Several of the most prominent gay newspapers in the country were suddenly shut down Monday when their parent company filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, forcing liquidation. Affected publications include the Washington Blade, South Florida Blade, 411 Magazine, Houston Voice, David Magazine, and the Southern Voice Newspaper, the New York Times reports.
All of the publications were owned by Window Media or Unite Media, which in turn were both owned by the Avalon Equity Fund with support from the Small Business Administration. Avalon Equity Fund unsuccessfully attempted to sell all of the company’s assets after failing to meet capital requirements last year, leading to the Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, according to the New York Times.
The Washington Blade is the oldest and largest of the affected publications and is considered to be among the most influential gay publications in the history of the US. This paper began in 1969 after the Stonewall riots and since then has grown to a circulation of 23,000, according to the Washington Post. The other papers were founded primarily in the 1980s and had varying circulation numbers.
Several of the papers are currently planning to relaunch. The Washington Blade‘s staff planned to meet today at a coffee shop and a new publication called Mark’s List Magazine will be launched with the staffs of the South Florida Blade and 411 Magazine, reported the Washington Post and the Miami Herald.
Cindy Abel, Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund and former columnist for the Southern Voice told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “frankly, it all came down to economics, and what happened to Southern Voice has happened to a lot of other minority publications. Now you wonder who’s going to cover these stories.”