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Windy City Times moves to digital-only
Press release
2020-09-09

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Windy City Times, Chicago's only LGBTQ newspaper, is moving to a digital-only format starting in October. The Sept. 30, 2020 edition, which marks the paper's 35th anniversary, will be its last regular free-standing print issue. The website windycitytimes.com will continue to be updated.

Windy City Times was founded in September 1985 by Jeff McCourt, Bob Bearden, Drew Badanish and Tracy Baim. Baim was the managing editor. In 1987 she left to found Outlines newspaper. Over the years, Outlines also launched Nightlines, BLACKlines, En La Vida and other LGBTQ media. In 2000, Baim purchased Windy City Times back from McCourt and she became publisher.

Baim, who is majority owner of WCT, joined the Chicago Reader as publisher in 2018. Her longtime staff took over WCT, including Publisher Terri Klinsky, Executive Editor Andrew Davis, Managing Editor Matt Simonette, Art Director Kirk Williamson, Director of New Media Jean Albright and Ripley Caine, bookkeeper.

"I am very sad to see the print edition go away," said Baim. "Our staff, freelancers and drivers have given so much to Windy City Times over the years. I thank the team for really working hard to sustain WCT. Hundreds of people worked at and supported this company through so many difficult times. Windy City Times is not closing, but losing the print paper is painful. We know many people prefer the print model, but the economics are just not sustainable."

Windy City Times, which is among only about two dozen weekly or biweekly LGBTQ newspapers left in the U.S., has tried to hold on to print during the decline in advertising and support of newspapers in recent years, but COVID-19 and its impact on the paper's core entertainment advertisers meant continuing a print paper was not tenable. The Windy City Times' digital footprint includes an average of 125,000 unique monthly visitors to its website, plus nearly 40,000 followers on social media.

As part of its 35th anniversary, the Sept. 30 final print edition will be a special collector's edition with a look-back at 35 years. Windy City Times will also be putting out a book of covers of WCT and its related LGBTQ newspapers. See www.windycitytimes.com for details soon. Windy City Times will be inducted into the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame in October.

Several staff will be furloughed as the company seeks additional resources in its pivot to digital. The website, www.windycitytimes.com, will continue. It hosts hundreds of thousands of articles and photos going back to the mid-1990s. Donations are being accepted at http://www.windycitymediagroup.com/donate.php.

To advertise in the final print edition, contact advertising@windycitymediagroup.com or call 773-871-7610 ext. 101.


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Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
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Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
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All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

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Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
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