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The Washington Blade was shuttered this morning when its parent company Window Media LLC ceased operations, effective immediately.

Window Media was the nation’s largest gay and lesbian newspaper publisher, writes FishbowlDC.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution and Project Q Atlanta report that employees of Southern Voice, another Window Media paper, arrived at work this morning to find the doors locked and a sign posted:

It is with GREAT regret that we must inform you that effective immediately, the operations of Window Media, LLC and Unite Media, LLC have closed down.

Please return to this office on WEDNESDAY, November 18th, 2009 at 11:00 AM to collect personal belongings and to receive information on your separation stipulations. Please bring boxes and/or containers that will allow you to collect all your personal belongings at one time.

Regretfully,

Steve Myers
Mike Kitchens

Window Media has been in trouble for years, Todd Evans, president and chief executive officer of Rivendell Media, whose company buys advertising in gay media nationwide, told the AJC. He said he and others expected the publications to be shuttered years ago.

“I’m surprised it (closing of Window Media publications) didn’t happen sooner,” he said.

Indeed, Window Media has been in financial trouble for some time; the business has been in receivership (indicating the business is essentially failed) since February.

Blade editor Kevin Naff told Politico that the Blade staff is already beginning a new venture. The staff first meets tomorrow.