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Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Nation's Largest LGBT Publisher Calls it Quits

Earlier this month Window Media, the largest chain of LGBT newspapers in the US, abruptly went out of business. Although Window Media had been in financial trouble for a while, their employees had been told a possible reorganization or sale of the company was in the works, not a liquidation.

“We found out when two of the corporate officers were waiting for us when we got to work this morning,” said Kevin Naff, editor of The Blade, a 40-year-old paper that was one of the most important publications written for a gay audience. “It’s not a complete surprise. The abruptness of it was what was surprising.”

Employees at Southern Voice, an Atlanta-based gay paper also owned by Window Media, found their offices locked when they went in to work and a note posted on the door saying that the company had ceased operation. It told the workers to return in 2 days with boxes to collect their belongings.

The names of the Publications owned by Window Media are: The Washington Blade, Southern Voice, The Houston Voice, The South Florida Blade, David Atlanta magazine and 411 Magazine.

Luckily, a few of these magazine have already found ways to continue publishing. 411 Magazine will now publish under the name Mark's List Magazine, starting next month. And a new iteration of the Washington Blade, called The D.C. Agenda, will also launch in December. And most recently, I heard that in the effort to create a new gay publication to replace the Southern Voice, the Lloyd E. Russell Foundation, which was started by an Atlanta gay activist/businessman to help promote the GLBT community, gave a $12,000 matching grant.

As more news about these publications becomes available, I will be sure to keep you posted.


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