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As the Smoke Clears

How does the media get back to normal when no one can say what normal is?

Where that leaves Go-Go, which sports a circulation around 35,000, is anyone's guess. Magyar, who informed his freelancers of his firing by e-mail (a copy of which found its way to Westword), says he didn't ask any of his scribes to quit but adds that eight have told him that they won't work for Go-Go again. For his part, Weaver insists that "90 percent" of Go-Go's freelancers have told him they'd like to stay -- a claim that certainly doesn't jibe with Magyar's. Weaver also maintains that checks went out to some writers and drivers last week, with more to come.

Lode, too, emphasizes that payments are being made and says that, to his knowledge, no one was owed money for as long as Magyar contends. He purchased Go-Go last year, he adds, but initially kept the transaction quiet for fear that people would think a cover story the publication put out about a film he produced and stars in (Dragon and the Hawk, set for video release in November) was linked to his ownership. In fact, he says he knew almost nothing about Go-Go prior to being interviewed and didn't buy it until two months after the profile hit the streets. More recently, he says, "I haven't either made a lot of owning Go-Go nor made a point of hiding it." Supporting this statement is the presence of Go-Go Media LLC on his Web site, trygve.com; contradicting it is a restaurant review Go-Go offered in July, in which Lode is prominently featured but never identified as the magazine's owner.

Whatever the case, Lode says Go-Go isn't going anywhere: "It's not in any particular danger or anything like that. Go-Go has to keep to a budget, but that's the case with any small business. And I'm utterly committed to making this work."

Weaver is now interviewing applicants for the editor and art director openings, but he guaranteed that the next Go-Go, slated for September 27, would arrive on time whether he's hired anyone or not. "We've made it through some tough waters before, and this is just another wave the boat will go over," he says.

Magyar, whom Weaver praises as "a talented guy," hopes that's the case; he says he'd be saddened if Go-Go wound up gone-gone. But he believes his departure, and Taylor's, will be felt for quite some time. "The publication can't continue as it has been, because I had such an amount of control and impact over it that without me, it couldn't," he says. "There may still be something called Go-Go, but without Marilyn and me, it'll read differently and look differently. That's not overstating or bragging; that's just the way it is."

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