Sue O’Connell, co-owner of Bay Windows and the South End News, spoke to Boston Public Radio on Friday about why she and her co-owner Jeff Coakley are putting their publications up for sale.
"I've been there since 1998, and at the beginning of last year, Jeff and I had a discussion about handing the reins over for some new blood to come in and see if folks wanted to buy the paper," she said on BPR. "I think there's a lot of opportunity for the publications to expand, but we also think it's time for someone else to take over, who has the energy and the excitement, and who brings some new voices in to take over either both the papers or one of the papers."
Bay Windows is the region's biggest and longest-serving LGBTQ magazine, operating since 1983, O'Connell said. South End News is a community newspaper that has served the South End since 1981.
The papers are still fully operating and O'Connell says that they'll never have to file for bankruptcy.
"But, I wish that we were a huge media conglomerate — it's a lot of work for not a lot of monetary return," she said. "I would like to leave it before I resent doing it, but I'm very proud of the work that the paper has done over the decades."
If no one buys the publications, O'Connell and Coakley will keep publishing the papers, she said.
"We'll do it as long as we can," she said. "We look at it like we're the stewards of these newspapers and it's a service that we provide that we care very much about."
O'Connell emphasized Bay Windows' role in reporting on the legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts in 2004.
"The marriage equality battles are by far the proudest moments for Bay Windows," she said. "I firmly believe that without Bay Windows, we would not have had marriage equality as quickly as we needed in Massachusetts."