Southern Voice Shuttered, Along With Others in Question

[UPDATE: All Window Media publications have closed operations, including the Washington Blade.  Former editor Kevin Naff tells Politico:

Naff, who is not authorized to speak for the company, but can do so now as an independent citizen, tells POLITICO: "The Blade staff is united and ready to continue the paper's long-standing mission. The first meeting for our new venture is Tuesday and we welcome the community's input as we move forward."

The Washington City Paper covers the Blade's final hours, painstakingly and with photos.]

This morning, the LGBT media world appears to have taken what might be a rather huge hit. Employees of the Southern Voice and David Atlanta, two Atlanta-based publicatins, found the locks changed on the door of their offices. The note reportedly found on the door of the offices suggests other possible closures, including The Washington Blade.

The note, reported at Project Q Atlanta, read:

It is with GREAT regret that we must inform you that effective immediately, the operations of Window Media, LLC and Unite Media, LLC have closed down.

Please return to this office on WEDNESDAY, November 18th, 2009 at 11:00 AM to collect personal belongings and to receive information on your separation stipulations. Please bring boxes and/or containers that will allow you to collect all your personal belongings at one time.

Regretfully,

Steve Myers
Mike Kitchens

Window Media, LLC, lists among its publications The Washington Blade and the Houston Voice. Although there were troubles with the Blade’s Web site this morning, it appears to be back up, as does the Houston Voice’s site (but so is David’s site). The wording of the closure notice at the Southern Voice’s headquarters, though, certainly leaves matters up in the air.

No one answered a call to the main number listed for Window Media.

I’ll have more to report as I can find out.

[UPDATE: The former editor of the Southern Voice tells Fresh Loaf, an Atlanta blog, that all Window Media publications have been impacted:

“We had been told that essentially we’d be sold down the road,” SoVo Editor Laura Douglas-Brown tells CL. “We had no inclination it’d be this morning. Everyone’s in shock right now.”

SoVo News Editor Dyana Bagby tells CL that a news budget had been prepared for this week’s issue. She covered two events this weekend and was going to write up articles for the publication.

“The thing to keep in mind is that this is not just Southern Voice,” Douglas-Brown says. “This is also the Washington Blade, which has been the gay paper of record for our country for the last 40 years. And David Magazine and the paper in Fort Lauderdale. It’s not just a loss for the employees, but the gay community as well.”

This is big, bad news.

It is important to note, though, that sales and ownership changes in the past decade have made it so that not all Blade publications are under the same ownership.  Window Media lists as its "family of publications" – Washington Blade, Southern Voice, Houston Voice, South Florida Blade, David Atlanta and The 411 Magazine.]

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About the Author

Chris Geidner is the award-winning senior political & legal reporter at BuzzFeed and has written for Metro Weekly, The Atlantic Online, The American Prospect, Advocate.com, Salon and other publications, as well as at his blog, Law Dork. He has appeared regularly on television commenting on current affairs, including MSNBC, PBS, HLN & Current. Prior to moving to D.C. in 2009, he served as an attorney on the senior staff at the Ohio Attorney General's Office and had earlier worked for a leading Columbus law firm. An extended biography can be found here, and you can follow him on Twitter.