The former staff of the Washington
Blade has managed to knock out a new gay paper in less than a
appeared on newstands Friday, less than a week after gay
publisher Window Media shuttered its most recognizable newspaper
launched over 40 years ago. Blade staff was informed of the
weekend decision to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy on Monday.
The filing sealed the fate of six LGBT
newspapers, including the Atlanta-based gay weekly Southern Voice,
as well as the Houston Voice, David Atlanta, South
Florida Blade and 411 Magazine. The
company closed down three additional properties over the summer: HX
Magazine, the New York
Blade and monthly glossy Genre.
“Don't judge us too harshly,” DC
Agenda Editor Kevin Naff said in the paper's inaugural run. “The
edition of DC Agenda you're holding is a modest early
iteration of what we hope to achieve in the wake of Washington
Blade's sudden closing this week.”
“It's been a tough week for us, but
we are buoyed by the outpouring of support from people all over the
city and beyond. … The strength of the Washington Blade did
not lie in its brand name – it came from the spirit of those who
worked passionately to serve and inform our community. Those people
are still here.”
“Our work continues,” he added.
Window Media's troubles began soon
after they received a $39 million Small Business Administration loan
that critics say was squandered on a series of misguided
acquisitions. Questions, however, remain, such as why did the
company chose to liquidate the iconic Blade when several
suitors say they were prepared to take control of the paper.
Nicholas F. Benton, owner the
Virginia-based weekly the Falls
Church News-Press, told New York-based Gay City News
that he had won a September bid to buy the Blade.
“They told me I had won the bid,”
Benton told Gay City News.
SBA spokesman Michale L. Stamler said
the decision to liquidate did not come from his organization.
“SBA has not been a part of any
decision not to sell these newspapers. SBA supported the sale of the
newspaper assets owned by Window. It was SBA, acting as receiver,
that solicited offers to purchase the newspapers, and passed the
offers it received to Window/Unite Media,” he said in an email to
The future of DC Agenda, headed
by publisher Lynne Brown, and its 18-person staff, presumably working
for free at the moment, remains cloudy as other gay media outlets,
gay media icon the Advocate,
continue to struggle amid a weak economy that has hit publishers