Interview with Owner and Publisher Laura Villagran
by Joe Siegel
Year founded: 1976
Staff size and breakdown: Editor, copy editor, production manager, graphic designer and six contributing writers
Background: The Montrose Star went through several incarnations and, in the late 1970s, the paper became the Houston Voice. As the Houston Voice, the paper was a weekly publication through the ’80s and ‘90s. It was purchased by Window Media, LLC, a national newspaper chain, that also owned the Washington Blade. In 2009 Window Media shut down its operations and ceased publication of the Houston Voice. McClurg, no longer with the Voice for some time, started a new publication called The Montrose G.E.M. (Gay Entertainment Magazine), but when the Voice shut down McClurg took back the former name, Montrose Star, and published once again under that name. In the fall of 2010, the publication was purchased by GLYP Media Company, publisher of the national Gay Yellow Pages.
Web site: www.MontroseStar.com
PPQ: Who came up with the name and what is the inspiration for it?
Owner and Publisher Laura Villagran: The late community activist Henry McClurg named the publication in 1976, after the neighborhood where he lived and died.
PPQ: How has the publication changed since it was first launched?
Villagran: Our new focus is entertainment and entertainment news versus our previous political focus.
PPQ: What one change would you like to make?
Villagran: Include more women!
PPQ: What has been the biggest news story or stories Montrose Star has covered?
Villagran: I am most excited about the new Star Buds column which discusses the truth about cannabis and its benefits to humanity.
PPQ: On the Kinsey Scale of 0-6 (exclusively straight to totally gay), how gay is your publication?
PPQ: What advice would you give to anyone who may want to launch their own LGBTQ publication?
Villagran: Be yourself and be true to yourself.