Word has started to leak out surrounding the closure of Windows Media's LGBT publishing empire - including the Washington Blade and Atlanta's Southern Voice. While blame originally fell on the Small Business Administration for unexpectedly pulling the plug on LGBT newspapers around the country, today's revelations throw the blame back on Windows Media itself.
First came word that another owner had been found for the Washington Blade and negotiations were in progress when the paper abruptly shut down yesterday.
Nicholas F. Benton, owner of the Falls Church News-Press, a Washington, D.C.-area weekly, confirmed today that his corporation, Benton Communications, Inc., had won a bid from parties that included the SBA in September to obtain the assets of the Washington Blade from its bankrupt parent company for purposes of a seamless perpetuation of the nation's oldest gay community newspaper. The Blade was closed without Benton's advanced knowledge on Monday.
Benton said he regrets that the negotiations to complete the transfer of ownership failed to be completed, and that as a result he is unable to carry forward the Blade, its legacy, its employees, and its service to its community regionally and nationally.
"Everything was in place, although moving slowly, to make the seamless transition we hoped for. But I remain unaware of what happened, and as a result of Monday's events, the Blade is gone after 40 years of publication, its employees are out of work, and the nation's and region's LGBT community has been stripped of an invaluable institution." Benton said.
Sirius OutQ News though, found out who the real culprit is. According to the SBA, the owners decided to refuse the buyout offers and shutter the doors.