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04/19/2007


GLAAD Lays Off Almost A Quarter Of Employees (UPDATED)

Picture 35The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation laid off 11 of its 45 employees last week. From The Advocate:

The cuts come against the backdrop of an economy that still has not fully recovered, and nonprofits everywhere continue to face fund-raising challenges. But employees said they didn't see the changes coming.

GLAAD cut 11 people from its staff of 45, and a statement from the group assured that "core programs" remain intact, including National and Local News; Religion, Faith & Values; Entertainment Media; and Spanish-Language Media.

Mike Thompson, GLAAD's interim leader, blames the organization's cash shortfall on last summer's weirdness, which led to the departure of GLAAD's president Jarrett T. Barrios: 

"It's no secret that GLAAD experienced some real challenges in 2011," Thompson said in a statement to The Advocate. "While the changes that took place subsequent to last summer's tumult were in many ways healthy for the organization, the reality is that the experience had financial impacts for the organization. Our restructuring is reflective of that."

UPDATE: This article originally conflated several different letters sent (or, in one case, apparently not sent) by Jarrett Barrios. References to the letters have been removed for simplicity's sake, but you can read all about them here.


GLAAD Officially Announces Resignation of President Jarrett Barrios, Eight Board Members

GLAAD this morning announced that it has accepted the resignation of President Jarrett Barrios and Board Member Troup Coronado.

Barrios Said Barrios, in a statement: 

"None of you have asked me to resign, and I have appreciated such confidence in me. I have been pained by the difficulties that have beset GLAAD over the last three weeks.  As you know, they concern GLAAD's endorsement of the AT&T / T-Mobile merger--and inaccurate but effective characterizations that suggest GLAAD has supported this merger because of our relationship with them as a corporate sponsor.  As many of you have observed to me, this entire situation is wrought with miscommunication and assumptions.  Be that as it may, I respect the function and responsibility of my position, and know this is the right course of action. Of utmost concern and foremost in all of our minds must be the well-being of GLAAD.  The staff continues to work hard and does not deserve to work under a cloud, nor do they merit the distraction that it has become from our organization's fine brand."

Chief Operating Officer Mike Thompson will serve as Acting President.

There's a ton in this press release from them, so I'm just going to post it in full,
AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "GLAAD Officially Announces Resignation of President Jarrett Barrios, Eight Board Members" »


Six GLAAD Board Members Resign

Politico reports that six board members have resigned from GLAAD's board in the wake of controversy over the letter in support of the AT&T- T-Mobile merger:

Glaad GLAAD board member Gary Bitner confirmed in an email to POLITICO on Tuesday that he had resigned. Five other board members — including Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers — also have submitted their resignations, according to the POLITICO source who is familiar with the matter.

The five, including Weingarten, could not be reached for comment early Tuesday.

The names of all six are no longer listed in the board of directors section of GLAAD’s website, bringing the current number of GLAAD board members, including officers, down to 23. The names appeared on the website as of Sunday and are still visible via a Google cache — or digital snapshot — of the site.

GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios resigned over the weekend after the executive committee voted to remove him.

In related news, Bil Browning reports on several new groups that admit support of the merger, including the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

Michelangelo Signorile adds:

Like GLAAD, NGLTF withdrew the letter once the deception was brought to their attention. Unlike GLAAD they didn't lie or cover-up the letter, nor did they go on to back the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile. According to their statement, the dupe had them revisit their policies.

MetroWeekly's Chris Geidner also took a broader look this week at the controversy and at scrutiny over "the role AT&T has played in the public policy decisions of several nonprofit organizations in recent years."

The Washington Blade adds to the story, noting that former AT&T executive and GLAAD Board Member Troup Coronado, once worked for the anti-gay Heritage Foundation:

After an investigation into Coronado’s past, the Blade has discovered that a Troup Coronado who graduated from the University of Texas at Austin the same year as AT&T’s Coronado, and whom an anonymous source confirmed is the same person, appeared in several CSPAN videos from 1991-1993 as a representative of the anti-gay conservative think-tank the Heritage Foundation. Jeremy Hooper of the GoodAsYou blog was able to identify several instances of media outlets covering the Heritage Foundation opposition to pro-LGBT legislation in the 1980s and 1990s, and Heritage has been vocal in opposing same-sex marriage over the past decade. The CSPAN video gives Coronado’s title at the organization as Director of the New Majority Project.

Previously...
GLAAD, AT&T, and Net Neutrality: A Tangled, Sticky Web [tr]


GLAAD, Barrios, Wrestle with President's Resignation

Over the weekend, several bloggers and journalists received an email from GLAAD Communications Director Rich Ferraro that President Jarrett Barrios had resigned. The email included the promise of a statement that would be forthcoming soon from the organization.

Barrios That statement has not materialized, raising further questions about behind-the-scenes activity at GLAAD.

Politico reported last night that the Board was meeting to discuss Barrios' resignation last night:

"GLAAD’s board of directors will discuss by telephone on Sunday night whether to formally accept Barrios’s resignation...GLAAD and Barrios did not respond to requests for comment regarding his offer of resignation....Influential members of the gay community say they believe Barrios’s resignation is a positive for GLAAD, but that the organization may need to further clean house and revisit its advocacy for causes unrelated to gay rights."

Meanwhile, others were calling for the resignation of Board member Troup Coronado:

Coronado,[is] a former AT&T official and lobbyist. Coronado’s bio on GLAAD’s website said that from 2008 to 2010 Coronado worked as AT&T’s vice president for external affairs in Los Angeles. AT&T had identified Coronado as a lobbyist for the company as recently as 2006, but the company said in its 2008 filing that he was no longer representing AT&T as a lobbyist.

Coronado is “going to have to pack his bags and get on the same train Jarrett is taking,” [blogger John] Aravosis said.

Glaad Writes Michelangelo Signorile:

I'm told that right now Barrios is denying to GLAAD board members that he resigned, trying to get the full board of GLAAD to save him, not accept (nor call for) his resignation, and rebut the executive committee, which voted to remove him. He is counting on friends and supporters on the board whom he put in place last year after several board members left in protest of his egregious behavior.

Signorile emailed Barrios directly yesterday with further questions about the situation:

One has to do with reports from several sources that major foundations are ready to pull all funding from GLAAD over this controversy. The other has to do with his administrative assistant, Jeanne Christiano, who two sources tell me is paid in part from Barrios's campaign fund from when he was a political candidate in Massachusetts, where she is listed as the campaign treasurer. Not only does that fact raise many issues, but it is of even more concern considering that Barrios says she sent the FCC letter. Did she send it in the capacity as treasurer of his campaign as well? I asked about these issues and said that if he is not resigning they remain relevant.

Signorile received a short email from Barrios:

"I have resigned and there is nothing further to speculate about."

Nothing official from GLAAD yet, however, since its promise of a statement on Saturday afternoon.

Previously...
GLAAD, AT&T, and Net Neutrality: A Sticky Web [tr]


GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios Resigns

GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios has resigned, according to information Towleroad obtained from GLAAD Director of Communications Rich Ferraro.

The organization will be providing a statement soon.

6a00d8341c730253ef014e88ddc68a970d-300wiEarlier today, Politico reported that Barrios was refusing to resign over the controversy surrounding letters to the FCC regarding the AT&T-T-Mobile merger and net neutrality:

"A source familiar with the board's deliberations told POLITICO that the executive committee voted in favor of removing president Jarrett Barrios, who refused to resign. Barrios may now take the issue to the full board of directors. A GLAAD spokesman declined to comment on the board's internal deliberations."


GLAAD, AT&T, and Net Neutrality: A Tangled, Sticky Web

Barrios

Last week, I posted about a bizarrely-phrased letter sent from GLAAD to the FCC touting the AT&T - T-Mobile merger that contained some bizarre language linking LGBT rights to the need for 4G coverage. 

That news last week uncovered some other items, and has raised questions about GLAAD and its operations that I will attempt to explain in this post, as they unraveled this week. It's a long post with a lot of various elements.

Glaad First, today, Politico reports on the cash being given to progressive groups by AT&T to back that merger:

GLAAD — which has received $50,000 from AT&T — recently backed the deal as well, saying it had “the understanding that the merger will increase functionality and speed, thus growing engagement and improving the effectiveness of the online advocacy work that is advancing equality for all,” a GLAAD spokesman said.

“We do not make policy decisions based on what’s best for our corporate sponsors,” Rich Ferraro, a GLAAD spokesman, told POLITICO. GLAAD publicly criticized Comcast’s merger with NBC, a corporate sponsor of the nonprofit, because of the company’s low grade on GLAAD’s Network Responsibility Index, Ferraro noted.

So, that's one story which has been percolating this week with regard to the LGBT's largest media watchdog. The other has to do with a letter written in 2010 that was uncovered as a result of folks finding out that GLAAD had written the FCC backing the AT&T merger, and it relates to GLAAD, AT&T, and net neutrality.

CONTINUED, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "GLAAD, AT&T, and Net Neutrality: A Tangled, Sticky Web" »


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