So Over: Window Media Closes

houston voice/washington blade closed

Window Media -- the publisher of regional community newspapers targeting lesbians, gays, bisexual and trans-gendered people -- is closing up shop after several months of unsuccessful wrangling with tax authorities.

The news, announced in a note posted on the front door of the company's headquarters in Atlanta, brings with it the demise of a handful of well-known LGBT community publications. Window Media's regional LGBT titles included Southern Voice, David, The Washington Blade, Houston Voice, South Florida Blade, and 411 Magazine. All have ceased print publication and closed their Web sites.

In February of this year, Window Media was forced into federal receivership -- a form of involuntary bankruptcy -- after it was unable to raise funds from private investors matching at least half of the sum it borrowed from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The SBA then butted heads with executives from Avalon Equity Fund, the owner of Window, leading to high-profile departures of several executives.

The receivership was supposed to end in September with the sale of company assets, but Window appeared to receive a reprieve, though it proved temporary.

This is just the latest in a series of collapses in the LGBT press. Earlier this year, HX Media went broke, leading to the closure of the New York Blade and Genre, a glossy lifestyle magazine targeting gay men, shuttered in March. In late October, Regent Media said it would no longer publish The Advocate as a stand-alone title, but would fold it into Out as a 32-page insert.

In general, the long-term shift of print ad dollars to the Internet has been especially pronounced in media targeting LGBT audiences, which were early adopters of social networking and online publishing.

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