PRESS PASS Q
A Newsletter and Trade Publication for the LGBT Media Professional

MARCH 2011 [Vol. 12, No. 12)
A Publication of Rivendell Media

Celebrating 12 years of serving our community of journalists

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Feature: Regent Group in the middle of legal melee: LGBT media empire sued for fraud, then lashes out at Queerty.com for aggressive reporting before taking it back
Sidebar: LGBT media agree Regent lawsuit worth coverage, but leads to confusion over who exactly owns the Advocate
In The News: Houston’s Montrose Gem shuts down following death of publisher; Bay Windows buys publication with name similar to another; Conference to focus on new opportunities in LGBT marketplace
Pressing Questions: FENUXE Magazine of Atlanta
Transitions and Milestones
Bulletin Board
Staff
Contributors to This Issue
Contact Us


FEATURE: Regent Group in the middle of legal melee: LGBT media empire sued for fraud, then lashes out at Queerty.com for aggressive reporting before taking it back
by Chuck Colbert

First, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch filed a lawsuit against LGBT media conglomerate Regent Entertainment Group. Then, website Queerty.com hammered away, reporting and commenting on the nearly $90 million lawsuit against Regent. That was followed by Regent’s Here Media suing Queerty, seeking damages for unfairly interfering with Here’s business. And then only weeks later, Here quietly withdrew its lawsuit.

And in the middle is the future of the Advocate, the venerable glossy magazine once seen as an LGBT version of Time or Newsweek.

But first came the 57-page civil lawsuit filed against Regent in Los Angeles in California Superior Court on Jan. 31, which alleges fraud and breach of contract, among other causes of action, against the entertainment group.

The complaint claims that Regent created phony movie license and distribution agreements in order to secure bank loans, with the plaintiffs claiming that the money went to line the pockets of upper management instead.

“Defendants committed deliberate acts of fraud and self-dealing... and schemed to funnel loan proceeds to themselves through a series of sham transfers and transactions with affiliated parties,” according to the complaint. In 2005 and 2006, Merrill Lynch, which was acquired in 2008 by Bank of America, gave Regent $50 million, on two loan agreements, with the advance funding to be used for the production and distribution of movies.

The lawsuit names Stephen P. Jarchow and a string of Regent companies – Studios Funding, LLC; Regent Releasing, LLC; Regent Studios, LLC; Regent Worldwide Sales LLC; Here Networks, LLC; Family Media Home Entertainment, LLC; and Liberation Productions International, LLC – as defendants. Jarchow serves as chairman of both Regent Entertainment and Here Media, Inc., which owns the Advocate, Out magazine, Here TV, and Alyson Books, along with a number of online properties.

When asked for reaction to the lawsuit, Regent lead counsel Alan Loewinsohn – a partner with the Dallas-based firm of Loewinsohn Flegle Deary, L.L.P. – told Press Pass Q: “We believe that the lawsuit by Bank of America/Merrill Lynch against Regent has no merit. It will be defended vigorously.”

While the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch lawsuit does not name Here Media as a defendant, the allegations against Jarchow have raised concerns among LGBT media publishers, editors and observers who voice concern, specifically about the future of the Advocate. The Advocate is considered by many to be a gay community icon, if not a treasure trove of LGBT history, politics, arts and entertainment for the gay-rights movement.

Tracy Baim, publisher and executive editor of Chicago’s Windy City Times, has two fears. “The future of the Advocate is definitely at risk,” she said. “If it gets to the point of serious risk, I would hope the owners would respect its legacy and find a way for it to survive. The legacy of the Advocate is invaluable to our movement. It would be a huge loss to our community if there were no continuity.”

Baim is also worried about independent filmmakers. “I know some of the filmmakers who are extremely upset with not getting payment and with their films not getting seen by the audiences they would like them to be seen by.”

Undoubtedly, Queerty’s coverage of the lawsuit has been hard-hitting. For example, under the headline, “SHOCK: Advocate Owner Regent Media Accused Of Scamming Big Banks Out Of $90 Million” [Feb. 2), Queerty's Matt Deboard wrote: “In order to score $90 million in loans from Bank of America and Merrill Lynch, Regent allegedly created fake movie licensing and distribution deals and passed them off to the banks as legitimate contractual relationships that would drive future revenue. The banks, of course, needed reason to believe Regent would have the ability to pay back its debts based on earnings to come. The fake agreements, the banks claim in a fraud and breach-of-contract lawsuit … were purposefully drafted by the company to trick the banks, with Regent allegedly knowing full well its deals were crap.”

Additionally, on Feb. 17, under the headline “Frauds & Monsters: A Rogue's Gallery of Regent Entertainment-Here Media Players,” Queerty's Sean Carnage wrote: “The people in charge of Regent Group – Here Media CEO Paul Colichman and lawsuit defendant/Regent Chairman Stephen Jarchow – are hopeful the gay audience they cater to doesn't have brains enough to process the intricate details of the alleged $90 million fraud. Also, Colichman and Jarchow think gays and lesbians simply don't care about the quality of the media they consume, nor who[m] it comes from, as long as it has ‘LGBT friendly’ stamped on the front. They're wrong.”

Queerty.com then goes on to mock a host of Regent/Here executives, serving up gossip and speculation about their potential culpability in the alleged fraud and breach-of-contracts in financial dealings raised in the complaint.

By Feb. 25, Here Media, Inc., filed suit in California Superior Court in Los Angeles against Queerty, its founder David Hauslaib, and associate Sean Carney, also known as Sean Carnage, a former Regent employee.

Here Media's 10-page complaint alleged unfair competition, intentional interference with contractual relations, and intentional interference with prospective advantage. The plaintiffs were asking the court for recovery of damages, punitive damages, injunctive relief and costs.

The complaint stated: “After Here Media’s executive officer rebuffed Hauslaib’s overtures to sell Queerty.com, these defendants embarked upon an outrageous and offensive scheme to compete unfairly with Here Media by creating the appearance of scandal in an effort to harm Here Media’s relationship with valuable advertisers and vendors.”

As the complaint explained, “In or about 2008, defendant Hauslaib approached Paul Colichman, the Chief Executive Officer of Here Media, and proposed that another company affiliated with him purchase Queerty.com. After a review of Queerty.com’s books and records that proposal was quickly rejected because among other things, Queerty.com lacked value – or anything like the value – that Hauslaib had ascribed to it.”

According to the complaint, “Even more egregiously, the defendants have publicly targeted, attacked, and heaped scorn upon employees of Here Media who have worked selflessly and diligently to provide a legitimate voice for LGBT issues – people who have been exemplary in their efforts and who deserve to be treated with consideration and respect – in an effort to make it intolerable for those valuable employees to continue working with Here Media and to pressure them into abandoning their employment with Here Media so that defendants’ attacks against them will cease. As a result, some of Here Media’s employees have resigned and vendors, advertisers, and contributors have ended their relationships with Here Media."

Some of the public attacks to which Here Media refers appeared in Carnage's "Frauds & Monsters" posting, an apparent play on the title of the 1998 film "Gods and Monsters," produced by Colichman and Jarchow's Regent Entertainment. Keep in mind, the former serves as Here Media's chief executive officer, while the latter serves as chairman of both Regent and Here. Colichman is not named as a defendant in the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch lawsuit.

By mid-March, Here Media withdrew the lawsuit against Queerty.

While Here Media did not inform the media regarding the withdrawal, Queerty.com founder Hauslaib told Press Pass Q: “Rather than address the allegations of a $90 million fraud involving Merrill Lynch and Bank of America, Here Media instead chose to attempt to silence any reporting on its alleged schemes by filing a SLAPP [strategic lawsuit against public participation] lawsuit against Queerty.com. It appears the company came to its senses and dismissed its own frivolous case.

Hauslaib noted, however, that Queerty.com has been asked by other media outlets to address Here Media's claim in the lawsuit that coverage of the company and allegations against it are a result of a failed sale opportunity.

“The claim is preposterous,” said Hauslaib. “Around 2007-08 after receiving a number of unsolicited [merger and acquisition] inquiries, Queerty.com's parent company instructed its investment bank to discuss acquisition opportunities with potentially interested firms. It did so with more than two dozen companies, including nearly every major media company you would expect might be interested in a portfolio of blogs. There were very informal discussions with Here Media, which went nowhere for a number of reasons. … Queerty.com's ongoing coverage of Here Media has precisely zero to do with any acquisition conversations with the company, despite Here Media's laughable claims otherwise.

Hauslaib continued, “In dismissing its own lawsuit, which was clearly an attempt to silence criticism of the company, it is clear Here Media does not even believe its own ridiculous allegations. Rather, an LGBT media company that repeatedly wrongs the very community it claims to serve, plus its involvement in a $90 million alleged fraud scheme involving two Wall Street banks, has serious news value to Queerty.com readers. Just like its coverage of Here Media/Regent, the blogs belonging to Queerty.com's parent company reported on – both positively and negatively – almost every single media company it held [merger and acquisition] talks with. None ever claimed unfair competition.”

When asked for comment on the withdrawal of the lawsuit, plaintiffs' lead counsel Larry Stein – a partner in the Los Angeles office of the law firm, Liner, Grode, Stein, Yankelevitz, Sunshine, Regenstreif & Taylor L.L.P. – told Press Pass Q: “We do not comment on pending litigation, but this is part of a larger legal strategy regarding these matters.” A court clerk said the lawsuit was dismissed without prejudice, meaning the plaintiffs could resubmit it at a later date.

But the details of this “larger legal strategy” are apparently being held close to the Here Media/Regent vest.

Bob Witeck, chief executive officer of Witeck-Combs Communications, a Washington, D.C.-based marketing and public relations firm, hopes it doesn’t come to one or more nasty lawsuits being heard in court, with the effect of LGBT media airing their dirty laundry.

“As a longtime media observer and ally of our top publications, I wince when I see a flurry of lawsuits, which can be costly and very distracting. Whether any of the allegations have teeth, we’ll find out over time,” Witeck said. “My hope remains that the writers who serve these channels will keep feeding the community’s deep appetite for news that matters to us.”



SIDEBAR: LGBT media agree Regent lawsuit worth coverage, but leads to confusion over who exactly owns the Advocate

Queerty.com has provided the most extensive coverage of the Bank of America/Merrill Lynch lawsuit against the Regent Group. But it’s not alone. LGBT media outlets from coast to coast have reported on this, and mainstream outlets covering the lawsuit include Courthouse News Service and Variety.

Gay editors and publishers alike agree. The lawsuit against the giant LGBT media company not only merits coverage but also is of concern to the LGBT community nationwide.

“You report on it because if you are a credible newspaper, you write about the wounds and the warts of your community, not just the achievements and the accomplishments,” said Norm Kent, founder, publisher, and editor-in-chief of South Florida Gay News.

“The notion that there may have been some shenanigans vis-à-vis the line of credit with such major financial institutions is pretty stunning,” said Paul Schindler, editor of New York City-based Gay City News [GCN).

As Duncan Osborne, who wrote the coverage for GCN, explained, “This is a company that owns two very important publications, the Advocate and Out magazines, that are read by the lesbian and gay community, and so a suit brought against them is newsworthy,” he said. “That one of the units that owns those two publications appears to be struggling financially, the suit becomes all the more significant. If this company can’t seem to pay its bills and has been sued by two companies that frankly have the financial resources to sustain a significant lawsuit, that is also newsworthy.”

For Osborne, what stands out the most from the complaint are “some pretty serious allegations,” he said. "Bank of America and Merrill Lynch appear to be alleging criminal acts. They are charging essentially that Regent committed fraud.”

Osborne’s Feb. 16 coverage, under the headline “Fraud Suit Aims at Advocate, Out, here! TV Parent Company,” fleshed out details of Here’s financial struggles, the other newsworthy thread of the broader story.

Osborne reports: “In 2010, a New York City graphics firm sued Here in New York Supreme Court seeking just over $200,000 in unpaid bills that date back to early 2009. That case is ongoing.

“A Maryland photographer sued Here in 2010 in federal court after the magazine allegedly failed to pay him for a photo shoot the Advocate hired him to complete at the 2009 National Equality March in Washington, D.C. The photographer asserted that the Advocate’s failure to pay made its use of his pictures copyright infringement under the contract the parties signed and he ‘may elect to recover statutory damages ... of up to [$150,000] for each of the [10] photographs infringed by Defendant, along with pre- and post-judgment interest at rates allowable by law.’

“The parties in the federal lawsuit are engaged in settlement talks. It is doubtful that the photographer will collect in excess of $1 million for his work.

“Also in 2010, a photo-retouching firm, publishing giant Reed Elsevier, and a freelance artist sued Here in civil court, where lawsuits for under $25,000 are heard. One of those lawsuits was disposed of and two are ongoing.

“Further evidence that Here is struggling comes from the website Writers Weekly, which posted 2010 complaints from three writers who published in the Advocate and were not paid roughly $8,000 altogether. Two received either all or some of the money due them after their complaints were aired publicly.”

A Press Pass Q story in the July 2010 issue covered freelancers’ claims that the Advocate and Out had not yet paid them. At the time, spokesperson Mark Umbach, senior manager for publicity and corporate communications, wrote in an e-mail correspondence, “The company has no comment on the story.”

Financial struggles notwithstanding, one piece of LGBT media reporting is incorrect, according to Here Media company officials: The claim that Regent Entertainment is the parent company of the Advocate and Out, as reported in a number of LGBT publications. Also at issue for Here is the use of the name “Regent Media” and its connection to the Advocate and Out, also reported in LGBT media.

First, on the matter of parent company: “Here Media Inc. does not have a parent company,” Here Media said in a statement to Press Pass Q. “It is owned by 100 shareholders. Here Media Inc. was organized in 2009 and merged with Planet Out Inc. in June 2009. It owns The Advocate, Out, Gay.com, SheWired.com and other media properties serving the LGBT audience. One of its subsidiaries was briefly named Regent Entertainment Media Inc., but was renamed Here Publishing Inc. shortly after the merger. Here Media Inc. has over 100 shareholders, including many individual and institutional investors together with management.”

Second, on the point about Regent Media: “There are a number of companies which include Regent in their corporate name involved in the production and distribution of motion pictures for over 15 years,” reads Here’s statement. “Currently there is no Regent Media or similarly named company. The various companies, which include Regent as a part of their corporate name, are owned by outside investors and their management. The ownership varies from company to company.”

What points of clarification made in Here Media’s statement is not entirely clear. But if the lawsuit goes to trial, perhaps the court – or financial analysts – can clarify the companies’ and various units’ relationships to each other as well as who owns what.

On January 13, 2009, when Regent merged with Planet Out, The Advocate reported, “Regent Entertainment Media, publishers of the Advocate and Out magazines and owner of the here! TV network announced … that it has signed a merger agreement with PlanetOut Inc. The combined company will be known as Here Media Inc, 80 [percent] of which will be owned by the owners of Regent Entertainment Media.

“In addition to owning here! TV, The Advocate, and Out, Regent Entertainment Media also publishes HIV Plus magazine and Alyson Books. Its online presence includes Advocate.com, Out.com, HIVPlusMag.com, OutTraveler.com, and SheWired.com. PlanetOut runs two of the longest-established gay sites on the Web, PlanetOut.com and Gay.com.”

A press release at the time also stated, “The owners of Here Networks and Regent Entertainment Media will receive that number of shares of Here Media's common stock such that they will own 80 [percent] of Here Media's common stock following the merger and the contributions."

— Chuck Colbert



IN THE NEWS: Houston’s Montrose Gem shuts down following death of publisher

The Montrose Gem, which served the LGBT community in Houston, Tex., has ceased publication following the death of publisher Michael Gaitz.

The final issue, number 151, was dated Feb. 11. Gaitz died on Jan. 31 of a brain aneurysm. He was 58.

“As a publisher and a businessman, [Gaitz] usually tried to keep his name off of things,” recalled Henry McClurg, the newspaper’s associate publisher. “He never did print his name in the Gem as publisher, although he was the publisher and 100 percent owner through a corporation called Screenz Inc.”

McClurg founded Montrose GEM in 2002 and, after leaving the paper, returned to serve as associate publisher last November.

“I sold the paper to Michael originally because I was in bad health,” McClurg said. “I didn't think I had much more time. I knew he had deep pockets and would keep the paper going. Well, it turns out, the VA figured out what was wrong with me and I have made a 180-degree recovery. I went back to work for him because I was familiar with his ways and understood him. We could work together.”

The reasons for the publication's demise were financial, McClurg said. Gaitz's brother George Gaitz and his sister Theresa Kaplan “thought the paper was losing money and gave [editor] Deborah Bell and I an ultimatum to double the ad sales in four issues or they would shut it down,” McClurg said. “That was an impossible goal and they knew it.”

Gaitz and Kaplan told McClurg and Bell that they had to collect enough checks to pay for the next printing bill or else the paper would not be printed, said McClurg.

“We went over the accounts, account by account,” McClurg said. “And we discovered that all of my accounts were up to date. It was the house accounts that were way behind. Well, Deborah hit the streets to collect, but told them that she couldn't put out a newspaper, make commitments to columnists, advertisers, etc., unless there was an iron-clad promise from them to publish.”

The next Monday, with three days before the next issue was set to go to press, Gaitz and Kaplan pulled the plug.

McClurg has launched a new publication, Montrose News, which he owns completely. Potential investors are expressing interest, he said.

McClurg said he learned a valuable lesson from his experience with Montrose Gem. “I really don't want to ever again let a committee run the paper. It takes too long to get approval to do anything. When I just have my way, the paper makes money.”

— Joe Siegel

Bay Windows buys publication with name similar to another

Bay Windows, New England’s oldest LGBT newspaper, has acquired Golden Rainbow Times, a monthly publication that serves LGBT baby boomers and seniors. The Boston Globe first reported the acquisition on Jan. 26.

Sue O’Connell, Bay Windows’ co-publisher and acting editor in chief, said acquiring Golden Rainbow Times “gives us an opportunity to serve a generation often ignored in the media in general, but is a great part of our community.”

Golden Rainbow became a monthly insert of Bay Windows, beginning on Feb. 17.

Bay Windows was founded in 1983. Its owners also publish neighborhood newspaper South End News and Out at Night, a Boston club and entertainment guide, which is a monthly Bay Windows insert, too.

Golden Rainbow Times is included with Bay Windows the third week of the month, with Out at Night inserted the second week. Altogether, “this allows us to provide a full service to the community,” O'Connell said.

Acquiring Golden Rainbow Times, she added, “is an example of the market picking up and gay papers getting back to the serving as many facets of the community that it can.”

Also, as O'Connell explained to the Globe, the numbers of older gay and lesbian readers are growing. “They are the perfect audience for the newsprint world.’’

But the Bay Windows acquisition has raised concerns over brand confusion for owners of The Rainbow Times [TRT), a monthly publication based in Northampton, Mass.

"Both publications [Golden Rainbow Times and The Rainbow Times] serve the LGBT market, overlap the same geographic perimeters, and share an incredibly similar name," said Nicole Lashomb, TRT's editor in chief. "Of course, that is going to create confusion. It already has."

"I believe that anything that involves the copyrighted/trademarked information or prior usage could lead to brand and market confusion. It would be foolish not to think so," said Gricel Martínez Ocasio, TRT’s publisher. "But we are working on addressing that at a later date with the same good faith that we have always addressed situations in the past. However, I also firmly believe that The Rainbow Times' unique cover, content, style and solid reputation will continue to set the product apart from the recently acquired paper."

Bay Windows’ O’Connell sees no reason for confusion. “Golden Rainbow Times has been established as a stand alone for quite a few years,” she said. “There is no need to address a name issue.”

The Rainbow Times was founded in November 2006 with a soft online launch. The publications’ first print issue appeared on newsstands on February 1, 2007.

Sixty-eight-year-old Roberta Slavin of Tewksbury, Mass., launched Golden Rainbow Times in 2008. The 24-page publication reached about 12,000 readers in Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire.

But in the middle of last year, Slavin said, she had to stop publishing. “It was like a one-person business. I was so proud of it, but was not doing it justice,” she explained. “I am excited that such a well-known, well-established and credible newspaper like Bay Windows” will be taking over. “This is where I wanted Golden Rainbow to go.”

Slavin said she intends to stay on to sell ads and work with Bay Windows staff on editorial content for both publications. O’Connell serves as editor of the now eight-page Golden Rainbow insert.

Slavin and O’Connell declined to discuss the financial terms of the acquisition.

— Chuck Colbert

Conference to focus on new opportunities in LGBT marketplace

The fourth annual Gay and Lesbian Marketing Conference will return to New York City on April 29.

Sponsored by Community Marketing Inc. [CMI) and Pink Banana Media, the conference is expected to draw people from advertising agencies, corporations and new gay and lesbian-owned businesses from across North America. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, the Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce’s New York chapter, Out Professionals, Gay City News, Echelon and dot429 have co-sponsored the event.

Matt Skallerud, president of Pink Banana Media; Cathy Renna of Renna Communications; Merryn Johns, editor-in-chief of Curve Magazine; Richard Oceguera, president of the NGLCC’s New York chapter; Serge Gojkovich, president of Gay Consultants Inc. and Jerime Black, LGBT sales and marketing manager for Barefoot Wine, are among those who are scheduled to present at the conference.

The Gay and Lesbian Marketing Conference will take place amid the backdrop of a post-recession economy. Gay men and lesbians ranked the economy among the most important issues in the fourth annual LGBT Community Survey that CMI released in September 2010. But David Paisley, senior project director for CMI, told Press Pass Q that the recession actually provided new opportunities to reach gay and lesbian consumers.

“What happened for a lot of companies out there is they looked to the gay community as a new opportunity,” he said, noting many companies began to actively market themselves to gay and lesbian consumers during the recession. “The recession was a funny thing for the gay and lesbian community. There was a lot of pullback, but there was a lot of expansion into the gay and lesbian market.”

Paisley noted that the travel, hotel and banking sectors have made solid gains over the last year – and he expects conference participants to discuss these trends.

"In a recovering economic market, the gay and lesbian segment presents an especially valid and viable opportunity for growth,” said Paisley. “The Gay and Lesbian Marketing Conference offers a comprehensive research, advertising, marketing and communications forum that will help attendees reach a broad spectrum of LGBT consumers."

— Michael K. Lavers



PRESSING QUESTIONS: FENUXE Magazine of Atlanta
by David Webb

Geographic coverage area: Atlanta and Athens, Ga.; Savannah, Ga.; Pensacola, Fla.; Birmingham, Ala.; New Orleans and Houma, La.

Staff size and breakdown: One publisher, one editor, one senior writer, five contributing writers, one art director, one graphic intern, one distribution manager, and three sales representatives

Physical dimensions of publication: 10.75” tall x 6” wide

Average page count: 60

Key demographics: 80 percent male, 19 percent female, 1 percent trans; 87 percent LGBT, 13 percent heterosexual; average income $82,500; Age breakdown: 18-30, 24.6 percent; 31-40, 34.2 percent; 41-54, 35.6 percent; 55-plus, 5.6 percent; Median age: 37

Print run: 15,000 biweekly

Website: http://www.fenuxe.com

*****

PPQ: When did you launch your publication?

Publisher Tyler Calkins: FENUXE was launched on April 22, 2010.

PPQ: Has your publication changed since it was first launched?

Calkins: Absolutely! Our first issue was more of a digest size, measuring 5.5” x 8.5”. Five issues later we moved to a larger format [6” x 9”), and five issues following that we moved to our current size [10.75” x 6”). With each issue we continue to be a better publication. We continue to give our readers more of what they want, and we continue to deliver more results to our advertisers. We never, however, lose sight of why we started FENUXE. It wasn't because we wanted to start another gay magazine. We wanted to give back to our community and to be something everyone was proud to have. We constantly hear that our readers are displaying FENUXE on their coffee tables and in their homes because they are proud to have a quality and beautiful gay publication in the city.

PPQ: Were you worried about starting a new LGBT publication in light of so many publications going out of business, losing money or going online only?

Calkins: At the very beginning, we were a little worried that there would be too much market saturation, but once we got our first three issues out we knew we were onto a really good thing.

PPQ: There are a number of other LGBT publications in Atlanta. How does FENUXE differentiate itself?

Calkins: You can see that it's very different from most gay publications. Aside from the fact that we don't allow any erotic content, our magazine is beautiful. We work very hard to make sure that each issue is more beautiful than the last, plus we have fashion photo spreads in each and every issue. We are also the largest gay print media in the city. We print more copies, we distribute in more places and have more subscriptions than any other publication here.

PPQ: What does the name FENUXE mean? Why did you choose it?

Calkins: FENUXE stands for Fashion, Entertainment, Nightlife, Urban Culture, X-plore [Gay Travel), and Eats [Dining). It's pronounced “FEE-nicks,” and it is a play on the beautiful and mythological Phoenix bird that graces the city of Atlanta's crest. In 1864, during the end of the Civil War, Atlanta was burned to the ground, but it rose from the ashes [like the Phoenix) and once again became a city of greatness. When Window Media fell last year, it seemed like gay media had been burned down across the country, but from those ashes, FENUXE was born.

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

Calkins: One of the most surprising things we have heard is one of our readers showing the publication to their parents and telling them, "See guys, it's not bad to be gay!" It was really great to hear that we had an integral part in someone's coming out process and that we were used to show the community in a positive light.



LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

[What’s your opinion? We’d like to know. Send your letters to editor@PressPassQ.com. Letters should be kept to a maximum of 250 words and may be edited for length and clarity.)

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TRANSITIONS AND MILESTONES

[Editor’s note: Are there important changes going on at your publication? E-mail the information to editor@PressPassQ.com.)

ACCESSLINE, based in Des Moines, Iowa, entered its 25th year with its January 2011 issue.

THE ADVOCATE launched its own unique digital edition through ZINIO. The standalone digital edition is available on iPad, iPhone, PC, Mac and select Android devices. The magazine’s digital edition was previously available as a supplement to sister publication OUT.

AMBUSH MAG, based in New Orleans, celebrated its 29th anniversary with its Jan. 4, 2011, issue.

TRACY BAIM, publisher and executive editor of Chicago’s WINDY CITY MEDIA GROUP, is the author of the new novel, “The Half Life of Sgt. Jen Hunter.”

BLADE is the new name of the ORANGE COUNTY & LONG BEACH BLADE. The name change comes as the magazine changes ownership.

BOSTON SPIRIT MAGAZINE entered its 7th year of publishing with its January/February 2011 issue.

CAMP, based in Kansas City, Mo., entered its 8th year of publishing with its January 2011 issue.

COMCAST CORPORATION/NBC UNIVERSAL announced the creation of a Joint External Diversity Advisory Council to advise the senior executive teams at Comcast and NBCUniversal. The Joint Diversity Council consists of four, nine-member Diversity Advisory Councils, representing African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanics and women. It also has members representing veterans, Native Americans, people with disabilities, and the LGBT community.

OUTLOOKS, based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, is now distributed on the 15th of the month, rather than the first week of the month. JASON KRELL and ALYKHAN VELJI also join the publication as The Style Guys.

PHILADELPHIA GAY NEWS has won five awards from The Suburban Newspapers of America, a national organization of 2,000 daily and weekly publications. In its circulation class, PGN won 1st Place in the Best Special Section category, 1st and 2nd Place in the Best Arts & Entertainment Writing-Feature category, and Honorable Mentions in the Best News Photo and Best Photojournalism categories.

THE RAINBOW TIMES, based in Northampton, Mass., was selected as Boston Pride's main media sponsor and producer of the 41st Boston Pride Guide.

THE STONEWALL NATIONAL MUSEUM AND ARCHIVE is the new name of the Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based STONEWALL MUSEUM AND ARCHIVE. Founded in 1973 as one of the first gay libraries in the country, the name was changed to better reflect the size and scope of the organization.



THE BULLETIN BOARD

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THE STAFF

Publisher: Todd Evans, todd@PressPassQ.com
Editor: Fred Kuhr, editor@PressPassQ.com
Associate Editor: Dave Brousseau, dave@QSyndicate.com
Contributing Writers: Duane Booth, Derrik Chinn, Chuck Colbert, Tanya Gulliver, Liz Highleyman, Michael K. Lavers, Matthew Pilecki, Joe Siegel, David Webb



CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS ISSUE

CHUCK COLBERT is a freelance journalist based in Cambridge, Mass. He is a longtime contributor to the National Catholic Reporter and covered the crisis of clerical sex-abuse in the Boston archdiocese. Previously a senior reporter and columnist for the former In Newsweekly, he is a contributor to Keen News Service and Boston Spirit Magazine. Also, he has written for major mainstream daily newspapers and magazines, including the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Dallas Morning News, Philadelphia Inquirer, San Francisco Chronicle, and the Washington Post. He can be reached at crciiiund@aol.com.

FRED KUHR is an editor, reporter, performer and personal trainer based in Toronto. He has written for The Advocate, AdWeek, Toronto-based Xtra, and Boston Spirit Magazine. He has also served as editor of now-defunct publications In Newsweekly [based in Boston) and Out in the Mountains [based in Vermont). He has served as a news analyst on the Fox News Channel and CBC Radio, as well as other media outlets. Fred blogs about politics and pop culture at the FredBlog at www.fred-blog.com and has been rated one of the top Twitterers of “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance.”

MICHAEL K. LAVERS is the National News Editor for EDGE Publications. His work has appeared in the Fire Island News, the Guide, the Village Voice and other LGBT and mainstream publications around the world. He has also provided commentaries on LGBT issues to the BBC, “The Brian Lehrer Show” on WNYC in New York, “La Razón” in Spain and other media outlets. He also blogs at Boy in Bushwick, which can be found at www.bushwickboy.blogspot.com.

JOE SIEGEL is a freelance journalist based in Rhode Island. He has written for several New England-based LGBT publications, including In Newsweekly, EDGE Providence, Options and The Rainbow Times. In addition, he has been a reporter for the Attleboro, Mass.-based Sun Chronicle newspaper for the past 8 years. He can he reached at joesiegel@cox.net.

DAVID WEBB worked for both mainstream and alternative media during his 25-year career, including LGBT newspaper Dallas Voice for seven years as a staff writer and news editor. He now lives on Cedar Creek Lake southeast of Dallas. In addition to freelancing, he authors the blog therarereporter.blogspot.com.



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