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Gay Paper Switches to Corporate Ownership in NYC

Many gays and lesbians are worried about the Washington Blade’s New York counterpart, set to debut later this month. An employee-owned production in D.C., the Blade in New York will split ownership 50-50 between Blade employees and a large corporation.

“There is a concern any time a corporation comes in with big money … this is about selling ads [and] corporatizing gay culture,” said Troy Masters, publisher of a gay biweekly in New York. Don Michaels, publisher of the Washington Blade and the New York Blade News, said that the New York publication would differ from the D.C. Blade because its reporters would not practice advocacy journalism, but “follow the objective journalist style of reporting …We have a deadline mentality.”

Playwright and gay activist Larry Kramer thinks the gay community won’t be interested in the New York Blade News, which he predicts will be “a timid piece of toilet paper that people can wrap their old fish in.” In response to criticism that the paper should be owned by gays and take a stance on gay issues, Michaels said, “So what? A paper like this has been needed in New York for a long time.”

Sources:

Washington Post - October 6, 1997

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