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Akron's Devil Strip comes to an end with resignation of final board members

Devil Strip logo.png
The Devil Strip abruptly ceased publication in October. Its website disappeared soon after, but is back online -- and the three outgoing boardmembers say it will stay up until at least February 3.

The remaining boardmembers at Akron’s Devil Strip newspaper have resigned, effectively ending what had been an experiment in co-op journalism.

The Devil Strip went to a co-op model three years ago, but suspended operations last October, citing insufficient funding to continue. The three remaining boardmembers tried to rally the Devil Strip’s financial supporters, but could not reach quorum when it came time to vote on a path forward. All funds raised by a "Save the 'Devil Strip'" campaign are being returned.

With the help of forensic accountants, the board now reports that the amount of debt is about $186,000. That's close to $80,000 more than they previously acknowledged, in October.

Devil Strip finances.jpg
The Devil Strip
The remaining board members of The Devil Strip shared a spreadsheet detailing the $186,000 in debt they're now aware of.

Legal counsel also says the paper's bylaws prevent the board from making any decisions, and has advised the board members to resign, effective this Tuesday.

The arts and culture paper was founded by journalist Chris Horne in 2014. He stepped away on a sabbatical citing mental health challenges, just before The Devil Strip laid off its staff and ceased publication in October. Its website disappeared soon after. It’s since been restored -- and will stay up until at least February 3.

Kabir Bhatia joined WKSU as a Reporter/Producer and weekend host in 2010. While a Kent State student, Bhatia served as a WKSU student assistant, working in the newsroom and for production.