(Satellite Location: East Erie) Media For Us, By Us: Diverse Communication Outlets in Erie

April 13th,2023 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Professor/Instructor/Speaker: Sonya Byes & Michael Kenton Mahler, B.S. 

Media For Us, By Us: Diverse Communication Outlets in Erie Panel Discussion


In this panel discussion, local media pioneers Sonya Byes (Chatting with Sonya and Friends) and Michael Mahler (Erie Gay News) will discuss the origins of their platforms and their importance to diverse communities in the Erie area.  


Location: Erie Center for Arts & Technology (ECAT)—650 East Ave. Suite 120, Erie, PA 16503.

Date/Time: Thursday, April 13 @ 7 p.m.

Admission: FREE

Parking: lot at 7th street entrance, 7th street street parking

Sonya Byes & Michael Kenton Mahler, B.S. 

Sonya Byes


Sonya Byes is someone familiar with the lights, cameras, and action! As an African American female-led media company operator in Erie, Sonya Byes is shattering glass ceilings in the media realm. Ms. Byes is the creator/owner/founder and host of Erie’s local talk show, “Chatting with Sonya and Friends” and founding operator of Mocha Media Management, LLC. Chatting with Sonya and Friends is a diverse group of professional women of various talents and backgrounds engaging in relevant and unscripted conversations in the city of Erie on WICU-12. Sonya is an Erie native and proud mother of Johnathan Byes-Hopkins.  


Michael Kenton Mahler, B.S.


Michael Kenton Mahler, B.S., has been the co-editor of Erie Gay News since it was founded in December 1992. He is also a founding member of NWPA Pride Alliance. He serves on the Erie Mayor's LGBTQ Advisory Council, the Pennsylvania Commission for LGBTQ Affairs, as well as on the boards for Community Health Net and Drenched Fur. He became the first LGBTQ person to be fully out in May 1992 when appearing on local television coverage. Michael currently works as a programmer and analyst for Erie Custom Computer Applications.