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Ann Northrop

Ann Northrop is a veteran journalist and activist. A native of Windsor, Connecticut, Northrop spent her youth in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., Boston, Denver and Chicago.

After graduation from Vassar College, Northrop began her journalism career at The National Journal in Washington, D.C., covering all branches of the federal government--White House, Congress, Supreme Court, all agencies and departments--for a year and a half before moving to New York City to work at WCBS-TV on a morning, five-days-a-week talk show called "Woman."

During this time, Northrop was also active in demonstrations against the Vietnam War and became involved with the newly evolving feminist movement. She helped construct an article analyzing the 1972 Presidential candidates for the first issue of Ms. Magazine and participated in many organizing meetings and actions of the time. 

After the demise of "Woman," Northrop decided to broaden her experience over the next few years with a number of very different jobs. She worked in WCBS-TV operations, scheduling technical facilities for the entire network; she worked half a dozen events for ABC-TV Sports (golf, figure skating, track & field, boxing) as a freelance production assistant; she wrote TV criticism for a nationally-syndicated newspaper column and she wrote more for Ms. and other publications (i.e. The Ladies Home Journal); she was the New York office for a landmark study of thousands of straight and gay couples, published as "American Couples" by Drs. Pepper Schwartz and Philip Blumstein. For the study, Northrop both recruited participants and helped conduct lengthy, in-depth, personal interviews with a selected sample.

In 1981, Northrop returned to daily television production as a writer-producer for ABC's "Good Morning America." She researched, interviewed guests, wrote background information for the hosts, wrote on-air introductions and questions on a wide range of subjects, including politics, sports, medicine, consumer issues, relationships, entertainment, law, pets, food and many, many more. After almost a year at GMA, Northrop was recruited by then-former GMA executive producer George Merlis to come with him to CBS News in 1982 to transform their Morning News into the same kind of two-hour, daily talk show mix. As a producer, and then coordinating producer, of the CBS Morning News, Northrop helped plan and execute the program every day for five years, covering the same extremely broad range of subjects. In her tenure there, she worked with the original hosts, Diane Sawyer and Bill Kurtis for their two and a half year stint, and their successors, including Forrest Sawyer, Maria Shriver, Phyllis George, Charlie Rose, Meredith Vieira, and many CBS News correspondents.

Northrop also spent a year at the Morning News as the producer in charge of planning hard news coverage daily--the five-minute straight news segments at the top of each half hour. Besides deciding what news to cover, this job also involved booking facilities like satellite feeds, remote crews and trucks, and land lines. She worked with the entire international CBS News operation daily--foreign and domestic, producers and correspondents and bureau chiefs. 

After five years at CBS, Northrop was ready for a change and resigned her position. After a few months, she decided to try a completely new area and accepted a job as an AIDS educator and educator on homosexuality at New York's Hetrick-Martin Institute for Lesbian and Gay Youth, a small social service agency. There she spent her days going to schools and youth agencies all over the metropolitan area, talking to students, teachers, counselors and other youth workers about the AIDS epidemic, doing direct education about the HIV virus and how to avoid contracting it. She also did thousands of sessions on homosexuality, talking personally about her life as a lesbian and answering any question anyone, fourth graders to adults, wanted to ask. As a result of years of this work, Northrop helped write curricula on these subjects and appeared at many conferences teaching others how to do this education. 

As she became an AIDS educator, Northrop realized the issues were the same that had engaged her as an activist against the Vietnam War and for the feminist movement. As a result, in early 1988, Northrop joined ACT UP/New York (the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power) and became deeply involved in "direct action" in the streets, participating in hundreds of demonstrations and getting arrested probably two dozen times for civil disobedience. Her most famous arrest was for lying in the center aisle of St. Patrick's Cathedral during the infamous "Stop the Church" action in December of 1989, for which she was later convicted on four misdemeanor charges. 

After four years as an AIDS educator at Hetrick-Martin, Northrop left to pursue other interests. She served for four years as a board member of the Gay Games, held in New York City in 1994; she helped create and served on the board of a new gay think tank, the Institute for Gay and Lesbian Strategic Studies; she wrote a weekly column for QW, a New York gay magazine that existed for a year, and then wrote a regular column for LGNY, the New York gay newspaper, for the first four years of its publication; she has done an enormous amount of training for activists on how to deal effectively with the news media; she helped found the Lesbian and Gay Alumnae Association of Vassar College; and she was the only openly lesbian or gay delegate in the New York delegation to the 1992 Democratic Convention. 

Northrop has been a major speaker at many events, including the 25th anniversary celebration of the Stonewall Riots, has received several honors, and is featured in the books "Making History," by Eric Marcus, "Wolf Girls at Vassar," by Anne MacKay, and "Queer in America," by Michelangelo Signorile, among others.

Northrop returned to regular television production in 1996 as co-host, with Andy Humm, of "Gay USA," a weekly national cable show. The hour-long program includes coverage of local, national and international news of interest to the gay community, but is, in fact, watched by people of all ages, races, genders and sexual orientations. Northrop and Humm anchor the show and go out in the field to cover events--national political conventions, local political debates, pride parades, weddings, funerals, AIDS demonstrations. They also interview guests in the studio, ranging from political figures to authors and entertainers.

When not performing on TV, she and Andy can sometimes get in eighteen holes of golf.



 

 

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Andy Humm

Andy Humm has been the host or co-host of Gay USA (or its predecessor on the Gay Cable Network, Pride and Progress) since 1985. Since 1996, he has hosted the show with veteran journalist and activist Ann Northrop. Since September 2001, the show has appeared on Manhattan Neighborhood Network, a weekly review of local, national, and international news and entertainment stories of concern to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered communities. Gay USA also thoroughly covers news about the AIDS pandemic and other LGBT health news each week. Since 2003, the program is seen nationally through Free Speech TVs feed to satellite services such as the Dish Network.

As a reporter for Gay USA, Andy has covered virtually every major gay and AIDS news story in the last 18 years. He co-anchored GCNs nightly coverage of the Democratic and Republican National conventions in 1988 and also did floor coverage of the 1992 Democratic convention and the 2000 Republican convention. Among those Andy has interviewed are Governors Bill Clinton, Mario Cuomo, and George Pataki; Senators Bill Bradley, Joseph Lieberman, Al DAmato, Fred Thompson, Alan Simpson, Chuck Schumer, Chuck Robb, and Bob Dole; Reps. Newt Gingrich, Dick Cheney, and Richard Gephardt; activists Jesse Jackson, Gloria Steinem, Al Sharpton, Mathilde Krim, Larry Kramer; and actors Matthew Broderick, Ian McKellan, Sarah Jessica Parker, Harvey Fierstein, Simon Callow; and authors Alan Hollinghurst, Ned Rorem, and Martin Duberman to name but a handful.

For five seasons, Andy hosted WNET-TVs Informed Sources (1991-95), a weekly prime-time public affairs roundtable about metropolitan issues. His guests included Rudy Giuliani (prior to his mayoralty), Mayor David Dinkins, Ed Koch (after his mayoralty), Schools Chancellor Ramon Cortines, human rights leader Elie Weisel, playwright Edward Albee, labor leader Dennis Rivera, New Jersey Gov. Jim Florio, and Christie Whitman (prior to her governorship).

At WNET, Andy also hosted segments of the Live Wire and Thirteen Live public affairs programs in 1991, and the national PBS special, Out in America. In 1997, he co-hosted Out in New York with comedian Kate Clinton. He is currently a regular contributor to PBSs In the Life gay newsmagazine.

From 1979-84, Andy hosted Self-Help on WBAI-FM radio, a weekly interview with leaders of mutual aid groups. His early TV work included a stint as a page at NBC during the first season of Saturday Night Live and a production assistant for ABC Sports coverage of golf tournaments.

In print journalism, Andy has written regularly for the gay press, from the New York City News in the 1970s and 80s to Gay City News (formerly LGNY) from 1995 to the present where he reviews London theatre in addition to his regular political coverage. His articles also appear in the Village Voice, POZ and Next magazines. He writes a column on civil rights for the online city site, gothamgazette.com. From 1996 until 2001, Andy was the Editor of Social Policy, a quarterly magazine about progressive social movements that was founded in 1970.

From 1986-95, Andy was Director of Education at the Hetrick-Martin Institute for Lesbian and Gay Youth doing pioneering work in the education of young people and youth service providers on issues of sexual orientation as well as AIDS and adolescents. His work with the AIDS Advisory Council to the New York City Public Schools contributed to the introduction of a comprehensive K-12 AIDS education program including condom availability in 1991. He holds a Masters in Public Health (MPH) and teaches at Hunter Colleges School of Urban Health where he was named a Distinguished Alumnus in 2001.

From 1978-86, Andy worked at the Graduate School and University Center of the City University of New York on projects in self-help, mentoring, and peer education. He was a Charles Revson Fellow at Columbia University from 1996-97, for the future of the City of New York.

Andy started as a gay activist in 1974 as President of the Gay Student Union at the University of Virginia. He was a spokesperson for the Coalition for Lesbian and Gay Rights from 1977-91, part of the team that guided New Yorks gay and lesbian rights law through the City Council. He was a City Human Rights Commissioner from 1991-93.
 
He has been interviewed on the CBS Evening News, the Geraldo Show, Charlie Rose, Fox TVs Hannity and Colmes, Americas Talking with Chris Matthews, the Maury Povich Show, the Alan Colmes and Barry Farber radio shows, all New York City TV newscasts, and is a frequent guest on NY-1 TVs Inside City Hall. His op-ed pieces have appeared in the New York Times, the New York Post, the Daily News, and Newsday.

Andy's work in the gay and AIDS communities has been honored by the Human Rights Campaign, New York University, the AIDS and Adolescents Network, Advocates for Youth, the Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, the Cincinnati Gay and Lesbian Coalition, the Office of the Public Advocate, the Bar Association for Human Rights of Greater New York, and the Arkansas Lesbian and Gay Task Force. Gov. Bill Clinton named him an Arkansas Traveler in 1990.
 
When not performing on TV, he and Ann can sometimes get in eighteen holes of golf.

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Gay USA Staff

(top-right)
Bill Bahlman is our Associate Producer.  B
ill like Ann & Andy is a long-term activist and journalist. He was News Director and Co-Anchor of "Out in the 80's / 90's" for seven years. Out In the 80's was the first live comprehensive GLBT News show on Cable TV. Gay USA and Out in the 80's were friendly competitors at the time.  Bill began his lifelong community service in 1971 joining The Gay Activist's Alliance (GAA). He served on GAA's Executive Committee as Chair of both the Community Relations Committee and the National Gay Movement Committee until 1974.  In the late 1970's Bill Bahlman began a seven year career as one of the top New Wave DJ's in NYC. Bill was the in-house DJ at club Hurrah and Danceteria. While spinning 3 nights a week at these famous venues, Bill also took time to create the hugely successful New Wave Nights At The Anvil.  In 1986 Bill joined the Swift & Terrible Retribution Committee of GLAAD. He worked with the committee's Chair Amy Bauer planning actions and demonstrations. He played a major role in planning and leading the GLBT Community's response to the Bower vs Hardwick Supreme Court Sodomy Ruling. Bill first met Andy Humm around this time when Andy was Co-Chair of The Coalition For Gay & Lesbian Rights.  With anger over the government's lack of response to AIDS, Bill co-founded The Lavender Hill Mob, with fellow GAA alum Marty Robinson.  In March 1987 Bill helped co-found The AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power (ACTUP) He served on the Issues Committee of ACTUP which tirelessly studied every aspect of drug development and of the government's response to HIV/AIDS. Bill served on countless community, government and industry advisory boards fighting for expanded access and faster development of life saving drugs.  Today he is Chair of St. Vincent's Hospital HIV Community Advisory Board (CAB) and an officer on the CAB at NYU/Bellevue's HIV/AIDS Research Center. Next year will mark Bill's twentieth year of service at NYU's CAB.

(top center)
Rich Speziale is our Studio Director.  
Rich is a member of the staff at Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN)

(bottom-left)
Sam Feder is our technical director and a staff employee at MNN.

(bottom-right)
Whitney Stark served many technical positions for Gay USA and has now returned to college.

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