Charles Winters (journalist)

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Charles Winters
Born Charles Robert Winters
(1977-01-26) January 26, 1977 (age 41)
Banner Elk, North Carolina, U.S.
Occupation Online journalist, online media developer
Years active 2006–present

Charles Winters is an online journalist, on-air personality and online media developer from East Tennessee who resides in New York City. Winters is a direct descendant of Admiral Sir William Wynter, who was a Royal Navy Officer under Queen Elizabeth I of England and served the crown during the Anglo-Spanish War (1585–1604). Only eleven generations separate the two men.

Charles currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer for GaySocialites Media, the parent company for and - the websites he owns, operates and manages.[1] He is also a Public Member of Manhattan Community Board 1 serving on the Quality of Life Committee.

Journalism prior to[edit]

Charles Winters began working in broadcast journalism before he even completed his bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Tennessee in 1999.

Winters made his television news debut as a reporter in the Knoxville market (then ranked 64th) at the Fox affiliate WTNZ during the 1998 elections. He covered a controversial race for the Tennessee Senate where Charlotte Burks successfully filled a seat previously held by her husband, Tommy Burks, who was assassinated by his opponent earlier in the race.[2]

Winters began working as a news anchor and reporter in January 1999 for a news magazine show, then called Insights, that aired on the local NBC affiliate each Saturday at noon. While attending the University of Tennessee, Winters was also a controversial figure in student politics and on-campus broadcasting.[3][4] Winters co-founded the first student run television station [5] on the Knoxville campus and served on the committee that reformatted and re-branded the university's radio station from New Rock 90 to WUTK "The Rock",[6] and he also served as the President Pro-temp/ Speaker of the student senate.[7] He went on to serve as the president of the United Residence Halls Council where he unseated the incumbent in a tight run-off election.[8] Upon graduation Winters worked as a news anchor and reporter for BBB Communications,[9] a small Cablevision station providing local news coverage for the suburbs north and west of Knoxville, Tennessee. He also did a brief stint at WWKZ radio in Memphis as a promotions on-air personality before returning to Knoxville as a Television News Reporter and Producer at the local CBS affiliate, WVLT-TV. In 2001 he accepted a freelance position in New York City and relocated to Manhattan.

After witnessing the September 11th terrorist attacks, he provided news coverage for WVLT and several newspapers in East Tennessee.

Winters later picked up the nickname "gay socialite" for his community and social involvement mainly by volunteering for various charities such as LGBT advocacy groups,[10] animal rescues [11] and political organizations such as Hillary Clintons United States Senate and Presidential campaigns, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn's [12] bid for Mayor and Sean Patrick Maloney's attempt at New York attorney general in addition to working in Manhattan's nightlife scene hosting late night variety-style shows (in such historic venues as the Tunnel, the Limelight/ Avalon and Stonewall Inn.)

During this same time, Winters also worked as an online entertainment correspondent for queerplanet, an Australian-based media group for which he acquired the operations rights in 2011 and re-branded as powered by

In 2006 Winters turned his nickname into a business when he co-founded, an online magazine dedicated to providing topics that appeal to gay men beyond LGBT news coverage, with Anthony Lago.[13] and The GaySocialites Media Group[edit]

From October 2005 until October 2011, Charles Winters maintained credits as the founding editor and held the top executive post with titles ranging from Managing Editor to Chief Executive Officer at

After launching in October 2006 as a source to provide information, gossip and listings about New York nightclubs, Winters led the website to first earn credibility among colleagues and competitors with coverage of the death of Anna Nicole Smith in early 2007.[14]

In December 2010, Winters established himself as the sole proprietor of the website and all entities of the GaySocialites brand. acquired in June 2011 to form a larger organization called the GaySocialites Media, which also went by the name, Charles Winters Information Management[15] during the first quarter of 2012. Soon after the acquisition,'s format was changed to cover "abnormal news and odd information." In 2012, re-entered the gay market as a news aggregator gathering news from a variety of LGBT outlets granting easy access to those searching the web for topics relating to the gay community.[16]

Within a month, Charles Winters Information Management began development on two new web products. targeted those interested in the coupon craze. His sister, Donna Winters, was appointed Vice-President and Editor-in-Chief.[17]

As the celebrated its sixth anniversary, Winters announced he would be moving into a new role as CEO and Editorial Director for all websites operated by one umbrella organization, GaySocialites Media Group. At the same time, he appointed Thomas Bistritz as the new Editor-in-Chief and the first person to hold the top position at the website other than Winters himself.[18]

In 2012, Winters launched's first video entity called "The Popularity Contest". It is a weekly count down show that recaps the most popular topics on each week. The pilot episode was titled, "Weekends with Winters" and he served as the program's initial host.[19] In September 2013, he announced the debut of the Times Square Studios where he and others will produce a new series of online digital media programming.[20] In late November, announced that it would be producing a new online talk show called "The Buzz" set to debut in mid-December with a panel of co-host including Winters and others.[21] The Buzz by aired just a few episodes before taking an indefinite production hiatus.[22]

Work as a life coach[edit]

Charles Winters is also a practicing life coach and self-help columnist offering clients assistance with goal setting, properly utilizing affirmations and preparing their personal operations plan using a workbook and scheduling system that he personally devised.[23]

Between 2003 and 2004, Winters studied Life Coaching with Fairchild-Brown in London where he was taught the working of the subconscious mind, affirmations, personal questioning and goal setting.

Acting credits[edit]

In 2001 Charles Winters made his acting debut as an extra on Saturday Night Live appearing in four episodes in the Fall 2001 season. In 2004, Winters studied acting, movement and diction at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. His credits include a starring role as "Charles" the vacuum cleaner salesperson in "Walk on the Wild Side",[24] a short film directed by Stephane Sednaoui based on the Lou Reed song. He also appeared in a syndicated automobile sales commercial as car owner giving their testimonial. Winters also worked as a still model appearing in stock photography currently available online.

Community involvement and philanthropies[edit]

In October 2013, Winters was appointed as a Public Member of Manhattan Community Board 1. He serves on the Quality of Life Committee.[25] He is also active in various animal rights groups including the Mayor's Alliance for NYC Animals and New York City's Center for Animal Care and Control. In 2014, he began volunteering with Habitat for Humanity helping launch the first Habitat ReStore in New York City.[26]

Controversies and conflicts[edit]

Winters' has also made headlines for his controversial coverage igniting feuds with a variety of high-profile personalities including Village Voice gossip columnist, Michael Musto,[27] and singer Lily Allen.[28]

He has also had several public disputes with Kim Zolciak of Bravo's Real Housewives of Atlanta. In September 2009, gossip columnists reported that Winters was being paid to escort Zolciak around Manhattan to help create a buzz for her debut single, "Tardy for the Party".[29] Then later that month, Winters reported that Zolciak's former publicist claimed she was homophobic and racist.[30] Then in December 2009, Winters broke news that Zolciak was in a lesbian relationship with celebrity DJ Tracy Young after he says he caught the two women on a date at a Manhattan gay club before a performance by Zolciak which Winters highly criticized.[31][32] In October 2010, all three parties (Winters, Zolciak and Young) were booked as a part of the "OUTinAC" weekend (a gay gathering in Atlantic City) and organizers scurried to keep Winters and Zolciak separated after news broke that weekend that she was pregnant.[33]

His personal life has even been the topic of various gossip columns [34] leading to a spoof promotional campaign for featuring all negative reviews about his reporting and personal life.[35]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Winters has also been recognized by multiple organizations, including Glammy nominations for Best Writer in 2008,[36] 2009,[37] 2010,[38] and 2011.[39] He was also nominated for the same award after the Glammys became known as the Glam Awards in 2012[40] and 2013.[41] He also won an HX Award in 2007[42] with other nightclub promoters for their production of a weekly nightclub party called Hot Mess. In 2014, Winters was nominated by Odyssey Magazine as the Best Blogger/ Writer of the Year.[43]


  1. ^ "About". 2011-08-12. Archived from the original on 2011-06-10. 
  2. ^ "Assassination in Middle Tennessee". TruTV. 
  3. ^ "Conflict of Interest". The Daily Beacon. 1998-04-03. Archived from the original on 2012-07-16. 
  4. ^ "Campus Paparazzi Needs to Report Not make News". The Daily Beacon. 1998-04-08. Archived from the original on 2012-07-16. 
  5. ^ "TVC premieres as student run channel". The Daily Beacon. 1998-02-06. Archived from the original on 2012-07-16. 
  6. ^ "WUTK Steps Up With New Image". The Daily Beacon. 1999-02-04. Archived from the original on 2012-07-15. ,
  7. ^ "SGA administration announces appointees". The Daily Beacon. 1997-04-30. Archived from the original on 2012-07-19. 
  8. ^ "Winters Scores President in Run-Off". The Daily Beacon. 1998-04-24. Archived from the original on 2012-07-18. 
  9. ^ "BBB Communications". BBB Communications. Archived from the original on 2011-04-22. 
  10. ^ "Bachelor Auction Heats Vlada". Next Magazine. 2009-12-06. Archived from the original on 2011-08-23. 
  11. ^ "Miss Hobokens Pet Parade?". 2008-10-06. 
  12. ^ " endorses Quinn". [permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "The History of the GaySocialites". Archived from the original on 2011-03-15. 
  14. ^ "Anna Nicole Smith's estated denied any inheritance from late-husband's billions". 2010-03-19. 
  15. ^ "GOSSIP ROUNDUP: Katy Perry at Rockbar, Cops at The Eagle AND MORE!". Next Magazine. 2011-06-30. 
  16. ^ "About Us". 2011-10-26. Archived from the original on 2012-01-26. 
  17. ^ "About Us". 2011-11-01. Archived from the original on 2012-03-30. 
  18. ^ "Demanda Dahling Takes Over Gay Socialites". 2011-10-26. 
  19. ^ "GaySocialites YouTube Channel". 2012-05-21. 
  20. ^ "Introducing the all new Times Square Studios [video]". 2013-08-07. 
  21. ^ " introduces 'The Buzz', a new online talk show". 2013-11-14. 
  22. ^ "The Buzz -". 2014-01-31. 
  23. ^ "Charles On... Don't Stress Just Dance". Archived from the original on 2011-03-13. 
  24. ^ "Short "Walk On The Wild Side" by Stéphane Sednaoui (2005)". 2011-03-09. 
  25. ^ "I just got the word!". 2013-10-04. 
  26. ^ "Hey everyone in the NYC area:". 2014-05-09. 
  27. ^ "New Pool Party Brings Out the Cuties". The Village Voice. 2009-02-11. 
  28. ^ "Lily Allen Angry with Negative New York Press". 2007-06-14. 
  29. ^ "Charles Winters & the GaySocialites to intro 'housewives' Kim Zolciak to NYC gays". 2009-09-15. [permanent dead link]
  30. ^ "Is RHOA's Kim Zolciak a homophobic racist?". 2009-09-23. 
  31. ^ "Is RHOA's Kim Zolciak dating another woman?". 2009-12-11. 
  32. ^ "Another Day Another Performance". 2009-12-31. Archived from the original on 2011-08-31. 
  33. ^ "Hot Mama's Day". 2010-11-02. Archived from the original on 2011-07-23. 
  34. ^ "Out with the old". Archived from the original on 2011-04-26. 
  35. ^ " Timeline Photos". Facebook. 2010-09-19. Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  36. ^ "2008 Glammy Awards". 2008-12-14. [permanent dead link]
  37. ^ "Screw the Oscars! Bring on the Glammy's". The Village Voice. 2009-11-02. 
  38. ^ "2010 Glammy Awards". 
  40. ^ "2012 Glam Award nominees announced – Full List". 
  41. ^ "2013 Glam Nominees". 
  42. ^ "HX Award Winners" (PDF). HX magazine. [permanent dead link]
  43. ^ "Odyssey award nominees voting process". 

External links[edit]