Washington Blade to Return this WeekWB

Washington, D.C., April 26, 2010

The Washington Blade, the award-winning, 40-year-old newspaper of record for the LGBTQ community, will return to newsstands Friday, April 30, after its former parent company filed for bankruptcy and shuttered the paper in November 2009.

Since then, former Blade staff members have produced a new print and online publication each week under the name DC Agenda, owned by Brown Naff Pitts Omnimedia, Inc., which was founded by publisher Lynne Brown, editor Kevin Naff, sales executive Brian Pitts and other former Blade employees. DC Agenda recently announced the acquisition of all assets of the Washington Blade, the nation’s oldest LGBTQ newspaper, from bankruptcy court. The purchase included the Washington Blade name, all trademarks and copyrights and the entire 40-year archive. The Washington Blade debuted in October 1969 as a one-sheet newsletter distributed in D.C.’s gay bars.

“For more than 40 years the Washington Blade’s commitment to excellence in journalism made it a weekly ‘must read’ for the LGBTQ community locally and even worldwide,” said Editor Kevin Naff. “This is the tradition we have tried to emulate with DC Agenda. We are thrilled that the Washington Blade is once again owned locally.”

“There are benefits to the brand recognition of a publication that was highly trusted and respected for 40 years,” said Publisher Lynne Brown, also former Publisher of the Washington Blade and an employee of that publication for more than 20 years. “The power, effectiveness and strength of the Washington Blade came from the spirit and intensity of those who wrote the stories and worked with the local community.”

“We now have the opportunity to both restore and refresh a powerful, venerable news gathering institution and to make the treasure trove of our vibrant gay rights and liberation movement history accessible to the public,” concluded Brown. “It doesn’t really get any better than this.”

The new Washington Blade will hit the streets on Friday, April 30th; the company is working to restore online access to the paper’s electronic archive as soon as possible.

The decision to return to the Washington Blade name followed a survey of readers. According to the survey of DC Agenda readers, while a majority thinks DC Agenda does a better job of reporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning/queer (LGBTQ) news than the Washington Post (63.2 percent vs. 5.3 percent) almost the same majority also favors a return of the Washington Blade to replace DC Agenda (62.2percent). The online Reader Survey was conducted for Brown Naff Pitts Omnimedia, Inc. from March 20, to April 20, 2010 by marketing communications firm Out to Market Communications.

Respondents, when asked whether their opinion was favorable or unfavorable to a selection of weekly and daily area newspapers, also gave DC Agenda the highest percentage of favorable ratings with 64.1percent of all respondents. Within the favorable rankings the Washington Blade rated second with 60.9 percent and the Washington Post was third with a 55.5 percent favorable rating. The Washington Times was at the bottom of the list with 2.7 percent of respondents saying their opinion of the paper was favorable.

The DC Agenda reader survey, which included 196 local and national respondents, also revealed that a majority of respondents almost always trust the local LGBTQ news they receive from newspapers (84.4 percent). In the survey the Internet came in as the second most trusted LGBTQ news source (69.9 percent) while the combined-average trust for LGBTQ news from magazines, television and radio lagged behind newspaper and Internet coverage at 52.9 percent.

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