Kerrie Kennedy, managing editor of the local LGBT publication Chicago Free Press ( CFP ) , sent an e-mail out Monday, May 3, announcing that the publication was folding after a decade of publishing.
The statement read, in part: "Due to health problems, publisher David Costanzo is no longer funding the operation of Chicago Free Press. Consequently, the paper's April 29 issue was not published, and it is not expected that any additional issues will be published. While this is unfortunate, I'd like to focus on the wonderful history of CFP."
Last December, several top staffers left CFP after complaints of slow payments. Some returned, but more left recently after the slow payments reportedly happened again.
CFP was launched in August 1999 by former staffers of Windy City Times. Those two papers battled it out in the community and the courts for a year before Jeff McCourt sold it to Outlines Publisher Tracy Baim, who had co-founded WCT with McCourt, Bob Bearden and Drew Badanish in 1985. Baim merged Outlines newspaper with WCT in the fall of 2000.
"This is not a day to celebrate," said Baim. "All media, gay and mainstream, are facing new and difficult paths to survival. So it is never a good thing when a media outlet closes. We at Windy City Times will continue to strive to cover all parts of our community through every tool at our disposal, from traditional newsprint to iPhones, the Internet, video and podcasting."
This September, Windy City Times will celebrate its 25th anniversary. The company also produces a bi-weekly bar guide, Nightspots, a weekly podcast, Windy City Queercast, plus events, online-only content, videos and more. See www.windycitymediagroup.com .