With even the city's top newspapers struggling to survive, smaller print publications have had it even harder. Today, ChicagoPride.com reported that the 11-year-old LGBT newspaper, the Chicago Free Press, is folding.
Last week, many Free Press readers were nervous when the April 29 issue was never released. It turns out that the paper's publisher, David Costanzo, will no longer fund the paper due to health problems.
"It was CFP's staff of talented and award-winning writers who gave people a reason to pick up the paper every week," CFP Managing Editor Kerrie Kennedy said in a statement. "Many of them--Paul Varnell, Jennifer Vanasco, Larry Bommer and Web Behrens--have been writing for the paper since its inception."
ChicagoPride.com shared a brief history of the CFP:
The Chicago Free Press was created in 1999 when staff from the original Windy City Times, which was published by Jeffery McCourt, staged a walk-out to start a new publication. McCourt subsequently sold Windy City Times' name and archives to rival Outlines publisher Tracy Baim.
As one of two LGBT newspapers in Chicago, Chicago Free Press has been a major force in Chicago's gay community for more than a decade. One of the largest LGBT newspapers in the country, CFP maintained a readership of 50,000.
"I am deeply saddened at the closing of Chicago Free Press," Art Johnston, a long-time LGBT activist, told ChicagoPride.com. "Especially in its early years, the Chicago Free Press was a publication of the highest quality with a deep commitment to both covering the news of our developing community and to taking fierce and often controversial editorial positions against the enemies of progress. In our ongoing struggles for full equality, the voice of the Free Press will be sorely missed."
The Windy City Times will now be the only LGBT print publication in Chicago.