David Magazine Folds 
     Publisherís Whereabouts Unknown 
     by Norm Kent 

The rumors surrounding the demise of David Magazine became a reality on Friday, February 4 when the remaining employees of the publication announced that the magazine had ceased operations. And in a bizarre turn of events, which unfolded only Friday, February 11, its director of operations accused the publisher of stealing her purse and forging checks from her checkbook.

Since the mid-January "vacation" of publisher Gil Quijas, rumors have been swirling about Davidís future. Calls to David Magazine, whose phones will be disconnected by this week, were answered by Ellen Friedman, Davidís former National Director of Operations. 

Friedman told the Express that the publication essentially collapsed financially on January 14, the day after Gil Quijas went on vacation. "All our funds mysteriously disappeared the next day," she stated. "Gil went away on the13th and we lost contact with him immediately. His cell phone was disconnected. We have no idea where he went or where he is." 

Friedman confided that employees rolled up their sleeves and agreed to work without pay to save the publication. "Some of us have not been paid in four weeks," she added. Ironically, only four weeks ago, the Community High Riser had done a full page feature and profile on the success of Gil Quijas and David Printing.

Meanwhile, furious advertisers allege that staffers at David lied to them to protect their jobs and fraudulently took money without disclosing the truth of what actually happened. "Not true," Friedman asserted. "We did everything we could to keep the magazine alive. We honestly believed in Gil and had every reason to believe he was coming back, until February 3. From that day on, we ceased operations."

At least one angry realtor indicated he was on his way to the Wilton Manors police to file charges. Another, Jay Hatoff of Majestic Realty Intíl stated: "I think it is outrageous. Not only am I prepaid, they cashed my last check on February 4."

Acknowledging further that near Ďthe endí numerous checks to creditors had bounced, Friedman stated "we have no funds to pay anyone back. If I could refund people money, the advertisers who paid for ads they will not see, I would. But there is no money..."

In what may be a related matter, Ms Friedman filed a police report on Friday alleging that last November Gil Quijas stole her purse, removed blank checks from the back of her checkbook, and cashed three of them at a Five Points check cashing store for amounts in excess of $25,000.

"We are perplexed," said Wilton Manors Detective Danny James, "as to why she waited until now to come in." Meanwhile, Friedman told the police that the bank has restored the funds to her account. Detective James verified that Gil Quijas did take and cash the checks, and is now making restitution to the check cashing store for paying him the money. 

Until Friedmanís report on Friday, no complaints had been lodged against David Magazine or Gil Quijas. "At this point, we have no reports of bounced checks. If we get them, we will of course look into it," stated Detective James.

Scott Holland, who had gone from National Director of Promotions and Sales to Editor to running the magazine in the space of three weeks, announced he was going to work for Miami-beat Scoop columnist Tony Lambrou, who will be starting a new publication. Holland told the Express only a few weeks ago that he was "grateful and thrilled" about the opportunity to steward David magazine. 

On January 27, Holland wrote that David was not in trouble and stated rumors about its impending demise were untrue: "A lot of fiction has been spread about us around town...our publisher (Gil Quijas) is simply on a well deserved vacation." Interviewed last Friday, he told the Express that he "was stunned by what Gil did..I had no clue that the magazine was in trouble...why would I work that hard if I thought we were going to fold...I live and work in this community. I care about it."

"We just did not know what Gilís true intentions were at that time," Friedman stated. "We thought our owner was on vacation and would responsibly return." She and Holland refused to disclose to the Express exactly what occurred on February 3rd that made her change her mind. But in a hastily called press conference on February 4, she announced that was the date they knew David was defunct and would not republish. Friedman indicated Ms. David has also met its demise. "Letís face it. The name is ruined," she said of both publications. 

Former employees of David reported that the working environment at the business was in fact "less than comfortable." That was confirmed by Delbert Swander, who is now the Classified Manager at Muchacho Magazine. He had previously been employed at David. "I think Gil Quijas just got overwhelmed. He couldnít say no to people. Bill collectors and creditors were calling so frequently I barely had time to sell ads. Bill collectors are aggressive, as you know, and it just made it so uncomfortable to work there."

Concerning David Lee, the former partner of Quijas, Friedman said, "Please let the community know that he has never been connected with David Magazine or the printing company in any way. He simply owns the building and gave the magazine its chance. He is only guilty of trusting someone he once loved. And they [Lee and Quijas] have not been lovers for over two years." Calls to David Lee were not returned by the Express deadline.

Ms. Friedman announced that she has formed a partnership with Jeff Pomerantz to start 'A Renaissance Printer' at the David location. She promised to start a new women's magazine to replace Ms. David, and hopes to have it on the street by March 15.

John Chambers, a former David salesConfiding that he has been disenchanted with Scoop for a number of months and has been looking for his own venue, Lambrou intends to publish a magazine the exact same size as Hot Spots! and David. 

Holland, who will serve as editor of Lambrouís new magazine, stated they will honor Davidís prepaid advertisers in their new publication. "We donít want members of the gay community to lose any money." At least one angry classified advertiser called Hollandís proposal nonsense: "I am sorry but that just will not fly. I want my money back. I did not pay for an ad in a magazine I have never seen and has not come out yet."

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