The Washington Blade, the 40-year-old publication which served as the LGBT community’s newspaper of record, will return to newsstands Friday after its former parent company filed for bankruptcy and closed the paper.
Since the newspaper’s closing, former Blade staff members have produced a new print and online publication under the name DC Agenda, which is owned by Brown Naff Pitts Omnimedia, Inc. The new company was founded by Publisher Lynne Brown, Editor Kevin Naff, sales executive Brian Pitts and other former Blade employees.
Brown Naff Pitts Omnimedia has no connection with Window Media, LLC, the Blade’s former parent company that shuttered the newspaper and several other LGBT publications it owned at the time of its bankruptcy filing in November.
DC Agenda recently announced the acquisition of all assets of the Blade, the nation’s oldest LGBT newspaper, from a federal bankruptcy court in Atlanta. The purchase included the Blade name, all trademarks and copyrights and the entire 40-year archive.
The Washington Blade was founded in 1969 as a one-sheet newsletter distributed in D.C.’s gay bars before evolving into an award-winning newspaper and web site with a national and international readership.
“For more than 40 years the Washington Blade’s commitment to excellence in journalism made it a weekly ‘must read’ for the LGBTQ community locally and even worldwide,” Naff said. “This is the tradition we have tried to emulate with DC Agenda. We are thrilled that the Washington Blade is once again owned locally.”
“There are benefits to the brand recognition of a publication that was highly trusted and respected for 40 years,” said Brown, a Blade employee for 23 years.
“The power, effectiveness and strength of the Washington Blade came from the spirit and intensity of those who wrote the stories and worked with the local community,” she said. “We now have the opportunity to both restore and refresh a powerful, venerable news gathering institution and to make the treasure trove of our vibrant gay rights and liberation movement history accessible to the public.
“It doesn’t get any better than this.”
Naff and Brown said the decision to return to the Washington Blade name followed a survey of readers, which showed a solid majority in favor of restoring the Blade name.
Naff said the new company is working to restore online access to the paper’s electronic archive as soon as possible.