In late-1996, while employed at RealNetworks in Seattle, new media trailblazer John McMullen had an idea. Helping the company entice major entertainment and media companies to adopt the nascent streaming audio technology, he saw the RealAudio tool as a means for minority voices and marginalized communities to level the mass communications playing fields regardless of who had control of the broadcast airwaves.
With a nod from Real's then-Sr. VP and Counsel Andy Sharpless and the CEO Rob Glaser, McMullen launched a personal project that he created and managed on his own time and distributed in partnership with the company. A weekly two-hour live streamed talk show, Hangin' OUT, and a daily 5-minute news capsule, The Daily Dose, which focused on LGBTQ news, issues and culture.
At the end of 1996, it was announced that there would be a staffing change in the RealNetworks WebActive operation where the project was run in conjunction with other progressive content. Not wanting to stop the momentum that the shows had built, McMullen was confronted with the dilemma of walking away from the start-up that had yet to execute its IPO and start his own company, or stay and put the new LGBTQ+ content on an indefinite hold as Glaser asked him to do. When he first negotiated the arrangement with Sharpless he had secured a commitment if the company did not continue past the first 13-weeks, the content and all rights involving both shows would be relinquished to him upon his request.
In March 1997, with only 20% of his pre-IPO stock vested, McMullen took a leap of faith and formed GLOradio with his life
partner Charlie Dyer and a few others who had been part of the Hangin' OUT team at RealNetworks.
Under the GLOradio banner, the company developed nearly two dozen programs that updated weekly and today would be termed podcasts. The included programs about literature, arts and entertainment, legal issues, financial planning for LGBTQ people, travel, politics, spirituality, relationships and dating, sports, health and wellness, and commentary on a variety of topics. Live streaming shows would occur occasionally and in less than a year, GLOradio became a source for broadcasting live from many national non-profit group events, and cultural gatherings and performances from coast to coast.
In Fall of 1997, GLOradio partnered with a young and rapidly growing online LGBTQ+ community at PlanetOut and for approximately one year, relocated to San Francisco. Live shows expanded, more specialty on-demand shows were created from astrological humor to leather and kink talk. The expanded content also included live broadcasts from the HRC National Dinner featuring Bill Clinton (the first time a sitting US President had addressed an LGBTQ+ civil rights event), the NGLTF Creating Change Conference, GLAAD Media Awards, Los Angeles Women's Night, the 1998 Gay Games from Amsterdam, and many more firsts for the community.
In September 1998, McMullen and Dyer were forced by unforeseen circumstances requiring them to relocate the operation from the Bay Area back to Seattle and at that time, the brand made made one big adjustment taking on the identity, GAYBC Radio Network.
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On this episode of the GAYBC Happy Hour with Richie Roy and Johnny Mac the dynamic duo talk about the most recent race to the bottom of the political sewer by seven phobic candidates who haven't got a chance in Hell at beating Donald Trump. It doesn't make our hosts happy that the Right can't do anything right. The second GOP debate was a total shit show.
As we move throughout this edition, drag queens are still under physical and legislative attack and the kids who love them are beyond FED UP. The latest news on that front. And, while they're at it, the ongoing shenanigans in Florida to ban books continues to be a rollercoaster ride while one Queer Eye star is coming out with an inclusive new children's book of his own. It's Gorgeously Me!
California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed new bills protecting LGBTQ youth. It's a positive step that will no doubt be met by phobic opponents who will try and get these laws in front of the unfriendly Supreme Court of the United States. Donatella Versace is making news this week as she speaks out against a growing tide of anti-LGBTQ measures being pushed by the fascist leader of Italy, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni.
Richie Roy and Johnny Mac also are standing by with Thumbs pointed up and down in the GAYBC Happy Hour Seal of Approval segment. And, once again, if you're looking for great liquid concoctions to satisfy your thirst, Richie is donning his mixologist apron as Johnny fetches the ice!