Gay Chicago ceases publication

Fri. September 30, 2011 1:15 PM by News Staff

gay chicago ceases publication

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Windy City Times becomes Chicago's only LGBT newsweekly

Chicago, IL - Gay Chicago, a newsweekly serving Chicago's LGBT community, has stopped publication effective immediately. The news follows an announcement last week that the paper would switch to a biweekly publication effective Sept. 21.

"It is with great sadness that we have come to this point in our publication's history," said publisher Craig Gernhardt in a statement released Thursday.

Gay Chicago replaced the defunct Gay Chicago Magazine on March 2, 2011 when the publication reorganized as Gay Chicago Foundation, an Illinois not-for-profit.

The former Gay Chicago Magazine was founded in 1976 by the late Ralph Paul Gernhardt and was published by Gernhardt Publications for more than 35 years.

Gernhardt died in 2006 of lung cancer, leaving the publication to his children Craig and Christy and publisher Stacy Bridges, who left the publication in 2009.

Questions concerning the stability and future of Gay Chicago were abundant following last year's reorganization. Those questions were again raised with last week's announcement by managing publisher Dane Tidwell that the publication was cutting its weekly print schedule to biweekly.

"Continuing print operations became more and more difficult in the past few years with dwindling ad revenues and rising print and operating costs. We just can't sustain our old model anymore," said Gernhardt. "It's time to turn toward a new direction."

Gernhardt indicated stories would continue to be posted online; however, there was no word about the future of the Gay Chicago staff or offices located on W. Belmont Ave.

With Thursday's announcement, Gay Chicago follows the Chicago Free Press in Chicago's LGBT print history. CFP shuttered in April, 2010.

"It is always sad when a print publication folds," said Tracy Baim, co-founder and publisher of Windy City Times. "Chicago has a rich history of LGBT media, going back to the 1960s when Mattachine Midwest published a critical newsletter for our community. Gay Chicago Magazine was part of that history, and that legacy will remain a part of the movement for many years to come."

The Windy City Times, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2010, remains Chicago's only weekly LGBT print publication.

Grab Magazine, which is published by Bridges and former Gay Chicago Magazine sales manager Mark Nagel, Boi magazine and Nightspots continue to print biweekly.