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Archive for the ‘Open Letters’ Category

So tonight, I finally got tired of having stuff published and scattered all across the Internet – its too hard to keep track of! So, in the future, this will be the exclusive venue for reading what I have written – at least as far as articles, papers and such are concerned. Of course, I will continue to update my various social networking sites with status updates and such. But I wont always post on them to let you know something new is here, so you need to bookmark and visit this page.

Please note that stuff that is written here before today was imported from its original source and while this process was done manually, there may be broken links, formatting issues and other problems with the content that result from it being dragged over from its original source. The posts at the original source are being removed as they are brought here, to ensure that there are not two versions of stuff floating around. As I have the time, I will do my best to try and correct these issues – but its a painstaking manual process so you’ll just have to wait until its finished. Note that I do not plan to bring any media (pictures, videos, embedded content, etc) over at any point in the future, so you may continue to see some references to this in posts even though such content will never appear here.

Thanks for your patience, and enjoy the new site!

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Dear Editors, Owners, Investors, etc. of Star Media, Ltd. a/k/a MetroStar,

I am writing this open letter to you in response to a web poll that appears on your website. The question asked gives me great cause for concern that you may be about to embark on a course of action that could ultimately destroy the MetroStar newspaper.

As a regular monthly reader of your newspaper (as well as having been occasionally featured in same) who looks forward to each issue hitting the stands, I feel I have a stake in the viability of MetroStar and the outcome of your webpoll, which asks readers if they’d prefer to have a standalone paper covering Oklahoma City only. I presume this poll is in response to a quietly held opinion by a few disenchanted souls that MetroStar is too Tulsa-centric. I have never found any truth to this viewpoint. Rather, it would seem that Tulsa just has more going on most of the time, in large part due to the fact that Tulsa sports a well-organized gay community.

As you are likely aware, the newspaper industry has been going through a rough patch over the last few years. Printed publications focusing on gay life have been hit very hard. Just the last few days has seen over a dozen publications fold as Window Media closed its doors, taking with it top quality publications such as The Washington Blade and sister publications when Avalon Equity Partners was placed into receivership when the Small Business Administration called its loans. Regent Media recently scaled The Advocate back massively, reducing it to an insert to be included with another publication and laid off a substantial portion of its staff. Most feel that Regent is not long for this world, either.

While the industry scales back and consolidates, now is not the time to diversify and launch a paper for each city MetroStar currently serves. From a financial standpoint, its impractical in today’s business climate. I have regular contact with Star staffers (Chaz Ward on occasion, Victor Gorin far more often), who tell me they are stretched pretty thin as it is with regard to reporting duties. No one is faulting them for it or complaining, they are doing the best they can and the result is a quality publication thats free of charge to readers.

But putting out two papers with the same number of staff is twice the work and I fear that the quality of the publication will suffer. The task may even border on the impossible without hiring additional staff. While I am not privy to the financial details of StarNews, Ltd., I get the impression that its a low budget operation that works primarily on a combination of volunteer spirit and ad sales. Adding additional staff may be too much of a strain for the publication to take, this has certainly proved to be the case throughout the industry.

For these reasons, I ask that you please do not undermine and eventually destroy the only newspaper serving this five state area in an attempt to appease the complaints of a handful of ignorant people. There is no newspaper of record to replace the MetroStar should it fold and its unlikely that anyone would step in to resume publication. I feel confident that I speak for many when I say that we as a community value the MetroStar publication and the news it brings us. If it were to be lost, it would be a great loss to the entire community far beyond simply losing a printed document to read.

Thank you for considering my viewpoints as you receive the results of your poll.

Sincerely yours,

Keith Kimmel
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

(Revised and edited 11/19/2009 at 8:30 AM CST)

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