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Canadian LGBT Weekly Xtra! to Shut Down Print Edition

Canadian LGBT Weekly Xtra! to Shut Down Print Edition

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Xtra! will cease print publication after 31 years but promises to expand online.

Soon, for the first time since 1984, Canada's free LGBT newspaper Xtra! won't be available in Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver, or anywhere except online.

The weekly, which has been reporting on politics. culture, and LGBT issues generally for nearly 31 years, is folding its print edition.

The publisher, Pink Triangle Press, is getting out of the newspaper business and putting Xtra through a "transition to an enhanced digital offering," CBC News in Toronto reports. That transition reportedly will cost a dozen full-time publishing and administrative workers their jobs.

The final edition of Xtra! for Vancouver and Ottawa will be published February 12, and the final Toronto issue will be available on the paper's 31st anniversary, February 19.

But even as the company moves away from print, its DailyXtra.com website and adult dating website Squirt.org will expanded, said Ken Popert, executive director and president of Pink Triangle Press.

In a statement to CBC News, Popert said the new digital expansion will feature more social networking and newer tech for online dating.

"Most of our revenues already come through digital membership sales in the adult dating space," Popert said, "where we've had great success building a growing online community."

Xtra! is at least the second free newspaper in Canada to shut down its presses in the last 12 months. The Grid, an award-winning general interest weekly published by the same company as the Toronto Star, stopped publishing last year.

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