It’s the end of an era for Chicago’s pioneering LGBTQ news publication, the Windy City Times.
After 35 years, the free, biweekly newspaper is retiring its print edition in October and publishing exclusively online.
Windy City Times co-founder and publisher Tracy Baim said a steep decline in the newspaper’s ad revenue, driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, forced the change.
“We’ve always been free in print and online, so advertising is the primary source of income,” Baim said. “We hope by going online completely, what we’ll be able to do is get additional revenue streams from foundations that want to see community journalism thrive and also in partnership with the Chicago Reader and other community media, we hope to lift all boats to bring more resources overall to the whole community media landscape.”
Baim is also publisher of the alt-biweekly newspaper the Chicago Reader.
In a press release posted Wednesday, Baim said the Windy City Times website averages 125,000 unique visitors a month.
The publication has furloughed several staff members as it transforms to a digital-only presence, according to the release, and will release a book of Windy City Times covers.
Among the publication’s numerous community and journalism awards, it will be virtually inducted into the Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame on Oct. 13.
The Windy City Times is accepting donations from the public on its website.