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Gay Media History – Lou Maletta and NYC’s Gay Cable Network: (1984 – 2000)

In 1982, Lou Maletta launched the first ever Gay Cable Network in New York City.  Maletta started small with the program “Men in Films,” which explored male erotica, and soon went on to develop news programming that gave virtually the only television attention to the nascent AIDS crisis and the ongoing fight for GLBT rights.

Maletta went out and covered everything he could in the community with a sense of mission and the conviction that “the way to educate people was with the greatest tool of all time — television.”

From 1984 to 2000, the Gay Cable Network provided team coverage of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, with reporters on the floor interviewing political leaders from Dick Cheney, Henry Kissinger, and George W. Bush to Jesse Jackson and Ann Richards. The network also covered GLBT and AIDS demonstrations outside the conventions, as well as countless local and national protests including the 1987 and 1993 national marches on Washington and the rise of ACT UP in 1987. Maletta and GCN  also covered the social, cultural, and sexual lives.

Some of the notables interviewed on the network were Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Harvey Fierstein, Tony Kushner, director Derek Jarman, Quentin Crisp, writer Vito Russo, Sara Jessica Parker, and Barbara Walters, among an eclectic mix of countless others.

Lou Maletta shut down operations in 2001, and sadly passed away at the age 74 of liver cancer in 2011,  but thankfully the entire archives of the Gay Cable Network were acquired by New York University’s Fales Library for restoration, and preservation. The footage is a priceless piece of GLBT history and important for the education of future generations to come.

Lou Maletta was true LGBT Media Pioneer 

Click HERE To Watch Gay Cable Network Archive Library Promotional Spot w/a Ton Of Clips on YouTube.)

Source – Gay City News

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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2 thoughts on “Gay Media History – Lou Maletta and NYC’s Gay Cable Network: (1984 – 2000)”

    1. It was more about Lou. Everyone knows Andy and Anne. Not so many people remember Lou. The NLGJA has not even awarded him a post-humos award after all this time. I find that incredibly sad and insulting to his memory.

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