Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Matt Comer leaves Charlotte LGBT publication 'QNotes' for job with Pride

Posted By on Wed, Jan 4, 2012 at 11:43 AM

Matt_Comer_Photo.jpg
  • QNotes
  • Matt Comer

Matt Comer, editor of the Charlotte gay and lesbian magazine QNotes since October 2007, has announced he will be leaving that position for a job as communications and program manager for the local-based Campus Pride, a group that helps young LGBT students navigate their transitions to college campuses nationwide.

Comer's QNotes boss, publisher Jim Yarbrough, had this to say of the editor's departure in the publication's Tuesday announcement: “As with any transition in life or business, saying goodbye can often be bittersweet. While we are sad to see Matt leave, we wish him well on his future endeavors and are excited to tackle the transition process as we look for a new editor.”

The QNotes story detailed some of the outstanding accomplishments Comer, who took the editorial reins at the publication right out of college, made during his tenure:

A native of Winston-Salem, N.C., Comer was hired as QNotes’ editor in October 2007. His more than four years of service at the newspaper saw a flurry of successes and innovation. In April 2008, Comer oversaw the revitalization of QNotes’ website, shepherding it into the 21st century with new content management technologies that allowed the paper to publish breaking and regular news reports and features online. Comer also oversaw the publication’s new social media strategies, creating QNotes’ first social networking profiles on MySpace, Facebook and Twitter.

Today, QNotes reaches thousands of readers and community members via social media and its website, goqnotes.com, which receives an average of 20,000 unique visitors each month — making QNotes, by far, the most read local LGBT arts, entertainment and news publication in print or online in the Carolinas.

Also during his tenure, Comer’s insight and experience in local and state community affairs helped to further establish QNotes as the primary, go-to source for progressive advocacy journalism and politics coverage on behalf of LGBT North Carolinians. He also aided in the creation of several important formal and informal partnerships between the publication and other community institutions, including QNotes’ recent partnership with The Charlotte Observer’s Charlotte News Alliance.

“More people today read QNotes than at any time in its remarkable 25-year history,” said Comer. “I’m proud to have helped develop QNotes’ new media successes and humbled to have worked with such a brilliant team of staff and contributing writers. I’ll remember fondly the memories I’ve made here and cherish them.”

Read the full story here.

As editor of CL, I will miss Comer's articulate and passionate journalism and commentary. He's been one of the stronger voices of Charlotte's LGBT community over the four-plus years he's served as QNotes' editor. But I also wish Comer well in his new role helping young gays and lesbians make the difficult and sometimes dangerous transition to higher education.

Comer sent the following note to his friends and colleagues this morning:

It is with humility and gratitude that I write to let you know that I will be stepping down from my role as editor of QNotes, the Charlotte-based LGBT newspaper and North Carolina’s premier source of news, opinion and arts and entertainment coverage. My last day with the paper will be Jan. 20, 2012, as announced by the paper on Tuesday evening.

On Jan. 23, I will begin work as the new communications and programs manager for Campus Pride, a Charlotte-based, national non-profit group that works to create safer environments for LGBT students on college and university campuses across the United States. An official announcement from the organization should be soon forthcoming.

As I prepare to take on new challenges, I find it necessary and appropriate to pause and thank each and every one of you for your support of me and of this newspaper. Each of you has contributed in myriad ways to the success of this community, of Charlotte, of North Carolina and of this organization. Personally, each of you has made my life richer and fuller.

But, don’t think for a minute that this is a goodbye. You don’t get away from me that easily, haha.

Though I am leaving QNotes, I will remain an avid and vocal supporter for our community and for independent, progressive and LGBT-inclusive news-media. As always, I’ll continue to advocate for fair and equitable coverage from mainstream news-media organizations and will remain a committed advocate for progress and change. I hope new opportunities allow me to be more involved in our community in new and exciting ways, especially as the May 8, 2012, vote on North Carolina’s anti-LGBT state constitutional amendment draws near.

Again, thank you for all you have done to support me both personally and professionally. Thank you once more for the support you have given and will continue to give to QNotes and my yet-to-be-announced successor.

I humbly welcome your continued support, friendship and kindness, and hope you will continue to follow me in my new endeavors at Campus Pride. I'm excited about the opportunity to help Campus Pride grow and further fulfill its mission in supporting the future leaders of our community and nation.

Additionally, I hope you’ll stop by from time-to-time at my long-neglected blog, InterstateQ.com, where I made some of my first forays into blogging, citizen journalism and online advocacy in Winston-Salem and Greensboro, and where I will resume more regular posting. I look forward to continuing to providing personal commentary on local, state and national LGBT and progressive political affairs, something I very much personally enjoy. Further, I will continue to provide the same objective, fair and progressive-minded coverage of the ongoing anti-LGBT amendment campaign you’ve come to expect from my work at QNotes.

With love and wishes for a happy New Year,

Matt Comer

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