Thoroughbred Times, a Lexington-based magazine dedicated to the horse racing industry, declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy and terminated operations Sept. 14, editor in chief Mark Simon confirmed the following day.
The company is now under the control of a bankruptcy trustee who will determine the outcome of assets, including the resolution of debt to several freelance journalists and photographers.
Twenty-seven full-time employees received a FedEx letter Sept. 15 indicating the Times had been shut down and advising them of their termination. The building is locked and is currently inaccessible.
"I was surprised, but I wasn't surprised," Simon said Sept. 15. "I just feel bad for all the employees and contributors who worked so hard to put out what I feel was a good product."
Simon has worked for the Times since its inception in 1985 and was hired by the late Richard F. Broadbent III to get the magazine started. In July, the Times went from weekly publication to bi-weekly.
It has been reported that the parent company of the Times, BowTie Incorporated, has been struggling for about five years under founder and president Norman Ridker, 74, who established the publishing house in 1974. BowTie acquired Thoroughbred Times in 1993.
Formerly known as Fancy Publications, BowTie publishes a variety of animal-themed publications such as Dog Fancy, Cat Fancy, and Horse Illustrated. The company recently shut down print publications of its Aquarium Fish International magazine, WildBird Magazine, and Bird Talk Magazine, although the latter currently maintains a presence online.