PGN founder joins journo board
by Jen Colletta
Nov 22, 2012 | 661 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The founder and publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News was this month elected to the board of the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association.

Mark Segal will serve a two-year term on the 28-member board, which oversees the agency’s work to support the newspaper industry across the Keystone State.

Segal said that in his original term on the board, from 2001-07, he laid low and “learned how the organization operates.” This time around, he’s eager to share some of his lessons learned at PGN with other media leaders at this integral juncture in the journalism industry.

“With the climate of new media, with dailies declining in circulation and the niche market doing well, I think I can offer guidance on ways we’ve utilized new media and niche marketing to help these other publications,” he said.

Segal said PGN has thrived in part because of its keen eye toward the bottom line and its willingness to evolve, which he hopes to impart on the rest of the board.

“We have a good business model that works,” he said. “We’ve learned to adapt to changing media, and a good deal of PNA membership happens to be newspapers. They’re some of the oldest in the country, and they have to learn to change — as radio did, as TV did, as movies did. New media always comes about but that doesn’t mean there’s not a place for old media; you just have to be willing to adapt.”

He is only one of three members from a Philadelphia newspaper: The Legal Intelligencer and Philadelphia Tribune are also represented.

PGN was excluded from membership by PNA for 15 years before being accepted into the association in the mid-1990s.

Segal is the only representative of LGBT media on the board.

PNA president Teri Henning said the organzation is “very much looking forward” to Segal rejoining the board.

“Although the Philadelphia Gay News has remained an active member of the association — and has won a number of PNA awards — we are excited to work more closely with Mark as we determine how best to serve our members and the news media industry in Pennsylvania,” she said. “His business success and enthusiasm for the industry will serve the association and all of our members well.”

Segal said he’s hoping his board appointment will forge closer ties among LGBT and mainstream media outlets.

“I want to see a better collaborative effort,” he said. “Those of us who take LGBT media seriously can offer an awful lot and can also learn a lot. PGN is no longer a junior partner in this business; we’ve been around 38 years and know a lot about the journalism industry.”

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