The New York Times. In the world of journalism, most would agree — both readers and fellow journalists alike — has stood alone as one of the most prestigious, internationally recognized newspapers for decades. Denise Fuhs worked at The Times for nearly two of those decades.
Fuhs (rhymes with “moose,” her word choice) has been interested in media, politics and LGBTQ rights and equality for quite some time. She recalled working in Metro for The Times the day in 2004 when Jim McGreevey came out as “a gay American” and resigned as governor of New Jersey. Since then, she has been driven to reveal more issues facing our community and still finds it difficult to grasp that the struggle for equality continues.
Her desire to do more launched her career as a reporter at a local paper, The Haddon Gazette, through various publications until finally making it onto the NYT staff. Over the years, she’s held many positions: reporter, copy editor, sports editor (which allowed her to dive into a favorite pastime: baseball), news editor, and designer. Denise transitioned to the managerial level in 2015, making decisions about coverage, content and presentation.
Fuhs grew up in South Jersey, near Philly. “I come from a family of avid — well, all Philly so, insane — sports fans. Phillies, Eagles, Flyers, Sixers — in that order,” Fuhs said. “We all probably favor baseball/softball. I was a catcher and my dad, sister and nephew were catchers. We like to boss people around and take control! We had good arms, too. Probably hereditary.”
As a young woman, she would come into the city to go to “super secret gay bars” and sometimes surreptitiously snap up a PGN from a news box and tuck it away to read later. She quickly became a fan of the newspaper and now, as importantly as then, her passion for the issues affecting the LGBTQ community remains.
“It’s such an important time for the LGBTQ community to have a voice. Pie-in-the-sky would be for PGN’s already strong, national voice to grow even stronger and reach farther, perhaps help build an addition upon its well-established foundation. The main goal is to appeal to more readers, get in-tuned to what all readers — old and new — want to know about their community, and get it to them …both online and in print”
While Fuhs’ decision to take advantage of this time in her life and use her skills to focus on the subject she’s long been passionate about, the struggles and triumphs of the LGBT community, it is not what brought her back to the area initially.
“In a nutshell: I recently moved back to South Jersey primarily to be closer to my elderly parents. I took an early retirement from The New York Times,” she said.
She and her partner of eight years, Shelly Allbright, relocated to the Jersey shore after she left The Times. The two are engaged and will marry this spring.
There are many things that Fuhs wants to do once she picks up a little more steam at the paper.
“I want to meet and speak with leaders and members of the city’s LGBTQ organizations. There are so many, and that’s what’s fabulous,” she said. “I want to know who’s a part of each, what they all do, and what residents get from their experiences with these organizations.
“I want to know more about what the Philly LGBTQ community cares about; what everybody likes to do and where they do it, and what information we can share that they may not be aware of. What LGBTQ community wants of its legislators is also a top priority. It’s an exciting time politically as seen right here with the record-number of LGBTQ candidates for upcoming elections and it’s only January.”
“It’s an honor to welcome someone of Denise’s caliber to PGN where I have no doubt she will make her own mark on this iconic newspaper,” said Mark Segal, PGN’s publisher. “I’m excited about the passion she brings to LGBT media. Witnessing her professionalism brings the excitement for journalism to all of us on staff and her strengths as a leader are clearly going to make a great newspaper even greater.”