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SDGLN celebrates 4 years and launches GLBTNN

SAN DIEGO -- Four years ago, SDGLN Publisher Johnathan Hale brought together a small team to help him create a new publication that would change the local LGBT media landscape. The group dreamed, brainstormed and then executed their vision to create what is now known as San Diego Gay & Lesbian News, or SDGLN.

SDGLN was officially launched on Oct. 23, 2009 at a party at the now defunct Universal Nightclub in Hillcrest and has come a long way since its earliest articles were published.

Hale, the longtime publisher of SDPIX, a glossy, full-color monthly magazine, remembers bringing the group together in mid-2009 after coming up with the idea of starting an online news source.

"We wanted to change the tone and tenor of the dialogue in San Diego's LGBT community," Hale said. "The team we put together really helped shape this vision and build SDGLN to what it is today."

And what SDGLN has become is greater than the team ever imagined.

SDGLN's popularity quickly soared. Current Editor in Chief Ken Williams was brought on board four months after SDGLN's launch and utilized his 40 years of mainstream journalism expertise to help position the news website on a national and international scale.

"I joined SDGLN after spending my entire journalism career in the print media, working for Top 40 newspapers such as The San Diego Union-Tribune and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram," Williams said. "While those newspapers had websites, I had zero experience in producing news for the web. SDGLN provided my entry into online media, and I quickly learned how powerful the media was. Stories produced by SDGLN were being read in all corners of the world, and we began getting emails from Africa, Europe and Asia.

"To date, SDGLN has had more than 4.75 million pageviews from 2.7 million unique readers on every continent on planet Earth, including Antarctica," Williams said.

While SDGLN has remained committed to reporting on the local LGBT community - employing a staff writer whose primary focus is to investigate and report about those local issues - the brand could not ignore its significant statewide, national and international web traffic.

To better separate Hale Media's local and statewide coverage from its national and international coverage, the company has launched the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender News Network, or GLBTNN.

In development for months now, GLBTNN will focus on providing a place for people to get up-to-date news and information about the national and international LGBT community on an easy to navigate, attractive website.

While new content is added to GLBTNN every day, users can easily find news and information by location, source or topic.

Williams will also serve as Editor in Chief of GLBTNN.

"Ken and his editorial team are working hard every day to not only make sure that SDGLN continues to be populated with high quality content of interest to San Diego's local readership, but they've taken their talents to the next level by beginning to work on GLBTNN as well," Hale said. "GLBTNN is already starting to get some traction, and we expect it to soon become a respected national brand that people come to first to get news and information about the LGBT community."

The original SDGLN brand will continue to provide high-quality content Mondays through Fridays and shift its focus to local and statewide issues. SDGLN's popular columnists like Jim Winsor, who writes the weekly "Out & About" column focusing on local nightlife events, will remain exclusive to SDGLN.

Some columnists who write about topics that are more universal will eventually be shifted to the GLBTNN brand.

Collectively, Hale Media's brands - SDGLN, GLBTNN and SDPIX - will continue to work together to provide the significant and quality coverage of news, information and entertainment.

"Four years already? Time flies! I remember when SDGLN started, Johnathan brought together a group of people with the expressed mission to change the tone and tenor of the way news was delivered in our community," said Ken St. Pierre, formerly the Business Development Director for SDGLN. "After four years, SDGLN has truly earned its reputation as a professional, thoughtful and responsible news source. Our community is very fortunate to have SDGLN as our voice."

Celebrate SDGLN's anniversary with a free cupcake

To celebrate SDGLN's birthday, Babycakes San Diego is offering a free cupcake to any customer who says "Happy Birthday SDGLN!" to the cashier between 9 am and 6 pm today, Wednesday, Oct. 23.

This offer is limited to one free cupcake per customer. Babycakes is located at 3766 Fifth Ave. in Hillcrest.

Visit SDGLN online, on Facebook, and on Twitter @SDGLN. Visit GLBTNN online or on Facebook and on Twitter @GLBTNN.