Originally published: Nov. 16, 2009, 10:42 a.m.
Updated: Nov. 16, 2009, 4:30 p.m.
ATLANTA — The nation’s largest chain of LGBT news and entertainment publications is shutting down.
News broke Monday morning that Atlanta’s Southern Voice newspaper and David magazine had shuttered their doors. As employees made their way to work, they found the office’s locks changed and a letter informing staff of the closure taped to the door, according to ProjectQAtlanta.com.
“It is with GREAT regret that we must inform you that effective immediately, the operations of Window Media, LLC and Unite Media, LLC have closed down,” the letter, taped to the front doors, read.
All Window Media publications will cease operation, including The Washington Blade, which recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. Other Window Media properties include The South Florida Blade, Houston Voice and 411 Magazine. The company had already shut down its national magazine, Genre.
Window Media had a stake in HX Media’s New York Blade. It was shut down earlier this year. That company’s HX nightlife glossy was later sold to another LGBT nightlife publication in the city.
Southern Voice Editor Laura Douglas-Brown confirmed the paper’s closure on Facebook this morning: “With deepest regret, as editor of SoVo, I have to tell you that we arrived at the office to learn that our parent company, Window Media, has shut down. While the 20 years of SoVo have come to an end, our civil rights movement is only beginning. I am personally grateful to all of the staff, and to all of you who have had the courage to share your stories. It has been the honor of my life to help you tell them.”
Washington Blade staff confirmed their closure on Twitter: “Washington Blade, like all Window Media publications, is closing today. Thank you for your support. (Keep following us for developments.)”
Window Media/Unite Media executive David Unger had borrowed some $38 million from the Small Business Administration for his Avalon Equity Firm, a majority stakeholder in the national media company. The loans were to be used in investment for gay media, according to the blog Queerty.com. Window Media was placed into receivership by the Small Business Administration and Unger later resigned from the company.
Former Washington Blade staff, including former publisher Lynne Brown and former editor Kevin Naff, have announced intentions to meet this week for discussions on a “new venture.” They say the former Blade staff is “united.”
The Advocate — Washington Blade Closes
Washington City Paper — The Final Hours of the Washington Blade
On-going coverage: ProjectQAtlanta.com has special, on-going coverage of the Southern Voice’s closure: www.projectqatlanta.com