In a tweet, the Blade said:
Washington Blade, like all Window Media publications, is closing today. Thank you for your support. (Keep following us for developments.)
In a later tweet,the publication said an event scheduled this Wednesday was still planned, suggesting that things haven’t completely come to a stop. Local blog DCist reports that employees were called and told to come clean out their National Press Club building offices.
Washington D.C.-based Window Media–which owns Washington Blade, Southern Voice, Houston Voice, South Florida Blade, David Atlanta and The 411 Magazine–shut down over the weekend putting the publications’ futures in doubt.
Problems at Window Media became public in February when the GayCityNews reported that the Small Business Administration has placed Window Media’s investors–the Avalon Equity Fund–into receivership after Avalon failed to show it had the capital to match one-half of SBA’s $38 million investment in the LGBT media.
What’s unclear is whether the shut-down means an end to the publications. In a February blog posting, Window Media founder Chris Crain said that Avalon did not have complete control over SoVo and the Blade, but instead that original investors still had an interest in the publications.
Although the term “Window Media” is often used to describe the whole range of publications related to Avalon, the company Window Media LLC owns only the Washington Blade and Southern Voice newspaper in Atlanta. A number of original investors in Window, most residents of Atlanta, retain their ownership in Window, as do I and as does William Waybourn, my co-founder. So while Avalon owns a controlling interest in Window Media, the Blade and SoVo are not “assets” of Avalon, per se.
UPDATE: The Blade’s editor Kevin Naff has told Politico:
“The Blade staff is united and ready to continue the paper’s long-standing mission. The first meeting for our new venture is Tuesday and we welcome the community’s input as we move forward.”
Filed under: Michael R. Triplett