The usual two-column masthead appeared gutted. Gone were the names, and for that matter positions, of executive editor Angie Hargot, staff writer Lee Molloy, as well as two copyeditors, a calendar editor, a photographer, and most of the business staff.
Several former staffers and freelancers were wary to go on the record because the paper still owes them payment. Not that they seemed to know much.
"I honestly don't know anything, but that things aren't going well," said one freelancer who hasn't been paid since December.
The main phone line reaches an "out of service" message. When Riptide went by the newspaper's offices today at 4:30, the door was locked and the lights were off, and a note on the door read, "Be back after 4 p.m.," with an addendum scrawled by Hargot asking president and co-publisher Jeannette Stark to call her. But one former staffer told us that even under normal operations, the office isn't open Fridays.
Molloy's Facebook page indicates he was laid off sometime last week. Phone calls to Molloy, Hargot, Stark, and others were not returned.
Meanwhile, actual issues of the latest 24-page edition seemed a rare find. A new batch was never delivered to the distribution box in front of the Miami New Times offices this week, and many boxes blocks from their offices remained empty. The paper had, like many publications, noticeably slimmed down in the past year. The February 21, 2008 edition weighed in at a healthy 80 pages. The week before, a special edition highlighting the boat show came in at 120. Recent editions have fluctuated between 24 and 30-some pages.
The SunPost has had a longtime presence in Miami, predating even New Times. Felix Stark, who passed away in 1995, bought the Sun Reporter in 1979, rechristening it as the SunPost in 1985. The quality of the paper has varied throughout its existence, but in recent years, it has featured a number of former New Times writers.
As of now, we can't confirm whether the latest issue will indeed be the paper's last, but it seems as if it would be no surprise if the SunPost soon sets.