Thursday, September 25, 2008

New England Blade's swan song?

Does the ongoing saga that is the New England Blade finally have an end?

A source who contacted Boy at Bushwick yesterday afternoon pointed to a virtual laundry list of items that suggest a possibly eminent end for the troubled Boston-based LGBT weekly. He said the New England Blade's landlord served the newspaper an eviction notice to vacate its South End offices because of failure to pay rent, and HX CEO Matthew Bank rushed to the Hub to give staff what he described as a "pep talk." The source further indicated the company asked staff to wait to cash their paychecks because HX is trying to secure 11th hour capital to keep the operation going. He also said the New England Blade is two months behind in payments to its distributor.

Our friends over at Loaded Gun have also posted on these potentially terminal developments, but these reports are the latest in a series of controversies and all around bad news that have rocked the once venerable publication. These include former editor-in-large Fred Kuhr's resignation last December, continued failure to pay freelancers and other contributors as this blog has previously documented and the brouhaha over the New England Blade's publication of its "official event guide for Boston Pride" in June over strong objections from the festival organizers.

I'm not one to immediately jump to conclusions, but the controversies and all around drama that have repeatedly dogged the New England Blade since HX bought the former InNewsweekly nearly two years ago clearly indicate something is not kosher. Is it time to grab our fiddles and watch Rome burn? Perhaps we will know sooner rather than later.

Update [Sept. 25, 2008; 4:37 p.m.]: New England Blade publisher James Patterson told Bay Windows his publication is not facing eminent demise. He dismissed claims the newspaper faced eviction, but refused to comment on allegations HX Media asked employees not to cash their paychecks until sufficient capital could be located. Patterson conceded, however, the ongoing ecomonic crisis has impacted the New England Blade.

No comments: