Tracy Blue, publisher of the Voice-Tribune, started her mini-media empire in a closet in St. Matthews. Now, at the urging of her husband, Jonathan Blue, she will be adding one more magazine to the Blue Equity Publishing portfolio. Modern Louisville will be a bi-monthly glossy magazine targeting local LGBTQ readers.
Blue told Insider that the response to the idea of the magazine, which she announced online and in the latest issue of the Voice of Louisville, has been amazing. She expects to hire two or three people, tap her current staff of around 15, and work with a lot of freelancers to produce the magazine.
She already has talked to freelancers interested in writing about being the “other” mommy in a relationship and coming out at a young age. Blue and her assistant Hollis Gargala recently interviewed a transgender man about his experiences in their stylish East Main Street office.
“I didn’t want him to leave,” Gargala said about the fascinating man.
This is part of an ongoing education. Despite the fact that she has a number of gay friends, including her BFF Craig Stevenson, she admits she has a lot to learn about Louisville’s LGBTQ community. When asked why she didn’t just devote more space in her current periodicals to LGBTQ reporting instead of starting a whole new magazine, Blue said, “the community needs their own.”
Blue also said one of her goals is to use Modern Louisville to help educate Louisville about LGBTQ issues. To that end, she’s considering packaging Modern Louisville with the Voice so subscribers get it automatically.
“The Voice pushes the envelope anyway,” said Blue. “We cover a lot of gay stuff anyway.”
Witness the cover of this month’s Voice of Louisville, featuring local celebrity Wil Heuser. Blue said a lot of readers thought the cover with Heuser in a crop-top was kind of “racy.” She’d almost run a much racier photo as the cover; the one inside the issue that features Heuser naked except for a strategically placed cherry pie.
Heuser parodied Blue in his YouTube sketch “The Real Housewives of Louisville.” In it, he dressed as a fabulously glamorous Blue, who doesn’t speak but shushes everyone else. She said she’s known for being quiet.
Blue said she got her passion for journalism from her husband, whom she describes as a voracious consumer of media, sometimes having a knee-high stack of periodicals to wade through. Blue Equity also publishes an internal magazine and Churchill Downs’ magazine.
Modern Louisville was actually her husband’s idea, one he suggested to her just a couple of days before the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges decision.
Blue said she sees herself as “the person at the bottom of the company” who pushes up her employees. She’s there to support them while they do their fantastic work. As such, she suggests that her employees are really happy and stick around a long time.
The first issue is slated for September. Given the fact that Blue went from having the idea for Modern Louisville to making it so in 45 minutes, as she claims, it’s hard to imagine the magazine will not be on schedule. Blue makes things happen.