San Diego's weekly gay newspaper the Gay & Lesbian Times is 'dead,' says columnist Nicole Murray-Ramirez, the San Diego Reader reported.

The 22-year-old weekly failed to publish its latest issue on Thursday. Its website was last updated on October 7. Settings for the publication's Facebook account have been turned private, and telephone calls at its main number are not being answered.

A sister blogging site,, was last updated on October 7, and tweeted its final message to its 1,526 followers on the same day.

“I can assure you that Gay & Lesbian Times is dead,” Murray-Ramirez, a San Diego columnist since 1973, said. “One of the writers is looking at starting a weekly, and out-of-town gay publications [from Palm Springs and Los Angeles] are looking at expanding here.”

The San Diego Reader is reporting that several former staffers, including Murray-Ramirez, have complained that Publisher Michael G. Portantino paid them with checks that bounced.

Gay newspapers throughout the country have struggled to remain open over the past several years. Last November, after filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, publisher Window Media shuttered six publications, adding to the three properties which it had already closed down. Its most recognizable paper, the Washington Blade, returned in April.