From 1984 to 2009: 25 years of Dallas Voice history

Posted on 21 May 2009 at 4:44pm
By Dallas Voice staff


Dennis Vercher was hired as editor of Dallas Voice in 1985, a position he held until his death in 2006.

• 1984: Dallas Voice is founded by Don Ritz, Robert Moore and William Marberry with a financial investment of $250 from each partner. Marberry is publisher; Ritz is editor and Moore is advertising director when the 24-page Vol. 1, No. 1 issue is published on May 11, 1984.

In its inaugural year, the Voice becomes a member of the Gay Press Association. Its offices are located at 3409 Oak Lawn Ave., Ste. 212 in Dallas, and the staff — parttime and fulltime — includes a copy editor, a typesetter and three columnists.

• 1985: Ritz and Moore buy out William Marberry and move all production operations from Houston to Dallas. Don Ritz becomes controller. Robert Moore continues as advertising director. Dennis Vercher III is hired as editor of Dallas Voice. Ritz and Moore become founding members of the National Gay Newspaper Guild, an affiliation of the major LGBT newspapers in the country’s top 12 markets. Voice Publishing Co. Inc. and the Guild are instrumental in providing the first reliable demographics for the LGBT market. The Voice offices are now located at 2727 Oak Lawn Ave., Ste. 105.

• 1987: Dallas Voice incorporates as Voice Publishing Company Inc.

• 1988: Tammye Nash is hired as a reporter. The Dallas Voice offices are now located at 2525 Wycliff Ave.

• 1989: Tim Self joins the Dallas Voice staff as an advertising sales representative.

• 1992: The Dallas Voice offices relocate to larger quarters at 3100 Carlisle St., Ste. 216.


Tim Self was hired as an advertising sales representative in 1989. He remained on staff until his death in 1993.

• 1993: Tim Self dies of AIDS. Leo Cusimano joins the Dallas Voice staff, first as a parttime graphic artist, later becoming a fulltime ad sales representative.

This same year, conservative religious groups protest at Prestige Ford in Garland after the auto dealership begins advertising in Dallas Voice, and the Dallas Morning News features Don Ritz and Robert Moore in its Business section.

• 1994: Dallas Voice becomes an associate member of The Associated Press wire service. The Voice offices move across the parking lot to 3000 Carlisle, into an even larger space.

• 1995: Dallas Voice organizes the first Gay Day at Six Flags over Texas as a community event during the Dallas gay Pride celebration surrounding the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade in September. John Bode, Dallas Voice graphic artist, dies of AIDS.

• 1996: DallasVoice.com is launced and provides DFW’s weekly LGBT news online. Greg Hoover joins the Dallas Voice staff as a classified advertising sales representative.

• 1997: Daniel Kusner is hired as Dallas Voice’s first Life+Style editor.

• 1998: Don Ritz resigns as controller and retires from day-to-day operations, but retains his ownership stake in Voice Publishing. Robert Moore becomes publisher of Dallas Voice. Leo Cusimano is promoted to advertising director. Rex "Heda Quote" Ackerman, one of Dallas Voice’s original columnists who later became the newspaper’s part-time circulation manager after retiring from Southwestern Bell Telephone, dies of AIDS. Maryann Ramirez moves up from carrier to part-time distribution manager.

• 1999: Robert Moore is elected treasurer of the National Gay Newspaper Guild.


Steve Tracy, photo above left, worked for many years as a sports writer for Dallas Voice, and is one of the eight Dallas Voice former employees who has since died of AIDS. Rex "Heda Quote" Ackerman, on right in photo above right, was the Voice’s gossip columnist, starting with the first issue of the newspaper in 1984. He died in 1998. Greg Hoover, on left in photo above right, started with the Voice in 1996 and is now classified ad manager.

• 2000: Robert Moore becomes managing member of Qtexas Publishing Company LLC with the launch of Qtexas magazine, a statewide publication. Moore is also publisher of Qtexas. Gary Karwacki joins the Dallas Voice staff as a display advertising sales representative.

• 2001: Robert Moore becomes sole owner of Dallas Voice and president of Voice Publishing Company Inc. upon the death of his investment partner, Don Ritz. Tammye Nash leaves the Voice to return to mainstream newspapers. Terry Thompson joins the Voice staff as office manager.

• 2002: Conservative religious groups begin a boycott campaign and protests to try and stop Gay Day at Six Flags Over Texas during the September gay Pride weekend.

• 2003: Dallas Voice moves its offices to the third floor of the J.B. Stoddard Building at 4145 Travis St. Arnold Wayne Jones joins the staff of Dallas Voice as a Life+Style reporter and theater/dining critic.


Dallas Voice organized the first Gay Day at Six Flags as a community event during the annual Dallas Gay Pride Weekend in 1995. Early Gay Day events included large gatherings and performances, such as this one, at the beginning of the day. Now, 13 years later, Gay Day at Six Flags continues, although in a less structured form.

• 2004: Dallas Voice marks its 20th anniversary, and Tammye Nash returns to the staff as a reporter. Kris Martin joins the Dallas Voice staff as marketing manager.

Qtexas Publishing Company LLC acquires the Texas Triangle and DFW Lambda Pages in November. The Texas Triangle and Qtexas magazine merge to create the new statewide glossy wrap magazine, TXT Newsmagazine. Former Texas Triangle art dirctor Michael F. Stephens and classified advertising director Chris Edwards join the staff of Dallas Voice/TXT Newsmagazine.

• 2005: TXT Newsmagazine launches in January, serving Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio, the only statewide LGBT publication blanketing Texas with a weekly print run of 20,000 copies. But TXT ceases publication at the end of December that same year.


Graphic artist John Bode was one of eight Dallas Voice staff members who died of AIDS.

DallasVoice.com is redesigned and relaunched at the first of the year.

DFW Lambda Pages, under the direction of Robert Moore, is redesigned and retooled as an annual LGBT Yellow Pages business directory and visitors guide, published in partnership with GayYellow.com, the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce and The Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau. Beginning Dec. 1, 2005, 50,000 copies of the 2006 print directory are distributed.

• 2006: A new video component, called DVtv, is added to DallasVoice.com, featuring news and entertainment videos from around North Texas produced and filmed by Lisa Rainey, Jenni Beauchamp and Gus Klein. The DVtv crew later grows to include local filmmakers Israel Luna and Ryan Fyffe and a rotating cast of on-air talent.

Dallas Voice produces its first annual Readers Voice Awards issue in March.

Dennis Vercher III, editor of Dallas Voice for more than 20 years, dies in September from complications from AIDS and lymphoma. Tammye Nash is appointed senior editor of Dallas Voice.

• 2007: John Wright joins the Dallas Voice staff as a news reporter. Kristina Walton joins the Voice staff as a graphic artist. Chance Browning joins the staff as a classified advertising sales representative.

• 2008: Ramon Vega joins the Dallas Voice staff as a display advertising sales representative. DFW Lambda Pages is rebranded Dallas Voice Yellow Pages.

• 2009: Dallas Voice completes its 25th full year of publication with the May 22, 2009 issue and begins its second quarter-century of business.


In addition to Dallas Voice, Voice Publishing Company’s brand names over the last 25 years have included Qtexas, TXT Newsmagazine, Dallas Voice Yellow Pages, DVtv and DallasVoice.com.



This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 22, 2009.

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