Tuesday, April 29, 2008

More bloodletting at the New England Blade

Just when one may think things at the New England Blade (formerly InNewsweekly) couldn't get any worse, sources familiar with the troubled LGBT weekly in Boston have indicated to Boy in Bushwick that they very well may have. The paper's long-time office manager left a few weeks ago, and rumor has it additional terminations and resignations have once again left the newspaper scrambling. This writer anecdotally saw HX Media CEO Matthew Bank's away message on his Facebook profile as 'is going to Boston' over the weekend. Something must be going on in the Hub!

This speculation is the latest in a series of salvos directed at the troubled weekly. Former editor-at-large Fred Kuhr, Rhode Island correspondent Joe Siegel and columnist Chuck Colbert ceased their contributions to the newspaper late last year over back pay and concerns over editorial content and direction. HX Media also fired former associate publisher Bill Berggren in January after he allegedly used InNewsweekly resources to sell ads for a new publication, N'Touch, he unveiled in February.

A Suffolk County judge issued a temporary injunction against Berggren in February after HX Media filed suit against him and two former InNewsweekly sales representatives to block the publication of N'Touch. In addition to this litigation, Colbert told Boy in Bushwick this morning HX Media still owes him roughly$3,500.

These latest Boston revelations clearly indicate HX Media's empire remains in dire straights. HX Philadelphia abruptly folded late last month. And the New York Blade publishes every other week. Gay newspapers and other pink outlets are a very small niche within a much larger enterprises. The industry remains subject to the same trials and tribulations currently rocking the vast majority of traditional media, but HX Media's arguable antics don't serve their interests or those of their dwindling readership. They continue to tarnish the already questionable reputation of gay media. And this trend harms everyone involved.

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