Largest Gay News Publisher Shuts Down

Has the gay community lost a vital voice? Window Media LLC, the nation's largest publisher of gay and lesbian newspapers including The Washington Blade, closed its doors Monday and changed its locks, leaving employees confused. "From my understanding, there was just no more money to keep these companies running," Laura Douglas-Brown, editor of Southern Voice newspaper in Atlanta, told the Associated Press as she sat with her fellow former employees outside their locked office. Though Douglas-Brown says they were aware of the company's financial trouble and told they would be sold, she said being shut down "was a complete shock." Window Media's money issues not only stem from the industry-wide decrease in advertising sales, but the mainstream media's increasing coverage of gay and lesbian issues—their niche was simply no longer compartmentalized. "This was the gay community writing about itself, and that's a voice we should never lose," said Michael Musto, an openly gay columnist at the Village Voice, which is not owned by Window Media.