NICHOLAS SNOW WENT FROM BEING TINSELTOWN’S QUEER TO EVERYBODY’S PROMOHOMO!
In this episode (above, recorded July 6, 2020) of #ILoveGay Today with Producer/Host Matt Skallerud, PromoHomo.TV Creator Nicholas Snow discusses how PromoHomo.TV came to be. The duo aslo discuss their decades-long friendship and collaboration.
HOW NICHOLAS SNOW WENT FROM BEING TINSELTOWN’S QUEER TO EVERYONE’S PROMOHOMO.
Nicholas Snow describes himself as a Multimedia Entertainment Activist dedicated to, as he explains, “expressing my creativity in a way that makes a difference.” He practices Entrepreneurial Activism, a phrase he coined when combining two definitions from a Webster’s Dictionary:
Assuming the risk of a business venture with the purpose of creating political, social and economic force in service to a cause.
IN HIS OWN WORDS…
I came out of the closet as a gay man in the media in 1984 at the age of 22 (having come out to friends and family in preceding years) as a Communications major at Arizona State University, and graduated with a BA in December, 1985, having earned half my final semester credit hours because of an internship I created, launching a community Speaker’s Bureau to share what we knew at that time about HIV/AIDS, and about LGBT issues – in the conservative state of Arizona.
It was in my college years, facing the loss of loved ones to HIV/AIDS and other causes, in the midst of Communications studies, that I realized my most powerful and valuable resource was my Life Force and my ability to yield it, and my future was forever altered.
In 1988, I served as a full-time staff member with another and hundreds of volunteers on the first ever National Coming Out Day, which has taken place every year since on October 11th. The first year we reached over 20 million people on the Oprah show alone.
In 1990 I served on the Board of Directors of the Alliance for Gay and Lesbian Artists (AGLA) in the Entertainment Industry, and as an outreach tool, conceived a column entitled Notes From Hollywood which was syndicated as far away as Australia. While it did not evolve into GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), AGLA can definitely be celebrated for helping to create the cultural context for GLAAD to come into being.
In 1993 I created the public access TV show, Tinseltown’s Queer, which I describe (then and now) as “A Queen’s Version of Larry King,” and produced and hosted it until about the year 2000. The show was available to up to 600,000 households on a regular basis, and was produced in multiple TV studios, and on location. It was at this time media began referring to me as “LA’s Primo Promo Homo on the Go-Go” (They began to call me that because I planted it in a press release, and nurtured it from there. Case-in-point).
During the bulk of the 1990’s, to fund my entertainment and media pursuits, I worked at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. I was drawn to the job because CSMC is about helping others.
In the mid-90s, because of my high media profile, I was approached by the founder of GayWired.com, Matt Skallerud, and his partner, Fabrice Tasendo, about serving as a contributing “personality” to their website. We entered into a cross-promotional relationship which continues until this day, and we were among the first to conduct television/internet live simul-chats. I was also one of the first (relatively) to put clips of edited video online – although this was very costly and the clips were quite short. I was often a PR/media spokesperson for GayWired as well.
In the year 2,000, I left CSMC to work full-time with GayWired.com, which grew rapidly because of the dot-com explosion. I ultimately became Vice-President of Content Development for the parent company, and my job was to develop content that captured audience, served advertisers, and leveraged relationships with other media.
Around 2001, because of the “dot-bomb” (the drying up of investment capital), my VP job ended, at which time I worked independently with Matt Skallerud to launch NotesFromHollywood.com, which I built as a multimedia entertainment brand including columns in newspapers and magazines, radio and video reports, photos, and the integration of all of these elements online. I chose Palm Springs as my anchor market where my column was published regularly in many publications, and I appeared for over a year on local radio. NotesFromHollywood.com achieved a worldwide audience, and for years was in the Alexa.com top 100 websites.
In 2004, 2005 and 2006, I was invited as an entertainment journalist to report about the Bangkok International Film Festival for NotesFromHollywood.com, which put me in the international spotlight with world-famous celebrities. Before the third trip I made plans to based myself in Bangkok where I lived and worked for 5-1/2 years as a government-sanctioned Foreign Correspondent. During my time in Thailand, I appeared regularly in my own websites, and as a regular contributor to English-language newspapers, magazines, and television programming airing in multiple countries. I also began acting in film and television on a regular basis.
During my time in Thailand I began to produce original travel programming for YouTube, where I also put my television reporting, and have since reached millions of viewers.
In August of 2007, in a rare slip in my safer sex behavior – six years sober no less – I became HIV positive. I confirmed this in January 2008 with an HIV test. Because of my history, which you’ve just read, I created a plan to go public with my story as a way of bringing visibility – a name, face, and story – to an issue about which there was both great stigma and visibility in the region. My journey as become a book, Life Positive: A Journey to the Center of My Heart, and resulted in The Power To Be Strong HIV Testing/Safer Sex Song & Music Video Campaign. now subtitled in 21 languages.
For a period of time, I became the most visible openly-HIV-positive people in Asia, reaching millions of people in multiple languages as documented here.
Because the impact of both stigma and my time spent on activism made it extremely difficult to make a living in Thailand – and being without health insurance – I made the decision to return to Palm Springs in the summer of 2011 to become a client of Desert AIDS Project, rebuild my life, and put in place a solid foundation upon which to continue my efforts to make the world a better place.
As an activist I had been invited to appear on a few BlogTalkRadio (BTR) programs. Six months after returning to the US, I began intensive research into launching my own show, and six months after that, in late June of 2012, I did just that, with a week of soft-launch shows before officially premiering on July 1st, 2012, with multiple paid advertisers, including Desert AIDS Project.
I continued building my multimedia entertainment platform, and hundreds of episodes later in the fourth year of the podcast, the show surpassed over 2,000,000 total listens. For years, my podcast and commentary was featured regularly by The Huffington Post.
In recent years my original video programming has received over a million views.
The first weekend of April, 2016, Facebook finally enabled live video for android phones. I had media credentials for the White Party and began experimenting with live broadcasts which went on to reach 10,000 people in three days, and have accumulated thousand more views since.
On April 11th, 2016, I registered the domain, PromoHomo.TV, and subsequently locked in related social networking profiles.
In May, 2016, I began producing regular, new content, and launched the beginnings of what is now a rather complete website fully integrating all of the above.
Since launching, PromoHomo.TV has garnered an exciting worldwide following and hundreds of thousands of views (predominantly via Facebook Live), and effective June 25, 2020 expands into an online television network with multiple programs across social media channels.
I am grateful for your support and look forward to this ongoing adventure with you!