BALTIMORE (AP) — Four months after its first issue, the Baltimore alt-weekly meant to fill the void caused by a longstanding institution's closure has itself shuttered.

In a statement to The Baltimore Sun , Baltimore Beat publisher Kevin Naff rejected the idea that the publication's abrupt closure, announced Tuesday, was symptomatic of the declining health of alternative press, whose status has become precarious in major cities across the country. Instead, he blamed it on crime, saying that a corresponding decline in revenue has led small businesses to cut advertising budgets.

The first issue of the free publication hit stands two weeks after the Baltimore Sun Media Group folded the City Paper.

On Twitter, Baltimore Beat Managing Editor Brandon Soderberg expressed anger at the decision, saying staff was told to stop production just as they were finishing up the next issue.

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Information from: The Baltimore Sun, http://www.baltimoresun.com