CHARLOTTE — On Jan. 3, qnotes announced the resignation of editor Matt Comer, who stepped down from his position after more than four years of service on Jan. 20 to pursue new opportunities with local, statewide and national LGBT communities.
“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 have been excited to tackle the transition to a new editor.”
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.
Comer began work on Jan. 23 as the new communications and programs manager for Campus Pride, a Charlotte-based national non-profit that works to create safer campus environments for LGBT college and university students.
Comer is succeeded by O’Neale Atkinson, who moved to Charlotte from Columbia, S.C., six months ago. Atkinson also serves as administrator of The LGBT Center of Charlotte. : :