QNotes editor Matt Comer to step down

Newspaper to launch search for successor

by QNotes Staff  Staff Reports  editor@goqnotes.com
Published: January 3, 2012 in News

CHARLOTTE — On Tuesday, QNotes announced the resignation of editor Matt Comer, who will be stepping down from his position on Jan. 20, 2012, to pursue new opportunities with local, statewide and national LGBT communities.

After four years of service, Matt Comer will step down as editor of QNotes on Jan. 20, 2012.

“As with any transition in life or business, saying goodbye can often be bittersweet,” said Jim Yarbrough, publisher of QNotes. “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.”

A search for Comer’s successor has already begun in earnest. A job description has been released and follows this announcement. Applicants are encouraged to submit their resumes and writing samples as soon as possible.

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.”

Comer added, “Though I am departing QNotes, I will remain a committed advocate for the LGBT communities of Charlotte and North Carolina. I’m looking forward to my continued community involvement in the Queen City and in this great state, especially as our community faces the anti-LGBT constitutional amendment in May.”

Comer is a recipient of the South Carolina Pride Movement’s 2008 Ed Madden Media Advocacy Award. In November, he was named Equality North Carolina’s “Equality Champion” for the Charlotte region.

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JOB TITLE: Editor

GENERAL JOB DESCRIPTION:

The editor is responsible for overseeing, managing, editing and creating written, graphical, artistic and online content for QNotes’ biweekly print edition and online edition at goqnotes.com. Working closely with other staff and contributing writers, the editor will provide the chief artistic and editorial direction for the printed newspaper and accompanying online edition.

QUALIFIED APPLICANTS WILL:

  • Have a demonstrated commitment to and experience in LGBT and/or progressive causes and issues.
  • Have at least two-three years experience in professional journalism and/or high-quality citizen journalism.
  • Have a demonstrated experience with niche or local community journalism.
  • Have expertise in writing, managing and overseeing written content on strict deadlines.
  • Have excellent writing and proofreading skills.
  • Have at least a working knowledge of online and new media technologies including but not limited to Facebook (especially administration of Facebook Pages), Twitter and WordPress, a blogging and content management system.
  • Have an open-mind and vision for growth in a fast-paced environment.
  • Be willing to work with a diverse group of staff, contributing writers and community members.
  • Be comfortable with speaking publicly and on behalf of the publication at community events, to local and national media and with other community organizations and partnerships.

RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDE:

  • Oversee, manage, create and edit written and artistic content for each biweekly print edition of the paper.
  • Oversee, manage, create and edit written and artistic content on a daily and/or semi-regular basis for the online edition of the newspaper at goqnotes.com.
  • Work with other creative and business staff to brainstorm and create successful and innovative creative and business strategies for growth.
  • Oversee, manage and create annual editorial calendars and provide direction for the artistic and editorial focus of the newspaper’s content.
  • Oversee and manage the newspaper’s online presence via social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
  • With the publisher, be the primary go-between and liaison between the publication and community organizations and partnerships.

PREFERRED/OPTIONIONAL SKILLS SOUGHT WITH EXPERIENCE IN:

  • HTML, CSS, WordPress programming and coding.
  • Web design and site creation.
  • Email marketing programs and email management programs (particularly Google Apps email and other company services).
  • Online advertising and online advertising programs.
  • Online traffic measurement and metrics programs and tools (particularly Google Analytics).

COMPENSATION:

  • Compensation negotiable and based on part-time/full-time considerations as well as prior experience.

TO APPLY:

  • Send a cover letter, resume, references and at least three news and/or feature clips/samples to editor@goqnotes.com and publisher@goqnotes.com.