Q Television Network calling it quits?

By |2018-01-16T03:31:54-05:00May 18th, 2006|News|

by Lisa Keen

Just two months away from a commitment to broadcast Gay Games VII from Chicago, Q Television Network abruptly laid off all its employees last week.
The for-profit gay cable and internet broadcast company, delivered through several major cable outlets in San Francisco, Boston, New York and other markets, had in December promised to pay Gay Games organizers $1.7 million in cash and provide $1.5 million in “advertising and programming benefits” for the exclusive right to broadcast Gay Games events. The company also agreed to unscramble its signal during the Games to make the broadcasts widely available in more than 150 markets worldwide.
Kevin Boyer, co-vice-president of Gay Games Chicago, issued a statement in response to questions from this paper to several Games officials this week. In the statement, he said the Games had “dissolved” the contract it signed with Q Television Network after “discussions” with the company “earlier this year.”
Although the Games organizers remain “open to some degree of QTN involvement with broadcasting,” said Boyer, they have talked with “additional potential partners in television, radio and online streaming media.”
The Gay Games takes place July 15-22 in Chicago.
Lloyd Fan, who took over as head of the beleaguered Q Television Network on March 7, said the company is “still trying to restructure” and that he hopes to “move forward” with Gay Games coverage. He also estimated that Q Television Network had already paid Gay Games about $1 million of its commitment.
Fan said Q Television Network had lay off its employees this month because it “ran out of money.” He said he had not been able to “arrange proper finance” of the company because the company had “not been able to provide proper audit and finance statements” to investors.
Q Television Network (not to be confused with the San Francisco cable program QTV News Magazine) was founded in Palm Springs, California, in April 2004 and billed itself as “by and for the gay community.” According to an Associated Press report in April 2005, its founder, Frank Olsen, was a former gay bar owner in Seattle and served as chairman and CEO of both the network and its parent company, Triangle Multi-Media of Seattle.
While the network showed signs of growth – entering more markets through such media giants as Time Warner, Cox, RCN, and Verizon, buying a production studio in Burbank for $25 million, signing a contract with performer Sandra Bernhard, and employing an estimated 100 employees – it also showed signs of trouble and, in February of this year, laid off all its employees. It eventually hired some of them back and on Feb. 27, Triangle issued a press release saying Olsen was appointing entrepreneur Lloyd Fan as “interim president” of Q Television Network. A week later, the company issued another press release saying that, under “a new agreement,” Fan would immediately assume Olsen’s roles as Chairman and CEO of Triangle Multi-Media Limited and Q Television Network.
Although Olsen wasn’t mentioned by name, the March 7 press release also indicated that “all Triangle Multi-Media Limited and QTN officers and board of directors have resigned their positions and have relinquished all responsibilities and affiliations.”
Fan immediately closed down the network’s Palm Springs offices, consolidating its operation at its studio in Burbank. He also sent a letter to shareholders saying the company was “positioned to prosper in the GLBT marketplace.”
Then last week, in an e-mail dated May 3 and addressed to more than 40 people working on the network, Fan said the company had simply run out of money and options.
“It is with deep regret, I must terminate your employment effective today due to the network’s inability to pay salaries,” wrote Fan in the e-mail. “As you know, since I have taken control of the company on March 7, 2006, I have worked tirelessly to secure funding for the company. All negotiations with potential sources have ended and there are no longer any options on the table.”
Boyer of Gay Games VII said the event’s contract with Q Television was “structured in advance to ensure that any subsequent difficulties experienced by Q Television would not have a significant negative impact upon the financial strength of the 2006 Gay Games.”

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.