Wednesday, January 25, 2017

TRANSITIONS AND MILESTONES

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

BAY WINDOWS, based in Boston, entered its 35th year of publication with its December 8, 2016, issue.

THE GREATER FORT LAUDERDALE CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU launched a new global marketing and advertising campaign on January 9, 2017, featuring three transgender models and became the world’s first destination to use transgender models in mainstream destination advertising. Greater Fort Lauderdale’s campaign, which also features straight, gay and lesbian models, follows the destination’s long and storied history in LGBTQ marketing and is directed at a largely millennial and younger mind-set audience.

Ad from latest Greater
Fort Lauderdale campaign
HORNET, the world’s second largest gay social network, announced FABRICE LE PARC, has been named general manager for the company in France. In addition, Hornet has hired TIM GREENE and DARIEN CHAN as general managers for the company’s New York and Taipei operations, respectively. Each general manager will be responsible for expanding Hornet’s rapidly growing business in their respective markets.


NANCY REIFF, a activist and former staffer for Chicago Mayor RICHARD M. DALEY, passed away on November 30, 2016, at the age of 67. In 1980, Reiff spent three years as a columnist for GAY CHICAGO MAGAZINE and in the early 2000s, she worked in sales for WINDY CITY TIMES. In 1989, then-Mayor Daley hired her as his special assistant on gay and lesbian affairs. Also known as a gifted artist, she received many awards for her work.

THE WASHINGTON BLADE, based in Washington, D.C., is digitizing its nearly 50-year archive in partnership with the D.C. Public Library. This month, the newspaper and the library announced that the early years of 1969 to 1982 are complete and available online. The remaining years will be added over the course of the year. To access the archives, go to washingtonblade.com and click on the Archives link.

TRANSITIONS AND MILESTONES
Volume 18
Issue 10

Windy City Times releases Obama tapes just before he leaves office

by Fred Kuhr

Just before President Obama was set to leave the White House for the last time, Chicago’s Windy City Times released two audio tapes from Obama’s campaign for U.S. Senate from Illinois.

The audio is available in the online version of this story at http://tinyurl.com/Obama2004LGBT.

Then-state Sen. Obama in 2004,
courtesy Windy City Times
Both tapes were recorded by the newspaper’s publisher, Tracy Baim, the first on Jan. 7, 2004, in a one-on-one interview during the crowded Democratic primary, the second on May 7, 2004, after he won the primary and attended a stand-room-only LGBT fundraiser for his campaign.

The transcript of the interview was published Feb. 4, 2004, in full, and also ran in Baim’s 2010 book, “Obama and the Gays: A Political Marriage.” The speech from May 7, 2004, was never published, but event photos ran in Windy City Times. A week after the interview was published, Obama responded with a letter to the editor clarifying his views.

The tapes are among thousands of archival materials in the Windy City Times collection, and the paper is just now starting to digitize cassette audio tapes used by reporters during the weekly newspaper’s first 31 years in business.

In 2009, soon after Obama was first elected president, Windy City Times released a copy found in its archives from a 1996 written candidate’s questionnaire in which Obama said he was in favor of same-sex marriage. He later changed course and opposed it in favor of a compromise, but before his 2012 race for a second term, he revolved back to his 1996 position, as stated to Outlines newspaper, which merged with Windy City Times in 2000.

TOP STORY
Volume 18
Issue 10

Indy’s The Eagle explains its cover “p***y”

by Fred Kuhr

The Eagle, based in Indianapolis and formerly known as The Word, recently ran a full front-page cover showing now-President Donald Trump with the words, in all caps: “AMERICA GRABBED ‘BY THE P***Y.’” 

Press Pass Q did not add the asterisks. The Eagle did. And in a lengthy explanation from its editors, the newspaper explained how the staff had “much internal debate” about whether to “use the entire P word, or just hint at it.”

“Provocative words aren’t always fit for general use,” the editors, lead by Editor in Chief DJ Doran, wrote in the issue right after the election. “We all know certain words that we shouldn’t use in polite conversation. For the record, we came THIS CLOSE … to using the entire P word. We wanted to highlight this election of a president who’d publicly used the word with little regret.”

The editors then asked female staffers and others what they thought. And they received mixed responses, ranging from, “Trump said it. We can’t let folks forget it,” to “Why would you use that word? It’s gross.”

In the end, the editors decided to used the asterisked version of the word “to avoid cover crudity.”

“But you get the point,” the editors wrote. “… A casual comment made over 10 years ago to Billy Bush nearly cost Trump the election - not the immigration issue; not the shadow bigotry he pushed; not the flimsy economic plans or the sloppy and offensive comments about jailing Mrs. Clinton. Be he recovered and he won. And so it goes. Asterisks matter.”

IN THE NEWS
Volume 18
Issue 10

California’s Outword Magazine launches new online edition

by Joe Siegel

Outword Media Marketing Events, publisher of Sacramento-based Outword Magazine, an LGBT print publication now in its 22nd year, launched Outword California, a monthly, online-only publication on January 5, 2017, at OutwordCalifornia.com

The move made sense to Outword CEO and Publisher Fred Palmer, who notes “more and more media are going online.”  
“Over the course of the last several months we have been hearing about 'fake news' and I really thought we need to make sure that the LGBT voices continue to be heard,” Palmer said. The response to Outword California has been “overwhelming,” according to Palmer. “It was beyond my expectations.”
Palmer believes the aftermath of the 2016 election shook up the LGBT community, and the need for a forum to express differing views is more crucial than before, he said.
“No matter who you voted for, there's a lot of issues, a lot of people feeling anxiety. People feeling like their voice doesn't count,” Palmer said. “I think a lot of people in [the LGBT community] are scared about what's going to happen next.”
Palmer cited LGBT publications which have closed their doors in recent years, which exacerbated a need for corporate advertisers interested in reaching LGBT audiences.
Palmer noted that California has one of the largest economies in the world, due to the state's thriving film and television industry, the wine industry, and travel and tourism. The new site showcases the best the state has to offer, Palmer explained.
In addition, Outword California is “putting out a positive message” for the LGBT community, Palmer said. “There are a lot of positive stories to tell.”
Outword California is published online the first Thursday of each month at OutwordCalifornia.com.
IN THE NEWS
Volume 18
Issue 10

World’s first LGBT streaming service partners with Queerty

by Fred Kuhr

REVRY, the digital streaming service dedicated to providing content to the LGBT community, announced a partnership with Queerty, the popular digital news and content site.

The launch of REVRY’s QueertyTV Channel coincides with the launch of Queerty’s own browser-based video content service dubbed QueertyTV.

“We are excited to announce this partnership with one of the giants in the online LGBTQ world,” said Damian Pelliccione, co-founder and CEO of Los Angeles-based REVRY. “By aligning our mission of telling stories that change the world with Queerty’s goal of providing reliable and informative news and content to the LGBTQ and allied communities, we are optimistic that this will serve to further educate and inform our viewers.”

Content at launch includes the web series “Going Places,” which tells the personal stories of five openly gay filmmakers, and
“On the Red Carpet,” which focuses on interviews on the eponymous red carpets of LGBT celebrations and premieres. Rounding out the initial lineup is “Out in GayCities,” a travelogue to LGBT-friendly cities.

“We believe Queerty’s brand of entertainment and news is a perfect fit for REVRY,” said Scott Gatz, CEO of Queerty’s Parent Company Q Digital, “We’re excited to announce the launch of our dedicated channel on this multi-platform service.”

The Queerty Channel is available now on REVRY at www.revry.tv. REVRY bills itself as the world’s first LGBTQ streaming service dedicated to all forms of digital entertainment created by and for queer and allied audiences.

(Disclaimer: THE POINT, a web series and talkshow produced by Press Pass Q Editor Fred Kuhr, is available on REVRY.)

IN THE NEWS
Volume 18
Issue 10

PRESSING QUESTIONS: The Wisconsin Gazette of Milwaukee

Interview with Editor Lou Weisberg
by Joe Siegel

Year founded: 2009

Staff size and breakdown: 
President/CEO/Co-founder Leonard Sobczak
Publisher Steve Staloch
Editor-in-Chief Louis Weisberg/Co-founder
Managing Editor Lisa Neff/Co-founder
Copy Editor Stephen DeLeers
Editorial Assstant Wade Vonasek
Business Manager/Ad Coordinator Angela Wiegert
Administrative Assistant Danielle Kaboskey
Designers Maureen M. Kane, Eric VanEgeren
Distribution Manager Heather Shefbuch
Distribution assistant Robert Wright
Three sales reps
Eight delivery people
14 stringers

Average page count: 40
Print run: 29,000 bi-weekly

Website: wisconsingazette.com

*****

Press Pass Q: What feature or features of the Wisconsin Gazette have been the most popular with readers?
Editor Lou Weisberg: WiGWag, our tidbits of strange and bizarre news bits, plus our political coverage, editorials and opinion columns, environmental coverage, and our pet section
PPQ: Who came up with the name and what is the inspiration for it?
Weisberg: The CEO and three co-founders together came up with the name during several weeks of back-and-forth brainstorming. We wanted a name that implied statewide coverage and reflected old-fashion journalistic values. Besides, the name Gazette allows people to call us the Gayzette.

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

Weisberg: Many! Make that “challenges.” First, it was getting businesses to carry our paper. A number were put off that we’re gay and do so much LGBT coverage. Then we faced brutal competition from another alternative newspaper. When they went low, we went high (shout out to Michelle Obama) and focused on the quality and diversity of our content. As a result, we’ve won 24 Milwaukee Press Club Awards since 2010. We also won a first-place design award from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia. We’re very proud of our writers and designers!

PPQ: What challenge or challenges is the Wisconsin Gazette facing now?

Weisberg: The usual - sales. Anybody want to buy an ad? 

PPQ: How has the Wisconsin Gazette changed since it was first launched?

Weisberg: We’ve evolved into a unique product that’s unlike any other that I’ve seen. When we began, we focused exclusively on LGBT news. Then 2010 happened, and the entire state went to the crazy right. We took a hard turn to political coverage and stories about the many things under attack in Wisconsin, such as the environment, reproductive freedom, racism, immigration rights and social justice. Also, our entertainment coverage has become very Wisconsin-focused. In the beginning, we focused more on national LGBT cultural stories. We’re exposing progressive special interest groups to each other’s issues and to LGBT issues.

PPQ: What one change would you like to make?

Weisberg: I wish we’d hired a seasoned publisher in the beginning, instead of winging it with me trying to steer the helm of everything.

PPQ: What has been the biggest news story or stories the Wisconsin Gazette has covered?

Weisberg: Our most widely distributed and extensively read story was about a gay server who was fired by an Applebee’s restaurant in northern Wisconsin because he was the victim of an anti-gay hate crime. Yes, you read that correctly. Second was a story marking the 20th anniversary of serial killer Jeffery Dahmer’s crime spree. Another big hit was the story about a tar-sands pipeline that runs underneath every major waterway in Wisconsin. And, of course, the syndicated interviews with Barbra Streisand and Cher that we ran got enormous attention online

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

Weisberg: Very much so. It shows in the stories we focus on and the way that we cover them. We exist to promote progressive values, fight corruption and strive for social justice. We don’t play the game of getting a quote from someone who’s in favor of conversion therapy when we cover the subject. If people who pick up the Gazette don’t already know our values, they learn them very fast just by looking at the headlines.

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

Weisberg: Start small and grow slowly. Keep your day job unless you have a reliable, committed and wealthy backer.

TRANSITIONS AND MILESTONES
Volume 18
Issue 10