QTV NEWS Birthday


October 16, 2003


First Ever Humanitarian Award Named in Honor of Volunteer

(SAN FRANCISCO)—- Eight years ago, pre-Ellen DeGeneres, Will & Grace
and certainly QUEER EYE FOR THE STRAIGHT GUY, there was Q TV in San Francisco.
Eight years later and Q TV has something to celebrate as the American film and
television industries are ‘coming out’ of the closet with all kinds of gay-
theme TV shows and movies. To celebrate being a pioneer of local commercial
gay television and to mark the show’s eight-year anniversary, Q TV
Newsmagazine producers, volunteer staff, friends and supporters will gather
for a private party on Wednesday, October 29th at the new, swank HOTEL ADAGIO
in downtown San Francisco. Executive Producer and show host Rahn Fudge will
also present the first ever Clarence E. Swiggins Humanitarian Award to a
member of the show’s volunteer staff.

“We knew we were way ahead of our time with Q TV but there was so much
determination to make it happen”, reminisces Fudge, who help found Q TV
along with four others back in 1995. Over the next couple of years after that
first broadcast, QTV grew in local popularity. Then in 1997 the show was
forced into hiatus for the first time since October 11th 1995 broadcast. Fudge
brought the show back to air in 1999 as sole owner of Rainbow World
Productions and renamed it Q TV XPOSURE. A year later the show’s name changed
again to its current name, QTV Newsmagazine and is now under the parent
company name of Rainbow World Media.

Through all the on-again, off-again ups and downs of QTV, has stood one
volunteer, 65-year-old Clarence E. Swiggins. He is like the virtual ‘Rock of
Gibraltar’ for QTV working mostly behind the scenes as the chief videographer
from 1995 until just recently. Swiggins retired from QTV as its main
videographer and put down his 50-plus pound BETA camera he’d carried on his
shoulders for more than six years documenting local gay lives and lifestyles.
Swiggins, a two-time Vietnam veteran is not gay but has worked with QTV since
the very first day it broadcast donating his own professional camera
equipment, time, energy and even giving money while still on a fixed income
because he believes in the purpose of QTV.

“It would be impossible for me to tell you how immeasurable Clarence
has been to make the dream of creating a local television program for gays
exist today and over the past eight years. He is the quintessential volunteer
and such an original personality that I will go on the record to say that
without Clarence it’s very likely there would be no QTV”, admits Fudge.

As part of the anniversary party night Fudge will bestow upon another
outstanding member of Q TV’s volunteer crew the first-ever Clarence E.
Swiggins HUMANITARIAN AWARD (nicknamed the ‘SWIG’ award) paying tribute to his
philanthropy over the years. The first recipient will be Ken Ludden who is
known worldwide as DEAR DIVA, an international relationship advice columnist.
Ludden appears on QTV as DEAR DIVA, the advice columnist who makes visits to
local relationship-challenged gay couples in a special segment called DEAR
DIVA HOUSE CALLS. Ludden came to QTV nearly five years ago now and immediately
took to helping the show survive both in purpose and financially. In fact, QTV
Newsmagazine is currently produced out of the NOB HILL VIDEO LAB, which is
owned and operated by DEAR DIVA. Ludden has spent countless hours reporting on
a myriad of issues affecting the global LGBT community. DIVA is the
Entertainment Editor at SPECTRUM, a local gay newspaper and is senior
correspondent with QTV.

“It is only fitting that we honor both Clarence and DEAR DIVA in the
same vein. They both–while perhaps not equally—have given everything they
could towards the vision of local television showcasing San Francisco
culturally diverse gay community. They are both very important to my dream and
me and I wanted to publicly acknowledge the importance of DEAR DIVA to the
team and as a torch bearer of the kind of humanitarianism it takes to help
dreams come true”, explains Fudge.

Also as part of what’s being planned as an intimate, elegant evening of
“thank you”, Fudge will award a member of the post-production team
with the show’s first-ever PIONEER AWARD. The first person to receive this
award is Matthew Alexander who is the current Executive Show Editor and is
responsible for the final editing responsibilities of the half-hour, monthly
broadcast of QTV News magazine. The PIONEER AWARD is given to someone who
shows full commitment and devotion to the vision of local television for gays
even in the face of adversity. “Matt has shown an exemplary spirit of
volunteerism by being reliable, flexible and quietly effective in helping
‘pioneer’ QTV. He started with us a few years ago and has not let go of his
commitment to making sure the show looks its absolute best when on-air. He’s
been a photographer, production assistant, editor, you name it and has never
complained”, says Fudge.

Q TV News magazine airs the first Tuesday of each month on San Francisco’s
CITY STATION cable channel 23 (basic); 11(advanced digital) at 9p.m. and
online 24/7 with west coast and east coast news updated regularly. The show
has a newsmagazine-style format and covers political, social and entertainment
events of interest to the local LGBT community. For more information about the
show contact QTV Newsmagazine at 415.431.5650 or by fax 415.239.8157. To reach
show producers by email please do so at qtvnews@aol.com or visit the QTV
website at www.qtvnews.tv