — also known as disposable personal income — is not the same as wealth. It is a practical tool for economists and marketers, in particular, to signal the increasingly visible contributions made to our economy by America’s diverse gay, lesbian, bisexual and/or transgender individuals and households.”

Disposable personal income (DPI), according to economists, is the amount of money that individuals have available to spend and save after paying taxes and pension contributions to the government (roughly 86 percent of income).

Witeck further explained, “To understand this estimate, it’s important to underscore that there is no evidence that same-sex households or LGBT people are more affluent or, on average, earn more than others. That is a stereotype, long debunked by economists and policy experts.”

Benchmark, inclusivity, and loyalty

"LGBT buying power is an economic marker that helps benchmark America’s diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities," said Justin Nelson, National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) co-founder and president, in a statement. "At NGLCC, we have more than 150 corporate partners that understand not only the value of the LGBT dollar, but the economics of inclusivity and loyalty. Their commitments to our communities prove our NGLCC philosophy that economic visibility, just like social visibility, is essential in building a diverse and inclusive society."

Justin Nelson of the
National Gay & Lesbian
Chamber of Commerce
The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce seeks to represent the business voice of the LGBT community.

Witeck agreed that LGBT workers, businesses and consumers are directly shaping the American economy. He said, “Today improved laws, greater visibility, and welcoming attitudes help address some of the longstanding discriminatory burdens that LGBT people and same-sex couples face. Nonetheless, LGBT Americans still confront many forms of legal, economic and social inequities in the absence of federal non-discrimination laws covering employment, housing, public accommodations, healthcare and other aspects of American society. The barriers confronting transgender people are especially severe and must be challenged.”

In addition, Witeck emphasized that contemporary market behaviors are favorably shaped by millennials who appear to be the most LGBT-inclusive generation yet. “I call this the PFLAG effect — which helps explain the familiar and loyal experiences of younger non-LGBT people towards their LGBT friends, family members and co-workers. Brands today recognize a growing proportion of younger consumers whose attitudes and buying behaviors are directly shaped by LGBT-friendly policies, campaigns and messages,” he said.

For example, in August 2014, according to a Google Consumer Survey, over 45 percent of all consumers under the age of 34 say they’re more likely to do repeat business with an LGBT-friendly company. A majority of these consumers — more than 54 percent —also say they would choose an equality-focused brand over a competitor. Keep in mind also that nearly three-fourth of millennials support marriage equality, according to Pew Research.
  
The methodology for Witeck’s analysis is based on an acceptable range of LGBT population estimates, aided by evaluating more than 100 online population samples conducted by the expert Harris Poll over more than a decade, the 2015 estimate reflects roughly six to seven percent of the adult U.S. population as willing to self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or transgender (or 16 million-plus adults 18 years of age and older).

Witeck acknowledged that social science approaches tend to assume slightly lower population targets. Nonetheless, demographers also confirm that significant proportions of the LGBT population, particularly bisexual and transgender individuals, still remain resistant to traditional sampling and reporting methods. Fortunately, newer and credible surveys reveal that younger generations are beginning to self-report their sexual orientation and gender identity in higher numbers than earlier.
  
The general approach used for estimating buying power mirrors the steps applied by the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia in its calculation of the purchasing power of other diverse populations, such as Hispanics, Asian Americans and African Americans. This methodology uses aggregate disposable income data that are compiled by the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the U.S. Department of Commerce and are therefore considered the most authoritative measure of purchasing power in the United States. LGBT purchasing power is understood by estimating the proportion of total disposable personal income to the population range of LGBT-self identified adults.

Opportunity for LGBT media

All of which is to say, the buying power of LGBT people provides an opportunity for LGBT media. 

“Buying power grows each year,” Witeck said in an interview last year, “because our population is growing and the economy is growing” and “therefore more people are reachable, and of course, more people, especially younger ones, are coming out. Gay media will find a growing cross-section of audiences who are more comfortable and confident.”

In addition, Witeck said, “I believe the gay marketplace and readership have transformed. It’s a millennial audience as well.” 

Accordingly, he said, “Gay media can connect with younger people very well, who are so often beyond labels. They’re interested and have shown engagement in our lives, our community, and our events, [such as] gatherings, concerts, theatre performances, festivals, sporting events, and Pride events — all are shaping up to be truly inclusive and to engage diverse consumers and families. In other words, our lives, our events are welcoming and receptive to people of all backgrounds.”

In attracting a younger audience, Witeck said, “Gay media is a trusted channel to educate them and also show millennials new windows on entertainment and involvement.”

Better yet, with a growing economy, “The reach to the advertising base is changing,” Witeck said. For example, “In local markets there are many more venues and retailers who find it important to connect with gay readers because they are among the most avid, viral connectors. Gay people, I have seen, tend to index higher in promoting newer products and sharing experiences in all forms of social media. I think that alone makes it clear that marketers want to educate gay readers about what they are doing. They want to show that their shop, their restaurant, their bar, their club — whatever they are opening or doing — doesn’t have to be intended only for a gay following, but it has to be one that offers originality and style. And with the sunset of many gay bars, it will be important for other nightspots to identify ways to make themselves engaged, accepting, inviting to LGBT people, too."

TOP STORY
Volume 18
Issue 5

LGBT journalists group to meet in Miami for annual confab

by Joe Siegel

Over 350 journalists, media professionals, and news executives will gather for the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association's (NLGJA) annual convention from September 8 through 11. This year's event will be at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Miami Beach.  

LGBT Media Summit chair
Jason Parsley
The convention's opening reception will be held on the evening of Thursday, September 8. It will feature Jess Cagle, editor in chief of People Magazine, and Henry Goldblatt, editor in chief of Entertainment Weekly, and Neda Ulaby of NPR.

Jason Parsley, executive editor of South Florida Gay News, is the chair of the LGBT Media Summit, a daylong event that precedes the main convention on September 8. Panel discussions will include "Freedom of Information: Getting the Information You Need to Write the Stories That Matter,” “Personal Finance for Journalists,” "The LGBT Movement in Sports: Challenging the Heteronormativity Climate," and “New Ways Miami: HIV Criminalization and the Epidemic.”

One of the main plenary sessions will be "The 2016 Elections On the Air: Unlike Any Other,” which will feature a discussion about journalism and the election. 

Another plenary session will be "Tragedy in Orlando: Making Sense of the Senseless.” It will feature a discussion about the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, and will be moderated by Jeff Truesdell, a member of the NLGJA Board of Directors and a writer at People Magazine.

Other sessions are scheduled to include "Putting the 'Move' in Movement: Life After Marriage" and "Why Celebs Still Need Us".

Some of the other features of the convention include a Women's Networking Dinner, an Author's Cafe that includes a book signing, and opportunities for professional development at the Career and Community Expo.

For more information, go to www.nlgja.org.

IN THE NEWS
Volume 18
Issue 5

NLGJA announces Excellence Award winners

by Joe Siegel

The National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association has announced the recipients of its annual Excellence in Journalism Awards.

"NLGJA saw unprecedented growth in nominations for the Excellence in Journalism awards during our 25th anniversary last year,” said NLGJA Awards Chair April Hunt. “This year, we expanded the categories to more than double last year’s offerings, continuing to award small and mid-sized publications, and saw exponential growth in nominated work.”

The 2016 NLGJA Journalist of the Year is Dominic Holden, national LGBT reporter for BuzzFeed. “Holden presents a really strong mix of thoughtful trans stories, a good take on familiar subject matter, some really strong characters and good depth,” wrote one judge. Holden additionally took second place in Newswriting (Non-daily) for “Why Are Black Transgender Women Getting Killed in Detroit?”

This year's Sarah Pettit LGBT Journalist of the Year Award will go to Lucas Grindley, vice president and editorial director for Here Media.

The 2016 Al Neuharth Award for Innovation in Investigative Journalism will be presented to Jim Burress. The award, which includes a $5,000 grant, will be presented to Burress for “Fulton County Doesn't Spend, Loses HIV Prevention Money.”

The NLGJA Excellence in Journalism Awards were established in 1993 to recognize and reward excellence in journalism on issues related to the LGBT community. 

Expanded to 30 awards in 2016, awards will be presented for excellence in Bisexual Coverage, Blogging, Book Writing, Column Writing, Digital Edition, Digital Video, Documentary, Feature Writing, Feature Writing (Non-Daily), Health or Fitness Coverage, HIV/AIDS Coverage, Local Television, Multimedia, Network Television, Newswriting, Newswriting (Non-Daily), Online Journalism, Opinion/Editorial Writing, Photojournalism, Podcasts, Profile Writing, Radio, Social Media, Sports Writing, Student Journalism, Transgender Coverage and Travel Writing in addition to several special recognition awards.

Awards will be presented during NLGJA’s annual convention in Miami Beach September 8-11.

IN THE NEWS
Volume 18
Issue 5

National Gay Media Association announces inaugural advertising awards

by Fred Kuhr

The National Gay Media Association (NGMA) has announced the winners of the inaugural Ad POP awards. 

The Ad POPs (Pride in Online and Print) reward the best representations of LGBT individuals in online and print advertising in regional LGBT media, according to the group.

Ad POP is a production of the National Gay Media Association, a group of regional LGBT newspaper publishers, located in New York (Gay City News), Washington, D.C. (Washington Blade), Boston (Bay Windows), Philadelphia (Philadelphia Gay News), Detroit (Between the Lines), Chicago (Windy City Times), Dallas (Dallas Voice), Los Angeles (The Pride), San Francisco (Bay Area Reporter), Atlanta (Georgia Voice), Ft. Lauderdale (SFGN) and Orlando (Watermark).

Winners were selected from both the national and regional levels.

The winners from Ad POP’s national contest were for ads placed in 2015. Awards were given in the following categories:

AUTOMOTIVE

Company: Mercedes

FINANCIAL

Company: Wells Fargo
Company: PNC Bank
Company: Regions Bank

NON-PROFIT

Organization: Harlem United
Organization: D.C. Office of Human Rights
Organization: CDC Ad: “Testing Makes Us Stronger” 
Organization: CDC Ad: “Start Talking” 
Organization: CDC Ad: “Treatment Works” 
Organization: CDC Ad: “Tips From Former Smokers”

PHARMACEUTICAL — BRANDED

Company: Gilead (Product: Stribild, Product: Salix, Fulyzaq)

PHARMACEUTICAL —  UNBRANDED

Company: Gilead Ad: “Answers” 

SPIRITS

Company: Pernod Ricard USA (Product: Absolut) 

TRAVEL

Company: Alaska Airlines
Company: Hyatt
Company: Loews Hotel
Company: Key West Tourism
Company: Palm Springs Tourism

In addition, Ad POP seeks to reward companies that have reached out and included the LGBT community in ads, some of which have done so for the very first time. The following are the NGMA's honorable mentions.

Company: Allstate
Company: Delta Airlines
Company: Nordstrom
Organization: Hillary Clinton

Each member newspaper also bestowed a regional awards in its coverage area. Those winners are below.

Atlanta Winner presented by Georgia Voice: Prima Printing

Boston Winner presented by Bay Windows: J.J. Bodner Insurance

Central Florida Winner presented by Watermark: Artegon Marketplace

Chicago Winner presented by Windy City Times: Joffrey Ballet

Dallas Winner presented by Dallas Voice: Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau

Detroit Winner presented by Between The Lines: B. Ella Bridal

Los Angeles Winner presented by The Pride L.A: Ko’an

New York Winner presented by Gay City News: MetroPlus

Philadelphia Winner presented by Philadelphia Gay News: Steven Singer Jewelers

San Francisco Winner presented by Bay Area Reporter: Rainbow Grocery

South Florida Winner presented by South Florida Gay News: JM Lexus of Fort Lauderdale

Washington, D.C. Winner presented by Washington Blade: Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington D.C.

IN THE NEWS
Volume 18
Issue 5

Leader of Toronto’s Pink Triangle Press steps down

by Fred Kuhr

Pink Triangle Press (PTP), Canada’s largest publisher of LGBT content, has announced a search for a new executive director.  Ken Popert, who has led the organization since 1986, will step down in early 2017. PTP’s Board of Directors is leading the search for a new ED.

Popert’s involvement with PTP goes back to 1973, when he began contributing to The Body Politic, a self-styled gay liberation journal. He was a member of the collective that ran the magazine until 1986, when he was appointed interim publisher. He has remained at the helm of PTP ever since.

But Popert, now 69, says that the time has come to move on. “We’ve been engaged in this strategic process for the last couple of years and I think it’s going to renew the organization,” Popert said in a statement. “It’s been on my mind for some time how much longer I will work here, so it seems like an opportunity to leave on a high note.”

During his time with the organization, PTP has undergone several transformations. It all began when The Body Politic, a radical gay and lesbian magazine with an international readership, was born in Toronto in 1971. It folded in 1987, but PTP lived on through Xtra, a community newspaper that it began to publish in 1984.

Ken Popert, outgoing executive director
of Pink Triangle Press
Xtra expanded into Vancouver and Ottawa in the 1990s. Its growth was underwritten by Cruiseline, a gay telephone personals service owned and operated by PTP.

In 1998 PTP launched Squirt, an international online dating and hook-up service for gay and bisexual men. Cruiseline was sold in 2011 and in 2015, PTP ended print distribution of Xtra in its three markets, becoming an online journalism enterprise.

“What I’m very pleased about is our ability to keep changing and growing,” Popert said. “Although it started as a group of very impractical idealists, our organization has shown quite an unusual ability to stop doing things that aren’t useful anymore and start doing something new.”

For the future, Popert hopes that PTP will continue its commitment to sexual liberation.

“There has to be someone who speaks with a logical and clear voice about sexual issues,” he said. “So there’s still a very big piece of work there. … It can’t be just us alone, but I would hope that PTP would continue to be a voice for a logical discussion of sexuality.”

IN THE NEWS
Volume 18
Issue 5

PRESSING QUESTIONS: QVegas of Las Vegas

Interview with Publisher Russ White
by Joe Siegel

Year founded: 1978

Physical dimensions of publication: PDF is 8.25” x 10.75”

Average page count: 72

Key demographics: Gay men make up the majority of our demographic

Print run: 0 (as of 2015, we are all digital)

Web site: gay.vegas/qvegas

*****

Press Pass Q: What part of Qvegas is the most popular? 

Publisher Russ White: Over the last few years, we’ve broken the traditional publishing mold. We don’t publish an editorial calendar anymore, and we don’t have “parts” or sections anymore. We feature a variety of content that changes each month. This allows us to be more reactive to current trends and issues. Our website now ranks articles by popularity instead of a linear table of contents, so it’s quite easy to tell what’s doing well.
PPQ: Who came up with the name and what was the inspiration for it? 

White: QVegas has gone by many names over the last 38 years. It originated as Vegas Gay Times in 1978, but through the years has been published as Nevada Gay Times, The Bohemian Bugle, The Bugle, but was renamed to QVegas in 2004 by the previous publisher when the magazine transitioned from newsprint to high gloss.

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

White: The biggest challenge we’ve had is advertiser support through our transition to all digital. When we stopped printing, people thought we went out of business. Loyal advertisers dropped us, some even didn't send final payments. Yet, our digital presence skyrocketed. We are the most trafficked LGBTQ website in Las Vegas in both global and U.S. rankings.

PPQ: What challenge is QVegas facing now?

White: We push the technology envelope. We’ve recently revamped our website to the most modern analytics tracking available. Educating our advertisers on our user behavior and how this differs from other websites and other readers remains a challenge. Once we provide automated reporting, it will be easier for them to understand.

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

White: In 1978, the publication was bi-fold, plain paper, pasted up from a typewriter. In the ‘90s, the publication was newsprint with a color cover. In 2004 we became hi-gloss. Today, we are now all digital, available on the web on Gay.Vegas, in your social media, in your inbox, downloadable as a PDF and available for print-on-demand. So many of our readers are viewing us from their mobile device, so having a responsive website is essential. No longer do you have to sneak into an adult bookstore or the back of the local gay bar to pick up a copy. 

PPQ: What one change would you like to make?

White: Why just one? We keep changing all the time. Every month we add something new. We continue to innovate. Social media editions, flyby-impressions and engagement analytics, and voyeuristic tweets are just some of the innovations we’ve introduced in the past two years alone.

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

White: No. Today, we’re much more of a lifestyle and entertainment magazine. We still believe that we have the responsibility to call out actions that conflict with the LGBTQ community, but often times we find ways to resolve or mediate issues behind the scene without aggrandizing the issue. We don’t post knee-jerk articles. We’ve built trust in the community. We’ve had several instances over the years where readers report issues about negative interactions with local businesses, and we follow through, investigate, and get both sides of the issue. 

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

White: We had a reader come up to us at an event and ask why we never publish any lesbian content. I asked her if she saw our Women’s Issue last month. She said no, she hadn’t read the magazine in several years.

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

White: I guess that would depend on where and why. Launching a new national publication comes with huge investment and distribution challenges. You’re going to have a harder sell to advertisers. If you’re launching a local publication in a market served by any existing publications, you are going to be competing for limited LGBTQ advertising dollars. Ask yourself what existing publications are not providing the community and find out if there’s an opportunity for you to work with a publication to make it better for the community. If you feel your publication can co-exist and is better for your community, go for it. If your intentions are mean-spirited or capitalistic because you just want to push the other publication out or make a quick buck on the gay dollar, karma kicks in eventually. Bifurcating the market does no one any good.

PRESSING QUESTIONS
Volume 18
Issue 5