PostHeaderIcon Exclusive: El Hispanic Owner Launches Gay PDX Mag


Juan Martinez and Melanie Davis at Gay Latino Pride 2010

MEDIA NEWS: Self-described media mogul, Melanie C. Davis, is set to launch a new monthly Portland-based magazine targeted to the gay market. The first edition of the new queer-centered publication is scheduled to the hit the stands next month, on February 16.

Davis, 37, is the principal owner of Brilliant Media and publisher-owner of El Hispanic News. She is also a partner and senior strategist for Su Público, a multicultural ad agency serving Oregon and the Pacific Northwest.

Prior to publication I asked Davis—one of the co-founders of Portland Latino Gay Pride and the winner of two Gold Medals from the National Association of Hispanic Publications for her partnership with Pride NW on the 2009 and 2010 Pride Guides—to talk about about her new project.

Although Davis would not reveal the name of the publication—it will likely be called PQ Monthly—she did say she wants to publish her new magazine as soon as possible. And her timing might be key. The competition to capture the queer audience appears to be heating up with word that at least two other publications, and several online sites, have a keen interest in grabbing the interest of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and questioning) audience now the area's leading gay publication for the last quarter century, Just Out, ceased operation when it shuttered its doors the day after Christmas.

Here is Melanie's first interview about her new venture:

What made you decide to launch a new gay publication in Portland?

Melanie Davis: With the closing of Just Out I have been approached by countless community leaders, and business people that feel a void in the LGBTQ  community needs to be filled and based on my success and relationships with the community people feel it would be a natural fit into what it is we at Brilliant Media already have done and continue to do.

Due to the mainstreaming of queer culture into popular culture, isn't being gay no longer news?
While being “gay” may no longer be news—it is still imperative for the LGBTQ community to have a trusted media source.

What qualifies you to for this undertaking?
I have been in the media business since I was 17. I became very familiar with the (publishing) industry as I grew up on the campaign trail. My grandmother Clara Padilla Andrews (then Jones) ran for County Clerk in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Then she successfully ran for Secretary of State and was the first Latina in the United States to hold Executive office. I would be at her side from speaking engagements to interviews with the press and I was always intrigued with the power of media. I felt at a very young age that I would peruse a career in the industry. Now as a successful mogul, people draw on my expertise to better their outreach to the changing populations of our county.

In an era when papers are shuttering, what makes you think you this one will work?
At El Hispanic News..we have streamlined our efforts to maximize our output and creativity. It will be this similar recipe we will apply to the “new” publication targeting the LGBTQ community. Brilliant Media will be producing a solid monthly print publication geared toward the LGBTQ market, and have a strong web, and social media presence. Because we will be monthly our new publication will be feature driven in print and daily online. We will also have some innovative aspects that we will be introducing as well that will better engage the reader with a full interactive experience. As a Latina/lesbian publisher it is important to me to make sure we are timely with our news distribution, modern with our approach, stylish in the look and feel of the publication, and have a consistent smart voice that better represents the LGBTQ community.

How important is it to you that all audiences are represented in your publication?
My personal commitment, and commitment from the team is the every letter (LGBTQ), and color are equally represented.

Publication launch date is scheduled for February 16, 2012. That is also the date for a Launch Party at the Jupiter Hotel from 5pm to 7pm.

Last Updated (Monday, 16 January 2012 08:43)

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