The pioneer of LGBTQ+ Broadcast Media

John McMullen

Founder

 

In Seotember, 1996, at the dawning of digital multimedia, broadcast veteran John McMullen launched the first global LGBTQ+ spoken word broadcast service using the RealAudio platform while he was working for the software developer that was first to market with audio and video streaming tools for the Internet.

 

Initially creating a daily newscast and a weekly two-hour variety talk show for the LGBTQ+ community at RealNetworks, popularity for the service rapidly grew and he and a team of hosts, producers and journalists branched off with a start-up media enterprise that was originally called GLOradio, based in Seattle, Washington. In late-1997, GLOradio partnered with PlanetOut Corporation, moved its base of operations to San Francisco, and John McMullen continued to oversee the cutting-edge content that was both live and on-demand, including special events broadcasts from the Human Rights Campaign National Dinner in Washington, D.C. featuring President Bill Clinton, the NGLTF Creating Change conference, the GLAAD Media Awards ceremonies, the Gay Lesbian American Music Awards, and the Gay Games in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

 

In late-1998, McMullen and co-founder Charlie Dyer ended the partnership with PlanetOut and returned the company to Seattle, Washington. At that time, the brand was also changed to the GAYBC Radio Network and its corporate identity was modified to Stellar Networks, Inc.

 

In 1999, Stellar Networks successfully raised several million dollars in venture capital and GAYBC Radio flourished with growth, ultimately achieving a user base of more than two million listeners. While the majority of that audience was U.S.-based, people from more than 65 nations worldwide were regularly tuning to the 24/7 program offerings at GAYBC.com.

 

Stellar Networks would ultimately add other niche-audience audio products for women and teens through partnerships with major online and print publishing ventures. But, the economic impact on investors from the September 11 terrorist attacks resulted in the company ceasing its operations by the end of 2001.

 

McMullen was recruited by legendary broadcast strategist Walter Sabo to relocate to New  York City in mid-2002 to join Sirius Satellite Radio as Director of Talk & Entertainment. There, it was hoped that he could recreate the success of the GAYBC Radio Network on the satellite subscription platform. In April 2003, Sirius OutQ was launched. The station featured some of the same personalities that McMullen first introduced on GAYBC's (and GLOradio) earlier operations including Dyer, Jeremy Hovies, Michelangelo Signorile, Tim Curran, and Derek Hartley. Other successful newcomers included eventual New York City Councilman and Speaker of the Council Corey Johnson, Comedy Central alum Frank DeCaro, a contributor to The Daily Show, and McMullen's earliest fill-in host, Rachel Maddow, who would go on to be the highest rated host on MSNBC.

 

John McMullen remains active today in the production and distribution of digital audio and video content.

 

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