On the first floor of a two-story brick building on Mary Avenue in Germantown, Tracy Beale — formerly Tracy Blue — is working on rebuilding her media presence with an “online ‘zine” called TAB’s View. Even though the office is not quite finished, it’s elegant — with boxy chairs, white curtains and orchids.
The former publisher of The Voice-Tribune, Modern Louisville and other properties once run by Blue Equity Publishing, Beale wants to produce powerful, positive stories about life from different perspectives — what she calls “optimistic content.”
That could be a black police officer sharing his view on working with a white partner, an LGBTQ kid talking about challenges, a banker from the East End sharing a passion — these were all examples Beale gave. She’s not limiting the ‘zine to just prospectives from Louisvillians; she’s interested in getting views from all over the world.
“Local but all-inclusive,” she tells Insider. “Everyone has the same color blood.”
“Equality” is a word she uses often in discussing her vision.
TAB’s View will be written by freelancers, and Beale says she has around 20 lined up already. She expects to have foreign writers and writers from smaller cities; she mentions Omaha as an example.
The T-A-B in TAB’s View are her initials, “but they’re also like the tabs on the website,” she says. “Everyone here is Team TAB.”
Team TAB consists of six full-time employees, including Beale, editor Ilyse McCormick, three sales staffers and Beale’s assistant.
Beale changed her name after her recent divorce from Blue Equity CEO Jonathan Blue, but Beale isn’t her maiden name. She wanted to keep a short, simple B-name, so with the help of friends, she came up with Beale. She says it sounds like who she is.
And who is she?
It has taken some time after her abrupt firing from Blue Equity and subsequent divorce to really figure that out, but she says she feels comfortable in her Germantown office because it reminds her of where she grew up. She’s currently living in an East End apartment but would like to buy something “maybe a little bigger than a shotgun” house in Germantown some day. Her kids think she’s crazy.
Beale grew up in a middle-class family in a small town outside of St. Louis — in a neighborhood she describes as “the wrong side of the tracks.” Finding herself again meant reconnecting to that part of her life. It’s a pretty radical departure from the life she lived chronicling Louisville’s social scene from the inside while married to prominent businessman Jonathan Blue.
Over the past few months, she’s enjoyed spending time with her four kids, two of whom are still at home and who split time between Beale and her ex. Aside from a quick spa trip to Las Vegas with her children, Beale has spent most of her time lately working on building her magazine’s team and vision.
TAB’s View currently is funded by Beale, but the site will have 45 slots for advertisers.
Going from putting together monthly magazines with little web presence to running a website she’s planning to update with five or six posts daily seems like a big leap, but Beale is confident she can just “go with the flow.” Beale says she’s hired a “team of excellent people” whom she has empowered to “take ownership of their jobs.”
“Really, they’re teaching me,” Beale says.
When she departed Blue Equity Publishing, she says it was hard on everybody, “but harder for me.” Some of her employees had worked there with her for 10 years, and she characterized them as “family.”
TAB’s View has purchased space on two billboards, with the message: “You loved her voice. You”ll love her view.” Social media will be a big traffic-driver, Beale expects; she also hopes her former readers will come along for the ride.
Kale + Flax, a relatively new arrival on the digital design scene, is working with Beale’s staff to build the site. Look for a September launch of the magazine, along with a launch party.
“I’ve never been happier in my life,” Beale says. “I’ve found me. I’m at peace.”