Gay weekly Chicago Free Press is
closing down, gay website ChicagoPride.com
Officials with the paper asserted in
December that a reported cash crunch was brief and would not affect
the paper's long-term health. The problems, however, pushed several
key employees to walk out, including the paper's editor in chief, art
director, graphic designer and many of its writers.
“The senior staff did not resign; it
was simply a matter of leaving because of non-payment,” Matt
Simonette, the paper's former editor, said at the time. “People
were coming in there and doing their jobs for free. It didn't sit
well with us.”
The paper resumed publication after a
brief one-week breather, but apparently continued to stumble.
On Monday, Free Press Managing
Editor Kerrie Kennedy confirmed the paper was shuttering after its
April 29th issue failed to appear on newsstands.
“While this is unfortunate, I'd like
to focus on the wonderful history of CFP,” Kennedy said.
Publisher David Costanzo, a former
investment banker and lawyer, purchased the paper in 2002, three
years after its debut as an alternative to Chicago's oldest gay
weekly, Windy City Times. The publication was initially
founded by former Windy City staffers.
ChicagoPride.com is reporting that
Costanzo has decided to end funding of the operation.
The Free Press is only the
latest victim of a prolonged downturn in gay media. Last year, the
mini gay publishing empire of Window Media cratered under the weight
of its financial obligations, ending press runs for several LGBT
papers from Florida to Washington, including the iconic Washington
Blade and Atlanta's Southern Voice. Southern
Voice returned two weeks ago, while the Blade
resumed publication last Friday.