After 35 years, Chicago’s LGBTQ+ publication, Windy City Times will cease print publication and go completely digital as a result of decreased revenue amid the pandemic, according to a statement on its website.
The transition will be swift and the September 30 issue of the paper, which is set as a commemorative edition that celebrates the publication’s 35th anniversary, will be its last before moving entirely online.
The paper’s co-founder and majority owner Tracy Baim called the move to end the newspaper's print production “painful.”
“Our staff, freelancers and drivers have given so much to Windy City Times over the years. I thank the team for really working hard to sustain WCT,” Baim said. “Hundreds of people worked at and supported this company through so many difficult times. Windy City Times is not closing, but losing the print paper is painful. We know many people prefer the print model, but the economics are just not sustainable.”
Three of the paper’s five staff members will be furloughed as the Windy City Times makes the transition solely to digital.
The statement cited generally declining advertising support of newspapers over the past few years as a factor in the decision, but said emphatically that “COVID-19 and its impact on the paper's core entertainment advertisers meant continuing a print paper was not tenable.”
Windy City Times was founded in 1985 by Jeff McCourt, Bob Bearden, Drew Badanish, and Tracy Baim, according to the statement. Baim left in 1987 for Outlines but bought the paper back from McCourt in 2000. She has been the publication’s publisher for the past 20 years.