After going missing from its usual kiosks and failing to post its new issue online, the San Diego Gay & Lesbian Times appears to be dead: the entire staff has been laid off and the weekly’s doors have closed.
Amidst accusations of lying to advertisers about its circulation, SDG< went MIA without notice.
One staffer posted this message online:
I will make a statement on my behalf. My name is brent mekshes. I was laid off on Friday October 8th via e-mail at approximately 415pm. To my knowledge to remainder of staff has been laid off too. Nothing has been said about if this is temporary or permanent. No one on staff has spoke with Michael Portantino and I have been told he is hospitalized for a reason that hasn’t been disclosed. I have never been told that there is a potential buyer for the company or what the status is and for someone to post that leaves me to believe that is gossip. I was advised by another staff member my last paycheck was returned for non sufficient funds and I wasn’t given resolution. In addition I learned last week that our group health insurance policy has been cancelled for non payment. This plan was payroll deducted and and employees paid 100% of the premium as company match was ceased last year. In addition I question if taxes were paid out our last paycheck or if 401k deductions were deposited into employee plans. I learned of this while I was out of the state on paid time off. We are not eligible for cobra insurance because our plan was cancelled before we were laid off and not told until it was too late. My spouse was to have surgery last week and it was cancelled due to the hospital unwilling to operate without insurance. I am deeply saddened for the staff, community and all related parties. I do hope employees can be made whole. I have no ill will on the company or the ownership and if this company could be saved I would hope it could for the sake of the community and advertisers. I do hope the company makes a statement and contacts employees to let us know their intentions and that loose ends are tied up so we can move on with our lives. I will make no further statements due to the current situation and I hope this communication can stop untrue rumors from continuing. Please respect the wishes of the former staff as we heal from our losses. Thank you. Brent Mekshes, former senior account executive.