Southern Voice was founded by Chris Cash in 1988; in 1997 she sold the paper to Window Media right after she hired Laura Douglas-Brown as an intern; Window gobbled up numerous papers and magazines and became rather bloated; Douglas-Brown became editor of SoVo in 2006; paper wins lots of awards; everybody loves SoVo; Cash is somewhere in Texas doing whatever; economy turns mucho sour; advertisers abandon ship; Window closes down SoVo and its sister publication Washington Blade on November 19, 2009 and declares bankruptcy; Cash and Douglas-Brown decide they will launch a new paper; community says “cool;” Tim Boyd is asked to join the team; former SoVo staff members sign on to new pub; community says “let’s call it GA Voice;” Cash and Douglas-Brown attempt to buy SoVo name and assets; they fail; launch happens anyway on March 16, 2010; everybody loves GaVo. Whew!
Even though our roots can be traced back to the earliest days of Southern Voice, after two years in business, we can now claim our own history. Maybe soon we will not even have to explain who we are and/or what happened to Southern Voice. We can simply be “GA Voice, the media outlet of record for Atlanta and the state of Georgia.” That is what we strive to be and the reason we are here.
Much has happened to us, and in our community, in the last year- good and not so good. While the community at large has struggled with the likes of Eddie Long and Tanya Ditty, here at the office we have experienced the ups and downs of our industry and personal challenges which have both tested us and brought us closer together. We face the start of our third year with a lot of experience to weather anything that might come our way. Readers can depend on us to be there for the big local stories, to make sense of the nonsensical and to provide a laugh when it is most needed. If you haven’t seen our latest video news spot — The GA Voice Hot Minute — check it out on our website. Art Director Bo Shell and webmaster Ryan Watkins crafted this “light news” segment to counter the seriousness that often comes with news and the news industry.
More bragging rights: GA Voice partnered with the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau in April, 2011 on our travel guide “Destination: Gay Atlanta” making DGA the “official” LGBT guide to our city. ACVB also partnered with us on their website, www.gay-atlanta.com, where you can find a digital version of DGA as well as information and discounts for both visitors and residents. The 2012 edition of DGA will be on stands and on the website in May.
We’ve stacked up a few honors and awards this year, too. Our Deputy Editor, Dyana Bagby, was named one of the Top 10 Journalists on Twitter and very recently Editor Laura Douglas-Brown was honored by Emory University’s Office of LGBT Life as one of “20 Change Agents” who have helped make that school a national leader in LGBT equality. See more awards in the sidebar on page 18.
Although news and information are our products and our passion, at the end of the day we are a business that sells advertising space. Without those ads we could not bring you one word, one video or one photograph. The business side of our company is led by our Associate Publisher, Tim Boyd, whom many of you probably know. Tim and our account executive, Marshall Graham, call, text, e-mail, knock on doors and anything else legal to insure our paper and website are full of ads. We are blessed to have them and to have all of the many businesses who believe that GA Voice is a mighty fine way to reach their audience.
Happy anniversary to us. We celebrate our survival, our mission and our future today. Year three is shaping up to be quite interesting- stick around.