Some of the nation’s best-known local LGBTQ magazines are closing in the wake of a lawsuit against publisher Multimedia Platforms Worldwide. The list of local LGBTQ interest magazines that are shutting down includes New York City’s Next, Frontiers in Los Angeles, and the Florida Agenda, previously the South Florida Blade.
The magazines are suspending operations, possibly permanently, following a court order seizing the assets of MMPW. The order was prompted by a lawsuit brought against MMPW by White Winston Select Asset Funds in the Superior Court in Suffolk County, Massachusetts, accusing MMPW of fraudulent trade practices and negligent misrepresentations in connection with a loan made to MMPW.
The lawsuit, seeking $1.75 million in damages, also named two other companies, Columbia Fun Maps and New Frontier Media Holdings, as defendants.
According to the complaint, MMPW needed the funds to avoid defaulting on its other loans. Shortly after agreeing to grant the loan, however, White Winston executives discovered that three of the publisher’s five board members had resigned -- a fact that was never disclosed to the lender.
White Winston also alleged that a number of financial representations made by MMPW were falsified to obtain the loan.
MMPW defaulted on its first loan repayment, due on September 1, precipitating the lawsuit. This week the Superior Court seized the assets in response to White Winston’s lawsuit, thus terminating MMPW’s business operations, at least temporarily. The publisher also failed to make payroll repeatedly in recent months, and also owes money to freelancers and printers.
The company’s founder, Bobby Blair, who recently returned as CEO, blamed a new management team for the financial misdoings and said he intends to fight the court decision and restore the company’s operations.
However, all MMPW’s employees are now out of work and its offices are closed, suggesting the publications won’t be back any time soon.