Qtv News Holiday Episode


For Immediate Release

December 27, 2004 Contact QTV 415.431.5650


Show to air controversial United Church of Christ TV Ad

(San Francisco)——–Local gay residents who are COMCAST cable subscribers
get ready for another night of gay TV on the City Station’s channel 11 as
producers with QTV Newsmagazine with Rahn Fudge and OUT Spoken debut new
installments of their shows on the same night again. QTV will also broadcast (gratis)
the controversial United Church of Christ TV ad recently rejected by major
television networks.

“I simply called the Cleveland Ohio based UCC and told them that we
(QTV) would air the spot in December for free in the wake of so much controversy
about it and knowing well that the church stood ready to pay thousands of
dollars to the networks to broadcast the spot. For me, it was more than the
monetary value that mattered”, explains Rahn Fudge, host and Executive
Producer of QTV.

San Francisco’s long-running, commercial gay television show will turn the
corner on its 10th year in production in 2005 as an independent local gay TV
effort and will premiere its second episode of the new year-long contract it has
with local cable system giant COMCAST. The newly-created and COMCAST-backed OUT
Spoken will kick things off with a 6:30 p.m. broadcast of its second episode.
QTV Newsmagazine with Rahn Fudge follows at 9:00p.m. on the same channel.

Both shows play alongside other caliber non-gay locally produced commercial
programs like San Francisco Sound and where former Mayor Willie Brown once aired
his weekly local cable television show.

“It really signals a new day for the coming of local gay television.
We’ve long known since starting QTV back in 1995 that commercial gay television
had a proper place at the table with other standard looking local shows—albeit
10 years for us to reach this prominence and recognition”, says Fudge.

Having said that, Fudge and OUT Spoken producers both recognize that long
before their programs local cable system giants like TCI and Viacom produced
gay-specific television back in the day during the 1970s and 1980s. However, in
recent years, the presence of gay TV—let alone commercially focused— has
been virtually ‘nil’ with exception to efforts like QTV and other cable access

“For a long time there was Electric City, a gay cable access television
show that helped paved the way and was around for years before we started QTV
and lasted several years after we began. Then, there’s Mark Kleim’s Lavender
Lounge gay variety and dance TV show where I was introduced to the world of
local gay cable television although neither program was strongly commercially
focused”, explains Fudge.

“The fact that we’ve had a 10-year span between 1995 since we started
QTV and now without another commercially viable gay-specific television show
coming forward until OUT Spoken speaks volumes about either gay TV not being a
front-burner agenda item for the local gay community or the real need to fill a
void”, adds Fudge.

With the advent of such national programs such as Bravo’s Queer Eye for the
Straight Guy (now Girl) and the coming of MTV’s LOGO gay television network, the
idea and concept of commercial television targeting gays has finally emerged and
networks are moving from novelty to necessity when creating new programming.
With this has come stronger focus from national advertising companies beginning
to toy with the idea of putting subtle ‘gay-specific’ or, at the very least,
‘gay-friendly’ messages inside of their TV ads.

Still, with corporate America just waking up to the loyal, lucrative gay
consumer market, there is so little quality produced commercial gay television
on a local level that small production outfits like QTV suffer from a catch 22

“Our reach is limited to the San Francisco market. We’d love to be able
to stay consistent and broaden our reach throughout the Bay Area and around the
state. This will clearly require having national corporate advertiser support.
Meanwhile, without the initial numbers that show we are reaching a
wider-than-San Francisco market, corporate advertisers aren’t easily attracted
to us”, says Fudge. And, local gay owned and operated businesses wishing to
use television as a means of advertising don’t think it’s affordable and, if so,
don’t budget for TV because (historically) it hasn’t been available to them.

“It’s been tough and continues to be an ongoing tap dance –if you’re
trying to produce local commercial gay television—to convince potential
advertisers of the worth to advertise directly to a niche gay market despite San
Francisco’s stellar, well-known ‘gay mecca’ reputation. Couple this with the
past few years of a bad national economy and you’ve got a real financial
struggle on your hand”, reiterates Fudge.

Nonetheless, Fudge says he’ll keep trying to find a way to connect the
financial dots between a recent bad economy and the uphill sales and marketing
challenge for QTV as he and his volunteer team forges into 2005 with the show’s
monthly broadcast schedule. ” A contract to syndicate the program and/or a
willing, risk-taking, silent investor wouldn’t hurt either”, jokes Fudge.

Regardless of the odds, Fudge will try to position his queer
newsmagazine-style half-hour show to attract the attention of the much touted
MTV/Viacom LOGO gay television network expected to debut in February 2005. Just
this past September, QTV launched what’s believed to be one of—if not the
first—24/7 streaming video website featuring local gay news, information and
entertainment events happening in both San Francisco and Key West, Florida
thanks to UPLINK USA, a national website development company.

QTV Newsmagazine with Rahn Fudge scheduled for broadcast on this coming
Tuesday, December 28th at 9:00p.m. on the City Station Channel 11 will focus on
holiday celebrations marking this year’s strides made with gay marriage in the
state —including the latest on California Assemblyman Mark Leno’s
re-introduction of his new bill, AB 19. Also, the show gives you a front row
seat at a recent celebration to honor Glide Memorial’s Reverend Cecil Williams,
a staunch supporter of gay and human rights. With so many of us lifting our
spirits this time of the year with champagne and wine, QTV brings you the story
of a gay winemaking couple stomping out a bright future in the multi-million
dollar wine industry. And, you’ll be swooned by local drag sensation, Veronica
Klaus and OUT Magazine’s Music Award winner, Mark Wiegle at this year’s Rainbow
World Fund gala.

“Help us spread the word. Set your VCRs and Tivo us! Do whatever it
takes to support local queer television starting at 6:30p.m. with OUT Spoken and
then again at 9:00pm with QTV! That’d be as good a holiday wish as any I
suppose”, Fudge concludes.