After seeing a major staff walkout (including editor-in-chief Matt Simonette) in December after unpaid salaries comes news of the Chicago Free Press‘ closure. This just in from managing editor Kerrie Kennedy:
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.
Launched in August 1999, Chicago Free Press has been a major force in Chicago’s gay community for more than a decade. One of the largest GLBT newspapers in the country with a readership of 50,000, Chicago Free Press created and launched “Out at the Ballgame,” the Midwest’s largest “out” event in association with a professional major league sports team (the Chicago Cubs). Year after year, the paper’s annual Pride Series recorded where Chicago’s GLBT community was—and where it was going.
But it was CFP’s staff of talented and award-winning writers who gave people a reason to pick up the paper every week. Many of them—Paul Varnell, Jennifer Vanasco, Larry Bommer and Web Behrens—have been writing for the paper since its inception.
It has been my good fortune to have known and worked with many of these writers for more than 15 years. The fact that any of us chose to stay during these past few bumpy years is testament not only to the respect we have for each other, but to the dedication we have to serving Chicago’s GLBT community.