A letter to our community from our new publisher.
by Eddie Reynoso, Publisher
“Mom, guess what? I’m the new CEO of MGW Media,LLC! We publish LGBTQ San Diego County News!”
Those were the words that came out of my mouth on April 16, as I called my mom to explain why I was unexpectedly flying to Sacramento instead of Reno, Nevada, for our family reunion.
Over the course of the next six weeks, those words have come out of my mouth again, and again, and again. As the new publisher of LGBTQ San Diego County News, I first want to thank our advertisers and community partners for being loyal to the newspaper.
I also want to thank you — our readers — and inform you of some changes at the paper, while also inviting you to be a part of its new journey.
As an admitted history geek who collects historic newspapers and ephemera – especially newspapers that chronicle the first days, weeks, and months of the Stonewall uprising in 1969 – never in my mind did I imagine that I, a gay child of immigrant parents, would become publisher of a long-running community newspaper in our nation’s eighth largest city.
Know that as I go to bed looking at framed copies of historic articles in my collection, I also go to bed reflecting on the role that those publications played in kickstarting the LGBTQ civil rights movement, and our modern Pride marches and celebrations.
Now, as I think about the upcoming changes and my vision for this paper, I am reminded of a saying by my good friend, and “Queen Mommy Dearest,” Nicole Murray Ramirez, who often says, “A community, indeed a civil rights movement, that does not know where it came from and on whose shoulders they stand on, does not really know where it is going.”
MGW was launched by Sacramento businessman Terry Sidie. He is the owner of Faces Nightclub in Sacramento, and at one point was the publisher of Mom Guess What newspaper, which was in print for over 30 years. Terry had published LGBTQ San Diego County News since 2019, after rebranding Gay San Diego, a paper he purchased from local businessman David Mannis.
This past April, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Imperial Court of Sacramento, Terry gave away over $85,000 to various Sacramento organizations, as well as the Equality Business Alliance — San Diego’s LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center – an organization that I founded and currently serve as its executive director. Along with his donations, Terry added me to the board of MGW Media, LLC, and transfered his shares, effectively making me the new CEO and publisher of LGBTQ San Diego County News. He will remain on the MGW Media board.
LGBTQ San Diego County News will continue to be a monthly publication with the eventual goal of returning to a bi-weekly print paper in the future. You will see us rebrand the paper and update our website.
And I am excited to announce that Morgan M. Hurley is joining the paper as Editor-in-Chief, along with Benny Cartwright as Community Editor, Vince Meehan, and Jerod Thompson on graphic design and layout.
We’ve recruited a spectrum of talented individuals from diverse backgrounds to join our team, some of whom Morgan will be sharing about in this issue, along with others who she will introduce in the coming issues. Together they will help us better cover local news, craft better features, and show you the spectrum of faces, places, businesses, and events that make San Diego and our surrounding communities a thriving place to live, work, play, and invest in.
Thanks in part to funding from the California State Library’s “Ethnic Media Grant,” and additional funding from the City of San Diego, our team will have a more solid platform to elevate a broader spectrum of voices within our community, and the issues that impact them the most, while also providing even greater opportunities for our business community to have access to the resources and ad market that will help their businesses grow.
As publisher, staff, advertisers, and readers, it is our collective responsibility to empower our community. Businesses support our organizations. Organizations support our people. And people support our businesses. It’s a circle of support and giving that makes our community strong. But part of that strength comes from being able to make the wheel spin in both ways, and it is something that in my role as executive director of the EBA, a non-profit business organization, I strongly believe in. I plan on using my resources and this newspaper in that effort and invite you to be part of fostering growth within our community.
As veterans of this and other community publications, our entire team has seen the astounding growth of digital media, and we have first-hand knowledge of how that has affected print newspapers. I am looking forward to working with our team to improve our products, and grow our business in both areas of media, but first it’s your turn to tell us what features you would like to see in your community newspaper. Please email your thoughts and suggestions to myself and Morgan at [email protected], and [email protected].
I am excited for this new chapter in my life, and grateful for this opportunity. I want to thank Terry for believing in my ability to steer this company into the future, based on values that are so important and meaningful to both of us. I also want to thank him for his incredible donation of $50,000 to ensure that this paper continues to provide our community a voice and reiterate my promise to one day pay this opportunity forward to someone else.
I also want to thank Nicole Murray Ramirez, Big Mike, Mike Rosensteel, Ryan Bedrosian, Leonella Martin, Keex Rose, Andres Valdes, Michael Phillips (Richs), Gardenia Partridge, Vaughn Avakian, Nick Carpenter, Estella Sanchez, Jesse Sanchez, David Powell, and Mario Garcia — who have all listened, offered support, encouragement, and helped me to think BIGGER.
I also want to thank the staff of Explore Digital, as well as Evelyn Rose and Cali Griebel, for their services and help; Michelle Burkart of Th!nk Resolution for her fiduciary guidance; and Austin Evans for his legal advice.
Also a big thanks to Ken St. Pierre, publisher of Modern Luxury San Diego; Fred Palmer, publisher of Outword Magazine in Sacramento; Russ White, publisher of Q Vegas in Las Vegas; Echo Menges, editor of The Edina Sentinel in Edina, Missouri; publisher Michael Yamashita and VP of advertising, Scott Wazlowski, both at the Bay Area Reporter in San Francisco; along with Todd Evans, CEO of Rivendell Media, who is our national advertising rep. Each of these individuals has given me advice and guidance in taking this big step in my career.
Finally, I want to thank Morgan, Benny, Vince, and Jerod for their leadership and help on our journey together. I am honored to serve as publisher for LGBTQ San Diego County News. Thank you and kindest regards.