Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Blade Is Back

This has really been a kind of amazing story. Last year The Washington Blade, DC's main gay newspaper, went out of business when the corporation folded. The local paper was doing fine, but others in other cities were not. The staff got together and started a new paper immediately, I have never seen anything like it, The Agenda fired up within a few days of The Blade going under. Now it appears they have bought rights to the old name, and will keep a Washington tradition alive.

The Post has it:
The District's long-running gay weekly will resume publishing under its original name, the Washington Blade, at the end of this week, after the acquisition of the Blade's assets in bankruptcy court in Atlanta.

In late February, staffers bought the newspaper's name, copyright, trademark, archives, computers and office furniture for $15,000. Twenty-five thousand copies of the first edition of a redesigned Blade will hit the streets Friday.

The 40-year-old newspaper -- founded as a one-sheet newsletter in October 1969 just months after the Stonewall riots in New York incited the modern gay rights movement -- has published weekly editions under the name D.C. Agenda since Nov. 20, four days after parent company Window Media declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy and ceased operations. Working with half the staff of the Blade (which last year had 24 full-timers) and an array of freelancers, D.C. Agenda also relied on the generosity of lawyers, accountants, advertisers and readers from around the world, many of whom contributed pro bono or financial support, according to editor Kevin Naff.

"A lot of people really have an emotional connection to the Blade, and the outpouring since it closed was overwhelming and was really what led us to carry on," Naff says. "We'll be a leaner publication and we'll grow as we can afford to grow, but Friday's issue, as of now, is 56 pages, which is remarkable considering Agenda launched with eight pages." Gay weekly D.C. Agenda sets a memorable date: The return of The Washington Blade


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